“So no one told your life was gonna be this way.” – No this is not the line from the TV sitcom ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Though it is, but you know what it means. Entrepreneurship has never been an easy road. Most entrepreneurs have faced a million obstacles that seem to stand in the way each and every day. The continuous rejections of proposals and budget issues can be enough for the average person to start thinking about quitting. But that is where the difference lies, right? You’re an entrepreneur, not an average person. You have responsibilities.
But above that, you have your idea, your dream. And that means that even when times are tough, you’re still going to march forward. Yet when this whole entrepreneur thing becomes overwhelming, take a break and look for some much-needed motivation. And what better way to find inspiration than watching movies? Whether it’s a heartwarming adventure, comedy or thought-provoking thriller, a film can inspire and motivate a weary business owner. Yes, they may dramatize the plight of the entrepreneur. But sometimes the best way to capture reality is through fiction.
It’s good to leave out all the reality and immerse yourself in the fictitious world, just for a while. So, when was the last time you put down your tablet or notebook, brewed yourself a mug of coffee and went on a movie-streak? Maybe this is the time to do that. Here are 11 inspirational movies that every entrepreneur must watch:
The Social Network (2010)
“We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!” – Sean Parker.
This movie encaptured the whole life of Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg. And sure, it had to be a blockbuster. Because, well, who didn’t want to see this mammoth transformation of a Harvard student to the great mind behind the launch of most popular social media network in the world. Yes, it was quite overdramatized. But the film gives viewers a better understanding of how to make a startup succeed by exhibiting such qualities as being flexible and resilient. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg shows that the story of Facebook’s rapid growth is a testament that sometimes entrepreneurs do change the world.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
This psychological thriller is must-watch with an ambitious, twist ending. It tells the story of a group of professional criminals who find themselves in the same police line up and decide to team up and pull a lucrative heist. The movie thoroughly explores leadership consolidation, power and influence, and long-term business strategy, risk-and-reward compensation. Kevin Spacey doing his “House Of Cards” thing-i again!
Office Space (1999)
This 1999 comedy from Mike Judge focuses on Peter Gibbons who eventually discovers how much he hates sitting inside a cubicle taking orders from his creepy boss Bill Lumbergh. It’s a satirical take on the corporate culture of a 1990s software company, touching upon work relationships and office politics. It’s a good laugh and will definitely get you thinking about leadership, team-building techniques, and career development. This might be a good watch for those aspirants who are sick and tired of taking orders, and who hates their 9-to-5 office job and planning to live their life being their own boss.
Wall Street (1987)
In 1987, director Oliver Stone carved the most infamous character out of Gordon Gekko with his motto of greed is good. Ever find yourself pushed to your limits in the pursuit of power and success? Wall Street unravels this theme through Bud Fox. An ambitious stockbroker who navigates the economic rollercoaster of Wall Street, adopting the “greed is good” mantra. This movie is a window into corporate finance, portfolio management, investment law principles and capital markets. More telling is the story of a young, susceptible mind, showing how easy it is to get carried away with the glamorous lifestyle that accompanies wealth. What you can learn from this movie is – don’t sell yourself out just for the sake of money. Remember, being an entrepreneur isn’t just about becoming rich and famous.
The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)
This movie is based on the true story of Chris Gardner. Will Smith;s portrayal of a father and his son struggling to follow a dream is one of the most heartwarming and motivational films for entrepreneurs. If you’re not moved by watching this, then nothing could. Even though he became homeless and struggled to provide for his son, Chris never gave up on his dream. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and defeat, Chris picks himself up, works harder and smarter than the competition to make life better for himself and his son. That passion and sacrifice is something every entrepreneur should be willing to embrace.
Startup.com is a 2001 documentary film that examines the rise and fall of the real-life startup GovWorks that raised $60 million from Hearst Interactive Media, KKR, the New York Investment Fund, and Sapient. It’s good viewing to better understand the boom and bust of the dot-com period and serves as a cautionary tale on how friendships can easily be threatened by business partnerships. Entrepreneurs can learn how to raise finance for entrepreneurs, capital raising, growth management, entrepreneurship skills, team building and management skills.
The Godfather (1972)
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece is one movie that everyone should view at least once, not only entrepreneurs for that matter. The Godfather is in three parts comprising in a trilogy which is possibly the all-time best cinema for entrepreneurs. For a moment, forget the fact that this is a movie about organized crime. Instead, learn how Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) took a small family business and transformed it into one of the most powerful and influential families in the country. The Godfather perfectly illustrates what it take to get the top, and how to remain there.
The movie highlights why relationships and building networks matter, and why helping people lends itself to good business. The movies are intensely entertaining, packed with thrilling and thought provoking scenes. A deeper insight into competitive strategies, key personnel retention, corporate take-overs – both friendly and hostile, corporate succession and long-term corporate diversification.
Rogue Trader (1999)
This 1999 film is based on a true story of the employee who single-handedly brought down the Barings Bank, the largest bank in England. The movie shows how money drives all sorts of maniacal behavior and serves as a cautionary tale about people who falsely assume that power and money make them indispensable. The film comprehensively deals in corporate valuation, financial reporting, capital markets, emerging markets and business ethics.
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
“I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?” – Jordan Belfort.
This controversial movie might not have won Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort an Academy Award, but it sure can teach you valuable lessons about success, fame, fortune, greed and respect for the law. As Belfort says, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” However, with achieved goals, money, power, fame, women and drugs comes many temptations that can jeopardize your success. Discipline and awareness are critical to retaining any success you achieve.
Boiler Room (2000)
You could say that this is an updated version of Wall Street, meaning that it shows the extremes people will go to to make a fortune – especially when it comes to the stock market. By the end of the film, however, Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) discovers that making a fortune at the expense of other’s hard-earned money is no way to live life. Again, money isn’t the only thing in life, and Boiler Room proves that succeeding financially isn’t the end-all-be-all. However, Boiler Room also shows how you can unleash your inner salesperson when your driver by a goal. And, the film also displays how powerful a passionate leader can be, just watch Ben Affleck round-up the troops.
The Founder (2016)
An entrepreneur starts a company, business booms and the founder gets kicked out of his own company. It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to lose control of their own businesses–as highlighted in the 2016 flick The Founder. n 1950s, Ray Kroc met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in Southern California. Ray was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Ray expands the McDonald’s restaurants through franchisees, pulls the company from the brothers and creates a multi-billion dollar empire.
Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, delves into the surprisingly less-known story of McDonald’s humble origins as a family-run business and its transition into the mega corporation it is today. For entrepreneurs, watching The Founder the lessons are clear: be careful who you go into business with, and whatever you do, don’t resist change.