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Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from Leo

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Business owners and entrepreneurs can take lessons from Leonardo DiCaprio’s perseverance in his quest for an Oscar, and from his graciousness when he finally reached his goal.

More than 20 years after first being nominated, Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his hands on an Academy Award this year.

The award for his leading role in The Revenant came after four previous best actor nominations, starting in 1994, for his role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

While the Oscar remained elusive for years, DiCaprio’s dedication has not wavered.

Taking on increasingly challenging roles, he has proven himself far from a typecast actor as he transformed from Romeo to J Edgar Hoover, from a South African mercenary in Blood Diamond to The Great Gatsby.

For any business owner, being able to continually reinvent yourself and adapt to the fluid nature of your industry, market trends, your competition and more is a big part of the job.

Striving for quality in every aspect, taking risks and going the extra mile can be the difference between success and failure.

DiCaprio has arguably delivered some of his bravest – and most extreme – performances in more recent years, going above and beyond to become the characters he has portrayed.

In Django Unchained, the actor badly cut his hand when he slammed it into broken glass on a table but continued to act, incorporating the injury into the scene. His visibly bleeding hand made it into the final cut (!) of the film.

The memorable Wolf of Wall Street scene in which DiCaprio’s character, Jordan Belfort, overdoses on sedatives and ends up partially paralysed, sliding across the ground, was apparently as painful as it looked.

DiCaprio reportedly suffered a back injury while filming the sequence over a week, and told media it was “very painful” and resulted in a “lot of chiropractic work”.

For his latest role as Hugh Glass in the Revenant, DiCaprio said there were “30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do”.

His long wait for an Oscar has been well covered by popular culture, the actor frequently the butt of online jokes. But, outwardly at least, he didn’t let that get to him and, in receiving his long-awaited gold statue, DiCaprio was gracious and humble.

He dedicated much of his acceptance speech to the issue of climate change, and thanked the Academy for the award saying: “I do not take tonight for granted.”

Like DiCaprio’s road to his Oscar, business owners can often face years of hard work without the rewards they seek, but it is crucial to keep sight of your goals, set milestones along the way and continually improve your skills and abilities.

In a recent blog post, Appco Group founder and chairman Chris Niarchos underlined the importance of long-term goals and patience, when he said people should not expect success to come overnight.

“We’ve all heard examples of entrepreneurs being propelled to fame and fortune virtually overnight, but for the vast majority of business people, it takes time to build up a successful company,” he says.

“To achieve results and ultimate success, you must have a sound business plan in place and then be willing to put in the necessary hard work to bring it to fruition.”