Sometimes life is said to imitate art and sometimes it is the other way around. Either way, there is an inevitable connection between our business and leisure activities, and never is this more transparent than in the movies we watch. The following need to be on the watch list of any aspiring entrepreneur. Some are based on real world people who have been there and done it. Others are works of pure fiction, but will nevertheless leave you thinking about just what you want to achieve and how to make it happen. How many of the following films have you seen?
The Social Network
Facebook’s baby-faced CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg comes in for the biopic treatment in this movie that charts the rise of the social media phenomenon that has changed the world. Just how accurate it is has been a bone of contention, but for our purposes, that’s really beside the point. The lessons on how to turn an idea into a reality and then scale it into something truly incredible will remain with you long after the credits role.
NightcrawlerA gritty film noir about a Los Angeles loser and his relationship with the city’s sleazy nighttime underbelly sounds interesting, but you might wonder how this is inspiring for entrepreneurs. The answer lies in Jake Gyllenhaal’s fabulous portrayal of the lead character. He finds something that both inspires him and for which he has a natural flair, in this case, capturing crime photos. From there, his new-found drive takes his life in a whole different direction.
Two for the MoneyThis Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey vehicle is set in the world of Vegas sports betting. It’s an environment with which many of us have at least a passing acquaintance these days, thanks to sites like Unibet, so the terminology and the drivers of the lead characters will be familiar. From our entrepreneurial perspective, the lesson this movie brings concerns the concept of change, and the choices we make to either control it or let it control us.
JoyAnother that is based on a real entrepreneurial success story, this 2015 movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as the New York inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano. It contains all the classic ingredients about battling adversity and the importance of having a supportive family. But just as important here is the lesson about how a great product that meets a customer need can become a star in its own right.
Wall StreetIt is impossible to resist including this classic study of both character and environment in the world of trading. Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas play off one another perfectly, and 30 years after it was made, this movie is still the ultimate examination of ambition, principles, loyalty and how success can never be a long term thing without the right blend of all three. The sequels are good films in their own right, but if you’ve not seen the original, make a point of doing so.