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Top 5 Business Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch for Inspiration
Will these business movies really inspire or motivate me? Let me ask you: Are you inspired by how successful entrepreneurs and founders like Mark Zuckerberg, Steven Jobs and others are able to build a strong multi-billion dollar business?
If yes, that means you’re really going to be inspired watching these 5 recommended business movies aligned below.
But why business movies and not books like “Rich Dad Poor Dad”?
Most times, you need to watch some business movies as an entrepreneur in order to virtualize (or see) the concept and how a business strategy is pulled in the move and gain inspiration.
Movies have been around for decades and have continued to grow and get better in terms of quality. While they were originally set out to entertain, movies now educate, inform, tell a story, or even foretell scientific advancements.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned a lot from movies and that has shaped my life to be what it is today. This is why I decided to share some business movies to kindle that entrepreneurial spirit in you. You would love them!
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street is a story of a young man struggling with his finances, but then a timely swing of events, plus determination, propelled him to one of the top guns in Wall Street.
Jordan begins to work as a broker in L.F. Rothschild. In no distant time, he assumes the lifestyle of a conventional broker. It was all fun till he lost his employment following a Black Monday event which caused a significant drop in the prices of stocks. Not giving up, he takes up a job in a firm that invests in small stocks. He’ll soon make a fortune due to his persuasive pitching style before moving to start his brokerage firm.
Jordan Belfort starts his new firm alongside his friend Donnie Azoff. He then employs some of his friends and trains them in his persuasive style of pitching otherwise known as “hard sell”. Jordan, alongside his workers, begin using deceptive measures to make money off unsuspecting clients.
He transcends into a flamboyant lifestyle where he also engages in drugs and prostitutes. He is soon made out and the intelligence agencies are on his neck. Jordan tries to conceal his illegal dealings by opening a Swiss account in the name of his wife’s aunt. During this period, the authorities get hold of some of his friends who wouldn’t speak at first.
It’s been over two years and his business is down while trying to save his name. But he’s soon caught after a connection to his friend who was already arrested sold him out.
This business movie (The Wolf of Wall Street) teaches entrepreneurs about the dynamics of moving from small to making it big. It pinpoints the risks you’ll have to take and the accompanying consequences (good or bad).
2. The Social Network
The social network is the biographical story of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Neither Mark nor any of Facebook’s staff is present as cast as all characters are fictional.
The Facebook founder is played by Jesse Eisenberg who is a young Harvard University student with a love for computers. To soothe the pain of being dumped by his girlfriend, Jesse takes to his LiveJournal Blog to create a post insulting his girlfriend.
He then goes on to create a website called Facemash. The website was created by hacking into the school’s database to steal photos of female students. Jesse aimed to allow students to rate the attractiveness of these females. But his exploits will result in the crash of the school’s network due to a huge influx of traffic. Jesse is given 6 months probation.
But Facemash’s popularity attracts the attention of the Winklevoss twins who then approach Jesse to help build a site to be named “Havard Connection.” The site would be a social network connecting Havard students who are interested in relationships and dating.
But Jesse had other plans. He came up with his idea of a similar social media website but in his case, it was meant for Ivy League students. To bring this to life, he approached his friend Eduardo Saverin who then provides $1000 in seed funding for the website called “The Facebook”
The website soon became popular and grew exponentially. But this infuriated the Winklevoss twins who believed that ‘Thefacebook’ came from their idea. Several court visits ensued as both the Winklevoss twins and Saverin laid various accusations on the Facebook founder.
After wide acceptance from students in just a few months, the site was made accessible to other top European Universities. Soon, it was made available for everyone worldwide. And the rest, they say, is history!
The movie begins with Jobs introducing the iPod at an Apple Town Hall event. Before that, a flashback of events shows how young Jobs which was played by Ashton Kutcher, drops out of college due to high tuition. He then goes on an intellectual adventure to India before returning to LA where he began working as a video game developer.
Jobs soon teams up with his friend Steve Wozniak to keep making video games. They went from making video games to now fixing and producing computer hardware components. Jobs then discovers a prototype computer built by Wozniak and is interested in making money from it.
They both founded their company which went by the name Apple Computer. The company keeps growing even though other competitors like Macintosh gave Apple a run for their money. New board members are soon elected including a CEO, John Sculley. Jobs is intoxicated by the fame and power and soon begins to fire his workers with reckless abandon.
The board grows tired of Jobs’ notorious attitude and is soon freed of his duties by the CEO.
But Jobs will return to become the next CEO after getting married. He then ensures that computers should be easy to use and build a brand around them. The brand will go on to be one of the biggest and the best technology firms in the years that followed.
This business movie (Jobs) set out to teach entrepreneurs the importance of creating value and the ins and outs of customer relations. The dynamics of being at the helm of affairs and staff relations.
4. The Founder
The Founder is another biographical American drama that tells the founding story of McDonald’s and how it became so popular that it now feeds approximately 1% of the world’s population daily. In this nearly 2 hours biographical drama, Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s is portrayed by Michael Keaton.
Set in 1954, Ray is a traveling milkshake seller who has just the right amount of money to cater for his wife and pay off his bills and nothing more. Not satisfied by his current state of finances, Ray begins to look for ways to expand his business beyond his hometown, Arlington Heights, Illinois.
His quest takes him to California where he gets to experience one of the better walk-in restaurants. This was the ‘original’ McDonald’s which was owned by the Mac brothers — Maurice Mac and Richard ‘Dick’ McDonald. After being treated to a kitchen tour by the brothers, Ray smells a huge business potential (pun intended) and advises both brothers to franchise the business.
The brothers are hesitant; citing previous failed attempts at franchising. But Ray is not taking any of that. He insists. He finally convinces the brothers to lead their franchising efforts.
And after an unfruitful attempt at franchising to high-class investors, Ray decides to franchise to middle-class investors. In what seemed like a temporary growth of the business, Ray and the brothers began to struggle financially.
Ray and the brothers were soon put out of their misery as a financial consultant, Harry Sonneborn helps in providing real estate support to the franchises. Ray is keen on taking over the business and offers both brothers a blank check.
They agree on a price of $2.7 million one-time payment with an annual 1% royalty. But Ray pays them off without the royalty and takes full responsibility for the business.
The Founder teaches the act of persistence and how to get it right. It also highlights the importance of pivoting when things aren’t working out well in a business.
5. The Pursuit of Happyness
Notice the ‘y’ in place of ‘i’ in the heading? That was done intentionally by the movie authors. The Pursuit of Happyness is a story of a young San Francisco salesman, Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith.
Gardner is worried about his financial condition and develops a medical device that he believed to be a better alternative to the X-ray. Gardner stumbles on the manager for Dean Witter Reynolds, Jay Twistle while trying to sell his scanners. He impresses the manager by solving a Rubik quiz while in a taxi. Gardner’s efforts in selling his scanners prove futile.
His wife is running out of patience and leaves to work at her sister’s boyfriend’s restaurant in New York. Gardner’s problems are compounded after he and his son were evicted from their home.
He struggles to get his son (Jaden Smith) through school while trying to get his finances back on track. His relationship with Jay Twistle will then qualify him for an unpaid intern position. Against all odds, Gardner impresses in the interview and earns one of the 20 available positions of an unpaid intern.
Not still satisfied with his living conditions and in pursuit of happiness, Gardner decides to go against all odds; doing the extraordinary. Gardner defies protocol, going against the grain which then earns him a seat as one of the paid stock brokers. He will then go on to establish his own multimillion-dollar brokerage company.
Conclusion: You Need to Watch these Business Movies!
Being an entrepreneur involves taking lots of decisions on your own which directly or indirectly affects the growth of your business. While we try to learn certain entrepreneurial skills in a more formal way, movies are a good way of enlightening ourselves while getting entertained.
These 5 Business movies listed above will certainly open your eyes to one or two things, no matter how smart you’ve been running your business before now.
If these movies’ recommendations are pretty cool, someone you know might love to watch them too, kindly use the floating social media icon on this page to share to your social media timeline in less than a minute!