It’s time to get inspired and motivated by movies. We’re all hanging out quarantine, so let’s enjoy some movies about entrepreneurship that may just encourage us to do better in life.
This list is from a 50-minute discussion Dan and Ian had on their favorite entrepreneur movies. They called up Jeff Pecaro, a long-time TMBA contributor and content marketing pro, who shared some of his top picks. These three commentators did their best to choose excellent films that may not already be on other lists and well demonstrate the common struggles of entrepreneurs. If you’d like to see the full discussion and the recommendations from the audience, check it out below.
Behold, Our List of Inspiring Movies About Entrepreneurs:
Moneyball (2011, Trailer)
This movie is based on the book by Michael Lewis who is also the author of The Big Short. The movie tells the story of how the Oakland Athletics baseball team introduced new strategies to maximize resources and changed an entire industry. The general manager of the team was able to evaluate assets in a new way and reposition them to make them more valuable. By taking the counter-intuitive approach, he creates a winning, more cost-effective team.
Rounders (1998, Trailer)
Rounders is about the underground world of high stakes poker. When it was released, there were many early-internet entrepreneurs first learning to make money online through internet-poker. Inevitably, this movie drew much of their attention. In the story, the main character faces what many entrepreneurs are familiar with: you may have to give up something good to go for something that could become be great. Entrepreneurs give up relationships and career paths just to have the opportunity at realizing their dreams, just as the hero in Rounders is forced to do.
Julie and Julia (2009, Trailer)
This the first major motion picture based on a blog and is a combination of two true stories. In the movie, a woman in Brooklyn decides she’s going to read Julia Child’s masterwork and cook all 524 recipes in her small apartment, within a full calendar year. She fully commits herself to this journey, thus finding purpose and sharing her experience via her blog. Her story is aligned with her inspiration, Julia Child, who also committed herself to something and found success. Child was an out-of-place American who found herself without direction. She learned how to cook in Paris and became one of the first major television chefs.
Ghost Busters (1984, Trailer)
When starting out in business, niche selection is very important. Some of the most profitable niches are the ‘unsexy’ ones, the type of business that others don’t want to get involved in. Ghostbusters is about picking an unsexy niche and profiting from it. This rag-tag team is made of experts who are doing what no one else wants to do and create a profitable business. These entrepreneurs own proprietary information and have low overhead (such as driving an entrepreneurmobile). All of these pieces make a valuable and attractive business model.
The Social Network (2010, Trailer)
This film is entertaining whether or not you’re interested in entrepreneurship or have a Facebook account. The story is simultaneously cringe-worthy and inspiring. Zuckerberg’s drive, vision, and tenacity are well portrayed and relatable to most entrepreneurs. The film also shows what the cost of that is and how high-stakes business can become. The soundtrack is fittingly excellent productivity music that will fire you up. When the movie is over, you’ll be ready to get to work.
The Founder (2016, Trailer)
The story of how McDonald’s became ‘McDonald’s’ is about an entrepreneurial strategy we like to call Rip, Pivot, Jam. Ray Kroc was a mid-life success story who had a vision, pivoted, and worked his way into an organization, eventually taking it over. Kroc was not a benevolent entrepreneur, but he is still admired due to his skill. He identified something that was working really well and knew how to make it extremely successful.
The Aviator (2004, Trailer)
This is the story of Howard Hughes, a film director who made some of the most ‘budget-unfriendly’ movies during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Hughes lost money creating WWI movies about airplane dogfights but gained a fortune when the U.S. entered WWII. Hughes benefited again when he entered the commercial airline business. Through the story, the entrepreneur is riding a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but he always comes through due to his persistence and resilience.
Chef (2014, Trailer)
Many people choose entrepreneurship because they are stuck in a career, have a terrible boss, or are facing creative suffocation. Those three reasons are exactly how Chef starts. Not only does the story show the beginning of entrepreneurship, but also the challenges trying to make your business take off. There are regulatory hurdles, trying to understand customers’ needs, and making it work with almost no resources. However, the entrepreneur pushes through and turns his passion into a strong business.
The Harder They Come (1972, Trailer)
This is the classic story of a country boy who heads to the big city to become successful. As with most of these stories, the hero realizes that what he was told about the city was wrong, and faces much adversity. The star of the film and reggae legend, Jimmy Cliff, has to learn on the fly to become successful. He adopts an entrepreneurial mindset and brilliance is born out of necessity. The movie also has an excellent soundtrack, performed by Jimmy Cliff, of course.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994, Trailer)
No list is complete without The Shawshank Redemption. This film is often listed as one of the best movies of all time and rightfully deserves a place here in the Top 10 Movies About Entrepreneurship. The story shows compounding effort over time, solid partnerships, and the value of being the very best at what you do.
What entrepreneur movies would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
Here’s the full discussion from Dan, Ian, and Jeff:
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