The Biggest Money Lessons from The Greatest Showman

It's no secret that I love watching movies. And there are certain movies (The Greatest Showman and all of the Marvel movies) that I can watch over and over again. And since I love watching movies over and over again, I pick up the money lessons that stand out to me. So here are the biggest money lessons that I learned from the Greatest Showman. 

If you've seen this movie, then you know it's about PT Barnum who went from rags to riches back to rags and then to riches again. But he had quite the story to get there too. 

Lesson 1: It doesn't matter who you are or who you are born as, greatness can always be yours if you just make the choice.

PT Barnum was born as the tailor's boy. At a very young age, he lost his mother. Then as a teenager, he lost his father and became homeless. But he knew how to dream and find the opportunity that was always in front of him. When he lost his job because the company ships had sunk, he took the deeds to the ships and used them to get a bank loan that allowed him to start the museum and buy a house for his family. 

Anne Wheeler was a colored woman in the circus. She was taught that she couldn't have the life she really wanted to have because she was colored. Then she fell in love with a white man. And she still couldn't have what she wanted because she was different. But in the end, love persevered and being different is okay. 

Phillip Carlyle was born into a rich family, but that family dictated who he had to be. PT got him to join him in the circus as an apprentice and leave his family dramas behind. At first Phillip didn't think he could do that, but then gave in and joined PT. And in the end he found a family who loved him for exactly who he was, warts and all. 

Conclusion: It doesn't matter who you, who you were born to be or what society says you have to be. The decision to be great is always your choice. And only you can make that choice. No one else can make it for you. 

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Lesson 2: The greedier you are, the faster money stops flowing.
PT found something that worked and kept people coming back night after night. But then he wanted to try different things to add in. He made a name for the circus by having things that were different and intrigued the customers. Then he hired an opera singer to sing, but she didn't sing at the circus. He held a private event for her. Then had her travel to sing. And in the middle of the traveling event, she quit because PT loved his wife and not her. 
When PT was working with his father as the tailor's boy while growing up, his father was tailoring suits for Charity, the woman who became PT's wife. PT thought he had to impress Charity and outdo her father at every turn. When they first got married, PT and Charity didn't have anything to their names, but they were still happy. PT started making money with the circus and bought the biggest house on the block and expensive presents for their daughters. He was always trying to outdo those who looked down on him while he was growing up. But if he would have paused for just a moment, he would have realized that the money didn't matter. It was the love that was there and people that you got to share each day with that mattered more. 
Conclusion: The more you try to be someone you're not or be better than someone else, the more you are pushing yourself to be someone else, instead of just being you. The only person you need to be in this life is you. Take a moment to pause each day and see if you are being who you were really meant to be or if you are trying to be who someone else wanted you to be. 

"The greedier you are, the faster money stops flowing." One of the money lessons from The Greatest Showman movie.

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Lesson 3: When you stop believing and trusting in the magic and yourself, everything just starts to fall apart.

This is a continuation of lesson 2. Growing up, PT never used to care what anyone thought of him. When he was with his father when he was tailoring Charity's father's suit, he was just being himself and he impressed Charity then. When he lost his father, a person who was different gave him food to eat because he was hungry and got caught stealing a loaf of bread. He didn't care. But after he started the circus, he was trying to impress his wife and his daughters. And even the people who looked down on him when he was growing up. And it was during this time that he was trying to impress everyone else, instead of just believing in himself and what he had built, that everything just fell apart. Jenny Lind quit. The bank repossessed the house he bought. The circus building burnt down. Phillip almost died in the fire. 

But in the end, it all came down to just being a family and seeing each person for exactly who they are. That is the real magic. 

Conclusion: The magic is always inside you. You just have to trust and believe that it's there and always working.

In the end, you can be the richest man in the world, or the poorest. It all comes back to what and who you believe in, for whether success is yours or not. 

Have you watched The Greatest Showman? What was your biggest money lesson from the movie?


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About the Author Clarissa

Clarissa Wilson is a financial strategist and online educator who holds two master’s degrees in Forensic Accounting. Also creative and spiritual, she is an intuitive empath and introvert. Clarissa is the host of The Prosper + Profit Podcast, where money conversations occur on a daily basis -- as she believes that money shouldn’t be a taboo subject. After growing up on a dairy farmand learning to work hard for money, Clarissa awakened to a path that allowed wealth to flow easily to her. Clarissa currently lives in Pennsylvania with her two cats.

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