This weekend I went to a small local theater to see Turbo, the animated movie from Dreamworks. I’m an avid fan of animation and I have a slight toy fetish and happen to love bugs, so I was especially excited to go see this movie about a snail that wanted to race. Little did I know the surprise I was in for…

Recently, my life has undergone a lot of changes, including participating in two Radical Leadership retreats and working with my life coach Therese Sparby. While going through this intense training over the past two years, I’ve learned how to love myself despite what others (including my family) may think of me, look past mediocrity and live on the “edge of possibility,” where anything can happen. Turbo reminded me of all the lessons I’ve learned, and I think every kid (and adult) should watch this movie for the powerful message it contains. (Caution: Spoilers ahead!)

Here are 10 lessons I took away from this movie that I hope will inspire you:

1.    You’re Different—and that’s a good thing!

At the beginning of the movie, we’re introduced to tiny Theo, who prefers to go by the name of “Turbo.” He’s obviously different from the other garden snails—he stays up all night watching Nascar, drinks energy drinks and wears checkered flags and number stickers on his shell. He practices racing with a tape measure and really thinks he’s faster than the average snail. Overall, he’s undeterred and happy to be himself, sticking up for his crazy dream, even when he’s nearly killed.

The Lesson:

We’re different—and that’s OK! Authorpreneurs are even different from other writers and entrepreneurs—we’re in a weird meshed group of our own. It’s good to be different. It’s good to stand out from the pack.

As Steve Jobs said:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

So go ahead, be different—and change your world!

2.    Sometimes You have to Leave “Home” and the Familiar

Soon after Turbo’s near death experience, he gets discouraged and wanders away from home to look at a highway of fast-moving vehicles. He wishes on a “star,” and suddenly he’s thrown into a freak “accident” (really, are there any accidents in life?) and ends up in the engine of a drag racer… Needless to say, his DNA is changed (I won’t spoil it for you as to how) and he eventually makes it back home, where in the morning he realizes he has a super power of super speed.

Another accident involving his new, barely controlled, power causes him and his brother who does not believe in or support Turbo’s crazy dream, to have to leave home and go on another unwelcome adventure.

The Lesson:

As with Turbo, sometimes we authorpreneurs need a fresh perspective. Whether the change is mental or physical, we need to remove ourselves from the mediocrity of our mundane lives and shake things up a little. You may be surrounded by people who love and support you for what you can do for them, and who don’t understand your crazy inner self. You may not be able to physically leave your location, and that’s OK! Do what it takes to get excited about your life and writing again. Whether that’s to hire a coach or find a new group on social media full of people like you, the important thing is to do something. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t settle for “normal.” Normal people rarely make an impact, so go ahead, be abnormal.

3.    Find Your Peeps

After Turbo and Chet get kicked out of their garden home and after their crazy wild adventure, they’re captured by Tito, a taco truck driver and brought to a snail race at a run-down strip mall. Turbo is impressed with the other snails, who to put it mildly enjoy their own versions of extreme sports, and he’s finally found others who like him have crazy dreams they’re not afraid to pursue.

The Lesson:

It matters whom you hang out with! Surround yourself with people who will lift you up, no matter how crazy your dreams are. People who will get behind you and support you on those days you inevitably encounter writer’s block or get overwhelmed with book marketing tactics. I personally attend the NAMS (Novice to Advanced Marketing Systems) conference every six months in Atlanta, GA. I don’t go so much to learn, though I always take home pages of notes from other instructors’ classes, and I don’t even go just because I’m teaching. I go to see my true “family,” those people who have loved me through my ugliness and cheer on my insane dreams when I’m in the midst of overwhelm. They lift me up when I’m down and encourage me to be myself and achieve the impossible.

Want to succeed as an authorpreneur? Find your peeps, and do whatever it takes to make a habit of hanging out with them.

4.    Do What’s Never Been Done

The next big event in Turbo is when Tito the taco truck driver gets the bright idea to enter Turbo as a racer in the Indianapolis 500. A snail in the Indy 500 sounds crazy, right? I mean, that’s never been done! This is the reaction everyone except Tito, Turbo and his crazy snail friends has, until Turbo proves he can do it.

The Lesson:

Do you have a crazy idea? Do it! Has it never been done before? All the more reason to do it! No one becomes successful by playing it safe. Take risks, put yourself out there, and go for it!

5.    Use Social Media

While Turbo is racing around the Indy track to qualify for the race, one kid sees the action and videos this outstanding snail with his phone. He uploads it to social media and it instantly goes viral, ending up everywhere—on every platform, thousands of profiles and eventually even on TV. The race owner finally gives in to the pressure and allows Turbo to enter the race.

The Lesson:

Social media is powerful. Even popular social media consultant Joel Comm said he was leaving social media, only to head back over to Facebook after finishing and posting his blog post about leaving social media. In Joel’s own words:

Nobody really escapes social media. The online world has become a meaningful, yet flawed, method for interacting, dialoguing, engaging, debating, sharing and experiencing our world and our relationships with others in real time.”

Social media is where your audience is hanging out, so make sure you’re using it to build relationships with your audience, promote yourself as an expert and your book as the solution to their problems!

Stay tuned for my next post with the next five lessons authorpreneurs can learn from a snail!

Have you seen Turbo? Have you experienced a mediocre day vs. a day filled with endless possibility? Share your story in the comments below!

Click here to read Part 2.

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy Laidig is the founder of The Book Ninja. She has authored over 40 books, started over 50 publishing companies, trained over 10,000 authors worldwide, has her black belt in karate, and eats way too much chocolate. She currently changes lives through her students… one published message at a time, manages her two retail stores Toy Box Gifts & Wonder® and Nerdvana Outpost in the heart of her newfound hometown, Chambersburg, PA, is in the start-up phase of at least three new businesses at any given time, and generally causes anyone reading this bio to be out of breath. On her “off” time (what’s that?) she brainstorms business ideas with her awesome husband, the great Public Domain Expert himself, Tony Laidig, and hangs out with her two ragdoll kitties. She’s even been known to sleep... occasionally.

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