Small Biz Characters: Bert from Mary Poppins

Bert as Freelancer in Mary PoppinsOver the holidays, our family went to see Saving Mr. Banks – which we followed up with a viewing of one of my all-time favorites, Mary Poppins.

I’d not noticed this until now, but Bert was quite the solopreneur, wasn’t he? In a certain era, some might call him a jack-of-all-trades. Today, we’d say he’s a freelancer.

Always nimble and ready to pivot – he had his finger on the pulse of the people and went where he would be in front of customers.

By diversifying his income streams and always networking, he seemed to be well-known and well-liked throughout his community and others (he dances with penguins).

If we look only at the movie, we can count four offerings for sure:

  • Chimney sweep
  • Street musician
  • Kite vendor
  • Screever (a pavement artist)

A few things we can glean from the glisten in Bert’s giddy-up:

  • Go to where the customers are
  • Remember everybody’s name, including their pets (Hello, Andrew)
  • If the weather pattern changes, put on a happy face (a song from another movie, but still)
  • Collaboration with Competition makes for a stronger network (Step in Time, fellas)
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment  (be “responstable” if it doesn’t quite work out right)

Gives us good reason to watch Mary Poppins again, doesn’t it? As a research project, right?

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