We all love watching movies with a good story. And what better story than one about someone facing struggles of trying to succeed in business? From scrappy underdogs trying to succeed against established competitors to simple explorations of daily business struggles, there are dozens of business movies entrepreneurs should watch.
In this article, I’ll share 9 great business movies that any aspiring entrepreneur can relate to and learn from.
Business Movies for Entrepreneurs
To succeed as an entrepreneur, it will take a lot of work, sleepless nights, and determination. More startups fail than succeed, so you’ll need inspiration from as many sources as possible to ensure you’re one of the success stories.
The business movies in our list can help you cover different topics such as:
• Entrepreneurship Skills
• Emerging Markets
• Creative Problem Solving
• Building Customer Loyalty
• Competitive Strategies and Geopolitics
• Corporate Finance
• Innovative Technology and Evolving Business Practices
• Company Valuations and Business Ethics
• Persuasion Methods and Conflict Resolution
• Leadership and Team-Building Techniques
• Work-Life Balance
• Branding and Sales Techniques
• Public Relations and Crisis Management
Here are 9 business movies every entrepreneur should watch. Some are educational, some are cautionary, some are inspiring, but all of them have important lessons for you:
1. The Pursuit of Happiness
The Pursuit of Happiness is an inspiring story of a struggling salesman, Chris Gardner (Will Smith), who loses everything, including his wife, home, and money. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and defeat, he picks himself up to work harder, longer and smarter than the competition to make life better for himself and his son.
It is a powerful motivational movie based on a true story that teaches entrepreneurs about corporate culture, perseverance, and the value of having a good attitude.
2. The Social Network
This is another great business movie that every entrepreneur should watch. It shows the prolific rise of the world’s youngest billionaire and his Harvard dorm-room startup – Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg took a simple idea and turned it into one of the most profitable businesses in existence. In the movie, you’ll see how he did it and the challenges he faced along the way, including the rifts with his co-founders.
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
For people looking to make a career in sales, the Wolf of Wall Street is a must-watch with Leonardo Di Caprio (playing Jordan Belfort) in the lead. This movie can teach you valuable lessons about success, fame, fortune, greed, and respect for the law. As Belfort says, “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.”
However, with fame and achievement come many temptations that can jeopardize your success, so discipline and awareness are critical to staying focused on the big prize.
4. Lord of War
If you enjoy dark comedy with some action, Lord of War is a must-watch. This war-crime film shows the life of Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage), an illegal immigrant from Ukraine who decides to find his route to success through the illegal gun trade. Morality aside, his ambition, tenacity, and ability to mitigate risk demonstrate the very qualities entrepreneurs need to succeed.
Moreover, it can also teach you about growth hacking, building customer loyalty, and negotiation techniques in detail. You can incorporate some of the lessons in your business venture – just be sure to avoid the illegal gun trading part.
5. The Founder
The Founder tells the story of Richard and Maurice McDonald – the founding brothers of the original McDonald’s restaurant. Enter Ray Krox, a broke gadget salesman and hustler who came across the restaurant when the brothers were looking to franchise. Soon after going into business with the brothers, Kroc bought out, or rather sold out, the McDonald brothers and became a multi-millionaire.
Though the movie won’t necessarily leave you rooting for the protagonist, it will demonstrate the concept of Mcdonaldization and how a simple idea for a fair-priced product can go viral. Aspiring entrepreneurs will relate to Kroc’s story – falling into an unsuccessful business, then finding a gap in the market and pursuing it with all his efforts until the company was a success.
6. Thank You for Smoking
Thank You for Smoking is the perfect business movie for a marketing-savvy entrepreneur or someone who wants to learn a few tricks on how to sell just about any product. This movie tells the story of tobacco industry leader Nick Taylor who creatively spins arguments to defend the cigarette industry in the most challenging situations.
By watching this, you’ll learn about crisis management, corporate communication, public relations, and negotiation tactics.
7. Steve Jobs
This is the biopic of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs, portrayed by Micheal Fassbender. Instead of focusing on his life story, it focuses on three specific Apple keynote events for the Macintosh, NeXT, and the iMax, each representing a pivotal achievement in Steve Job’s life. This biopic teaches you to never give up on your dream and to keep your convictions.
8. Wall Street
Wall Street is one of the most iconic business movies for entrepreneurs stepping into the world of finance. This movie is a window into corporate finance, portfolio management, and capital markets. More telling is the story of a young man showing how easy it is to get carried away with the glamorous lifestyle that accompanies wealth.
9. The Big Short
The Big Short tells the tale of three people who predicted and profited from the global financial crisis in 2007-08. Although it serves as a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs, it also shows the importance of risk-taking and conviction. While the rest of the world suffered, they were clever enough to make money by anticipating chaos and changing market conditions.
Watching business movies is not only a great way to relieve stress from all the hard work but also to pick up useful skills and information that might help you with your venture.
For entrepreneurs and business owners looking to gain more insight into the evolving business world, visit Percento Technologies’ Trends in Technology. percento.us/trends-in-technology