I'm sure you're just as excited as I am for the Gilmore girls revival coming to Netflix in a few weeks, right? Like you, I’ve been rewatching my favorite episodes in preparation for the release.
As I'm moving through the seasons again, I've been repeatedly reminded that the series is just jam-packed with business lessons. Lessons I didn't realize were there until I became a solopreneur.
I started watching Gilmore girls as a teenager. (It premiered on TV when I was in high school.) I had no entrepreneurial plans at that point in my life; those lessons wouldn't have jumped out at me. Now, as a business owner, I laugh at different jokes and have new favorite episodes. (I think that's the charm of the show.)
From entrepreneurs (Luke & Richard) to business partnerships (Sookie & Lorelei) to company failures (Christopher & Logan) - the show is full of lessons about the challenges and successes of the working world.
I really started thinking about this when I was watching an episode in season 4. Remember the one where Taylor wants an ice cream truck?
He's giving Lorelei a hard time approving renovations for the Dragonfly remodel. But it turns out, he just wants her to convince Luke to let him park his ice cream truck in front of their building. The scene ends with Lorelei's monologue on business lessons (“It’s about scratching backs, my friend.”).
As I watched that, I thought to myself “I wouldn’t want Taylor as a client.” Of course, that got me thinking about all our beloved Stars Hollow residents.
So, just for fun, let's explore!
What if the Gilmore girls characters were your clients?
Sookie: She’s well-meaning, but a bit scattered. She will need you to send your invoice a few times (she loses emails); and she hasn’t quite yet figured out how to use Basecamp. Sookie's great to work with - she's friendly and respectful. But she’ll just need you to be willing to do some hand-holding and keep her on task.
Taylor: This client relationship can spin out of control if you're not careful. Taylor's the one who will try scope creep, so you need to be sure your contract is solid. He is very particular on how he wants things done. He looks for team members who can listen to his instruction once, and then work independently. That means you won't need to check in with him in the middle - he just wants to see the finished product.
Emily: Sigh. She's a tough one. She's incredibly particular, and impossible to really please. But she pays you more than other client you've ever had, so you keep working with her. Emily's not going to dish out praise. (This is business, after all.) So don't worry when you send her a completed project and only hear back a quick, "Thank you."
Luke: Luke’s the client you just can’t get a good read on. He sometimes comes off cross and curt, and then surprises you when he praises you for a job well done. He’s not one for small talk, and gets right down to business when you jump on a Skype call. He's that reliable client who sticks with you for years.
Richard: He’s the client who pays your invoice as soon as it comes in. He’s very specific on what he wants, but gives praise liberally. If you deliver on your promises, he’s loyal. Richard books you repeatedly, and sends you referral business. Keep him happy, and it will be a profitable relationship.
Lorelai: She’s your passion-filled client. Super focused, and has a clear vision. Lorelai’s business is her dream, and she treats everyone who comes on board as family. She invites her team members to innovate and bring new ideas to the table, because she knows that it will only make her delivery methods better.
Jackson: He's a dream client. Jackson’s totally out there, but his biz is breaking new ground because of it. (Remember that fruit hybrid?!) He’s committed to running a well-oiled company, so he's consistent and low-drama. He pays on time, is happy to delegate and you never hear excuses about why he didn't have time to complete his piece of the project. He’s passionate about his business, so you really feel like a part of the team.
(And a quick PS: I've done my fair share of Gilmore girls stalking. Have you? This picture here, from 2010, is me on Lorelei's front porch on the WB Studios lot in California. And if you ever get a chance to visit Markham, Ontario (outside of Toronto), do it! They filmed the pilot there. You can see Emily & Richard's house, and the "Stars Hollow" street from the opening scene. My husband & I took a day trip there a few years ago.)