You’ve heard of the Industrial Revolution, well, this is the era of the Entrepreneurship Revolution.
Entrepreneurs and successful salespeople have almost unlimited chances to enhance their skills and abilities. With so much innovative thought and fresh research available, the opportunities to learn and improve are greater than ever.
But one source of inspiration can be surprising: movies. A great film can turn a visit to the cinema into more than just an excuse to relax. At times, they have the power to challenge our limits, push our understandings, and invoke powerful emotions.
In short: Movies can help you become a better entrepreneur! (or for those young aspiring entrepreneurs – to prepare to be a good entrepreneur)
In this article, we have compiled our favourite movies that go beyond entertainment. These movies have been designed to motivate, inspire, and exhibit the professional ethics you need for true and lasting success. As much as possible, we have also highlighted films that feature the stories of real-life entrepreneurs (such as Mark Zuckerberg and Ray Kroc) so you can learn more about their stories and journey off-screen.
1. The Social Network (2010)
This movie tells the story of Facebook — or as it was called way back in 2004, “Thefacebook.” It flashes between Zuckerberg and his friends-turned-partners developing the platform and litigation between Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, his friend who he partnered with to found the site who eventually sued him for diluting his Facebook shares and removing his name from the company masthead.
Love Facebook or hate it, viewers can’t deny the power of Zuckerberg’s story. He doesn’t emerge from the movie looking like a hero, but in real life, he’s the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, and Facebook boasts an impressive 2.27 billion global users.
2. Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, this movie follows Belfort’s drug-fueled, money-making ride to the top, and his crime-ridden, debauched fall back down, which ended in a prison term and a surprising second act.
The fast rise of a swindler is hardly a role-model for today’s professionals. However, Belfort’s guile and cunning intelligence show money should not be the only driver for success.
3. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, this Will Smith movies is one of the most heartwarming and motivational films of all times. Despite losing everything – his house, his wife, and all of his money – Chris refuses to allow tragic circumstances to define his life (or his career). Putting forth insane effort to pursue his dreams of becoming a stockbroker, and overcoming insurmountable odds, Chris’ story inspires viewers to embrace passion and sacrifice as part of success.
“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period. All right?” – Chris Gardner
4. The Founder (2016)
This movie tells the story of two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald, who started a burger stand that eventually became the McDonald’s fast food chain that dots almost every highway in the United States. But it didn’t grow that big by chance — it grew because Ray Kroc partnered with the brothers to open franchises, grew unsatisfied with his contract, and eventually bought out the McDonald brothers to grow the business and become a multi-millionaire.
While this movie doesn’t leave you exactly rooting for its main character, it tells the story of how a simple idea for a product sold at a fair price can explode with popularity. (It also teaches a good lesson about contract negotiating with any partners you go into business with.)
5. Joy (2015)
This movie is all about real-life entrepreneur Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers, who overcomes immense personal struggle to go on to patent more than 100 inventions and make millions as a successful seller on Home Shopping Network’s QVC.
Beyond the business success Mangano enjoys, this movie also tells the story of the power of a supportive family, the struggles women in business have to overcome, and the success a product that meets a need can achieve.
6. Startup.com (2001)
Startup.com is a 2001 documentary movie 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 dotcom period and serves as a cautionary tale on how friendships can easily be threatened by business partnerships.
Topics covered include finance for entrepreneurs, capital raising, growth management, entrepreneurship skills, team building and management skills.
7. The Intern (2015)
Starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro, this comedy tells the story of a recent retiree who’s so bored with retirement that he starts working as an intern at an e-commerce startup. While both Hathaway and DeNiro’s characters have very different experiences and philosophies (hello: generation gap), the two make for quite the dream team when the company undergoes big changes. By bringing their unique sets of strengths to the table, Hathaway and DeNiro are able to execute exceptionally strong decisions and enrich each other’s lives in a manner beyond the bottom-line.
This movie really drove home some seriously inspirational messages surrounding age, integrity, team value, and healthy perspectives on work. Great message for those encountering challenges in a multi-generational workplace or struggling to build a business from scratch.