10 Motivational Movies for Entrepreneurs
Being an entrepreneur is far from easy and at times it can seem like there are 101 things standing in your way.Learning from others’ successes and mistakes can be of great benefit to the aspiring entrepreneur and you can’t get much better motivation than a good movie.
Here are our top ten films to watch for business inspiration
1. The Social Network
“You know what’s cooler than a million dollars? A billion dollars”
It’s not surprising that The Social Network stole the screen in 2010 and has subsequently remained at the top of our list.
Based on the story of 19 year old Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, the film documents his journey from a dorm-room idea Facemash (which allowed students to rate who was ‘hotter’) to launching the most popular social network in the world: Facebook.
What business owners can take from this is (aside from how to build a billion dollar empire) is advice on how to scale your business and how to pick your co-founders and colleagueswisely. Perhaps see it as a warning about how business can jeopardize personal relationships.
2. Citizen Kane
“It’s no trick to make a lot of money, if what you want to do is make a lot of money.”
In Orson Welles’ 1941 classic, the narrative revolves around power-driven newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane.
As his wealth and excessive spending grows, so does his ego, and it ultimately results in his downfall as he becomes a recluse, both estranged and deluded and dies holding a snow globe anduttering the enigma ‘Rosebud’.
The plot follows the investigation into his dying words and the mystery surrounding them, eventually revealing that it was the name of his favourite childhood sled.
Having a successful business is the ultimate goal for entrepreneurs, however this film shows that there is more to life than just business and that it’s important to have a good work life balance.
3. The Pursuit of Happiness
"You got a dream you gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you can't do it."
Christopher Gardener blows his family’s savings on a bad investment and tries to make a living selling bone density scanners, which no one wants to buy. He sees a chance in an unpaid internship role selling stocks. Whilst still trying to sell his product on the side, he loses his wife, becomes homeless and a single parent all at once.
Despite the hardship, he never loses sight of his goal, overcomes obstacles that get in his way and beats the competition – if that’s not inspirational we don’t know what is.
4. Blues Brothers
“We’re on a mission from God”
The Blues Brothers has to be on the list. After discovering that the old orphanage where they grew up risks closure, they believe that they are on a ‘mission from God’ to raise the $5000 needed to save it.
To do this Jake and Elroy re-form their old rhythm and blues band, believing in their venture more than anything. This film teaches you to believe in yourself and your business even if other people don’t (but don’t end up in prison like they do).
5. There Will be Blood
“I have a competition in me. I want no-one else to succeed.”
Silver miner Daniel Plainview takes his son on a mission to find their fortune in the cutthroat business of oil. Now we do know that this film is meant more as a cautionary tale than an inspiring flick, but throughout the film the main character Plainview demonstrates characteristics that lead him to success.
It is his competitive spirit that fuels his drive, ambition and desire to win, that make him a good business owner.
We’re not saying that you should take tips from him directly (he does bludgeon someone over the head with a bowling pin), just that a bit of competitive spirit is good, so long as it doesn’t become an obsession.
6. Slumdog Millionaire
“When somebody asks me a question, I tell them the answer.”
A Mumbai teen from a poverty stricken background wins the chance to participate in a version of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire', pursing his dream despite some horrific occurrences, with degradation, blackmail, and torture to name a few.
In business, keeping the ultimate goal in mind when making decisions is vital. Throughout the film Jamal’s honesty and transparency are just some of the characteristics that would make him a good businessman.
Alongside this, his energy, passion and his belief in his own destiny are truly inspirational – what entrepreneur couldn’t take tips from this?
7. Forrest Gump
“And cause I was a gazillionaire, and I liked doin' it so much, I cut that grass for free.”
Everyone knows the story of Forrest Gump, a good man with good, honest intentions who rises to fame in an accidental whirlwind of adventure.
Inspiring people across the country, he becomes a professional ping pong player, a runner and owns a shrimping company.
Several life lessons can be learnt from this feel good film; besides the obvious ‘life is like a box of chocolates’ quote, it teaches us to expect the unexpected. Above all, however, the movies teaches us that if you are the best you can be and love what you do,you can make a difference.
8. Erin Brockovich
“So before you come back here with another lame-ass offer, I want you to think real hard about what your spine is worth, Mr. Walker”
Based on atrue story, Erin Brockovich is a film about an unemployed, single mother who becomes a legal assistant and environmental activist. Its protagonist, Erin, manages totake down a Californian water supply company accused of poisoning its inhabitants.
The film is inspiring for female entrepreneurs. Erin is assertive, independent and unafraid to stand up for what she believes in, demanding to be treated with equality and be taken seriously in a male dominated corporate world.
“If we try to play like the Yankees in here (board room), we will lose to the Yankees out there (on the field)."
Billy Beane, the general manager of baseball team Oakland A’s, demonstrates the most well-known trait of a successful entrepreneur. The team didn’t have enough money to spend on the players, so he had to come up with an innovative alternative.
Often entrepreneurs have to figure out how to be better and find alternatives. Most successful entrepreneurs list their failures as stepping stones to their success and see them as an experience that they have learnt from.
10. The Wolf of Wall Street
“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”
Based on the real life ‘Wolf of Wall Street’stock market manipulator and serial swindler Jordan Belfort,Martin Scorsese’s smash hit tells the story of a man who created a hedonistic empire of excess from defrauding the wealthiest investors.
There’s a lot that a business person can learn from this film and despite the obvious drugs, deviance and debaucherywrapped up in his business endeavours, entrepreneurs can take tips from him without breaking the law.
There’s no denying that he is a motivated businessman; his perseverance and drive can teach budding business owners to keep trying even if they don’t succeed the first time. More than anything the film emphasises the importance of selling yourself, knowing what you want and making sure that you get it.