Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, or you’re already on your way, we all need a little motivation, something to take us to inspiration station when we are in need of it the most. Perhaps Hollywood does glorify entrepreneurship a bit, but we all know that every now and then a reminder of why we started in the first place is needed. Here are 8 movies every entrepreneur should watch to get a heavy dose of inspiration:
1. Office Space
This American comedy will always be a goodie. Office Space highlights corporate culture of a software company in the 90’s, touching upon work relationships and office politics. At the very least, this film will give you a chuckle, but I’m also fairly confident that it’ll get you thinking about leadership and team-building techniques.
The entrepreneur-ish topics covered in the film include corporate culture, mentorship, career development, work-life balance, personnel retention, team-building techniques and management of information technology.
2. Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room
This flick is a 2005 documentary based on the best-selling book of the same name by reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, which touches upon one of the largest business scandals in American history — the collapse of the Enron Corporation. This is a must watch for the history buffs out there, or anyone looking for a thought-provoking and shocking example of modern corporate corruption.
The entrepreneur-ish topics covered in the film include: putting reports together, off-shore diversification, accounting, business ethics and agency problems.
3. The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada will motivate you to take the plunge, and pursue your dream job. Seriously, this movie lights a fire under my bum every time. It’s a movie that shows how to handle uncomfortable situations, how to navigate worlds that seem unfamiliar, and how hard work pays off eventually. It’s also an interesting window into the fashion industry and will teach you a thing or two on how to work your way up the corporate ladder.
The entrepreneur-ish topics covered in the film include: sales and branding techniques, as well as the importance of media, and career development.
4. Thank You For Smoking
Thank You For Smoking is the perfect film for a marketing savvy entrepreneur or someone who wants to learn a few tricks on how to sell just about any product. The film tells the story of tobacco industry lobbyist Nick Naylor who creatively spins arguments to defend the cigarette industry in the most challenging of situations. This is a great watch for those wanting to learn a few things about crisis management, corporate communications, PR and negotiation tactics.
Topics covered include public relations, marketing and advertising campaigns, crisis management, corporate communications and effective negotiations skills.
5. Erin Brockovich
This legal drama is based on the true story of a woman who, against all odds, helps win the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit. The film embodies female empowerment and underscores the importance of sticking to one’s scruples even in the face of obstacles. It touches upon themes like social responsibility, sustainable business models and gender biases in business.
The entrepreneur-ish topics covered in the film include: both corporate social responsibility and sustainable business models.
6. Wall Street
Wall Street is about Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), an ambitious stockbroker who navigates the economic roller coaster 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.
The entrepreneur-ish topics covered in the film include: company valuations, finance, portfolio management, investment law principles, mergers and acquisitions, business ethics, and capital markets.
7. Catch Me If You Can
Based on a true story, Catch me if You Canis a classic film that exemplifies the entrepreneurial journey. It touches upon important themes like creative problem solving, turning something good out of a bad situation, and the good ol’ hustle to reach success.
The entrepreneur-ish topics covered in the film include: funding, innovation, creativity, perseverance, vision, and sales techniques.
Startup.com is a 2001 documentary 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.
The entrepreneur-ish topics covered in the film include: finance for entrepreneurs, growth management, capital raising, management skills, and team building.
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