Although La La Land is just a movie (and an awesome one), I noticed some things that could help when considering what's important in growing a business. Or basically anything you want to achieve. I don't want to be too serious about the reference but it's a great way to explore my insights.
1. Be authentic
When Seb dreams about opening his own jazzclub, he wants to call it Chicken On A Stick and turn that into his concept. Ironically, he hates The Van Beek that does Samba-and-tapas because it's too absurd. He seems to be serious about Chicken On A Stick though, but Mia gives him the advice to just call it Seb's and get rid of the fuzzy stuff. Seeing that Seb himself is a rather serious guy and even a little tormented about the whole jazz thing, it's a far better choice to keep it simple. Not only will Seb's attract a lot more audience, the chances he will get tired of his own concept will be far less. Stay true to your core and you'll grow an audience that stays true to you.
2. Kill your darlings
When Seb dreams about opening his own jazzclub, he wants jazz to revive and make young people listen to it again. When Keith asks him to join his pop/r&b/jazz band, he doesn't like the music and wants to stay pure to jazz. So Keith asks him "How are you going to change if you're afraid of revolution?". Although this band does something completely different than jazz to my ears, the message kind of makes sense. It might not fully be his thing, but after a few years of touring and becoming famous with this band, he opens his own jazzclub. So in order to get ahead in life, sometimes you just have to let go of wanting to pursue your passion so much and explore. Otherwise, you can get pretty stuck and the only way to pursue your passion is by doing. Don't wait for it to happen.
3. Learn to fail
Mia does thousands of auditions before she gets to the one that'll change her life. But right before that one, she thinks about quitting. She uses past bad experiences to define she's not talented. She's frustrated and even thinks about giving up her dream because of all these failures. The truth is, the more you learn to fail, the more you'll actually win. Failing a thousand times first makes winning after that so much more satisfying. Learn to lose like it's the same as winning!
4. Don't underestimate the power of marketing
Mia gets tired of all the auditions and decides to write and organise her own play. While trying to gather an audience, she e-mails everyone without using BC (let's pretend for a second this movie was real, ok guys?) which is really not done. The thing that actually is positive here is that she wants to reach everyone personally. But NEVER send mass emails (they might as well end up in spam). I'm guessing her marketing game in general wasn't really on point. I didn't see her shout it off of rooftops, hand out flyers or make a Facebook event. So if you don't care too much for marketing and no one shows up, don't be so surprised.
5. Don't let numbers define your success
Mia's show suffers from low attendance. While this might be the consequence of her poor marketing, she gets her one big audition because of 1 woman who actually was part of the audience. So there could've been 500 people, but it might not have happened if it wasn't for that one woman. Never let any social numbers define how your business is doing. Social numbers that is, because other numbers like income are, of course, very important. But if your revenue isn't on point yet, definately don't presume it'll grow just by letting any social followers grow either. You're more in control than you think.