Entrepreneurs can learn from these 10 movies

Learning takes place in many forms and places, not only in classrooms or books. There are other artistic means where individuals and groups can draw lessons and insights for growth and development. One particular medium where entrepreneurs can gain inspiration and motivation is in the film industry. With numerous movies shown each year around the world, there are stories which can teach business owners a few lessons on how they can improve themselves and their ventures.


The movie industry is a rich repository of resources like films that have business angles, which may be beneficial to your entrepreneurial journey. It’s a great way to learning and chilling out, absorbing the story and the lessons behind the stories.

Let us take a look at ten films that will entertain and educate you at the same time. So, sit back, relax and enjoy learning from these movies.

1. The Founder

Almost everyone knows the McDonald’s brand, and it is interesting to have a flick based on the true story of this international fast food joint. It’s how Ray Kroc, who began as a salesman and became the burger giant’s top honcho, spotted an opportunity in a restaurant owned by the McDonald brothers. He may not have the original concept of McDonald’s, but he built the empire and expanded it globally.

While the movie instils a thing or two on business partnerships and doing it right, it also presents a valuable lesson on persistence and keeping one’s eye on potentials. There are also other interesting tips and ideas that the audience can note from the film. The McDonald brothers tried to open other stores but were unsuccessful. They had an efficient system and model but was not able to replicate it in other locations. On the other hand, Kroc didn’t have the original idea, but he was good at enlarging it through franchising. He also identified the brand as a strong one, something that other entrepreneurs can hone when it comes to creating and building a brand name.

2. Office Space

The film takes on the daily office grind where disgruntled employees are bored and unsatisfied with their work environment. They plotted their revenge on their company as they planted a virus in the computer system and embezzled money.

Their means may not be upright, but the scenario can give one a few thoughts about work life. For employees, the film renders the realities of work life and endows a source of reflection on what to look for in a job. For managers, it teaches one how to relate with staff members by not treating them harshly. For business owners, it is an eye-opener on work culture and setting, imparting the need of looking after employee welfare and business growth.

Generally, it sends a subtle message to work on something where your passion lies. Many business owners take the entrepreneurial route because they prefer it over a nine-to-five job and love the creative freedom and flexibility that comes with entrepreneurship. Not everyone is fit to work for others, in the same vein that not everyone can start and run a business. The bottom line is to search where your heart beats fast and put your heart on whatever work you have.

3. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

When it comes to selling, Don Ready has the charm and the skill to put the goods on the market. He was enlisted to help out a car dealership business get rid of hundreds of cars from the lot on the fourth of July. But as Ready and his team show their ability to take on the mission of selling used cars, he has to convince his boss’ daughter that he’s the man for her. Will his knack as a salesman extend to his love life?

When you’re on a bind, there’s always a solution to keep your business going. Factor in the price, the market’s needs and demands, and competition. But there’s more to that when it comes to marketing and sales. Other people go to various lengths to meet their quota, but selling is not just about an exchange of goods. Understanding the needs and the pulse of the market is equally important.

4. The Game

A lonesome wealthy banker learned a valuable lesson about enjoying life and cherishing people around him through a game. It came in the form of a gift from his brother, an innocuous voucher for him to play the game. But what seemed like a harmless entertainment turned out to be a life-threatening scheme that also sucked him of his wealth and assets. The banker later discovered that it was all orchestrated so that he will come to see the real meaning of life.

The top tier of the corporate ladder may be a lonely world unless you find groups of like-minded individuals such as EO Melbourne, for example. The movie shows that there’s more to life than bank accounts, mansions and the like. Human interaction and relationships are significant to a person’s life. Through a maze of suspense and thrilling scenes, The Game closes with a reminder of embracing life in its totality.

5. Wall Street

As the name suggests, the movie occurs in the famed financial district of New York City. Ambitious stockbroker Bud Fox, who wants to rise to success, is the main character of the movie. To get to his goal, he got involved with a corporate raider who provided insider trading, exposing him to schemes that bred greed and shrewdness.

“Greed is good” and “Money never sleeps” are a few of the lines that have become popular quotes in the movie. The dialogues and scenes portrayed the various facets of investing and cultivating those investments. Startup entrepreneurs can pick up some pointers on investing.

It touches on taking calculated risks, which is an important aspect of running a business. Although it demonstrates the fundamentals of investing money, it also paints the harsh realities of the business world. Entrepreneurs will see in the movie that persistence is key. While profit is crucial, one must not forget that the greatest treasure of all is family and relationships.

6. The Social Network

Social Network is the story of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, that highlights his struggles, successes and shortcomings. The people behind this platform, not the platform itself, are placed under the microscope. The film illustrated the rejection, determination, friendship and betrayal that happened, which led to the birth and existence of the social network.

Although we don’t know how much of it is fiction and how much of it is true, the movie portrayed Zuckerberg as a young startup entrepreneur who created his site primarily to impress a girl and to gain fame. There will always be friends, and there will always be haters. In the tough business environment, one must know how to lay out ideas, get clear contracts, work well with people, and overcome adversities.

7. The Wolf of Wall Street

Another movie set in New York’s financial area is The Wolf of Wall Street. Although the movie highlighted fraud and corruption in the financial industry, it also underscored leadership and other qualities in starting and managing a business. The flick is all about Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who founded a company with his business partner and grew the firm exponentially. Along with his success, he succumbed to the lures of a lavish lifestyle, engaging in parties, sex and drugs. He laundered money and became entangled in conflicts.

Despite Belfort’s dubious character, the audience can gather tips from his good qualities and pick lessons from his mistakes. One cannot deny that the man has vision, charisma and leadership skills. It’s interesting to see how he hires employees, brings together a team, sells an idea, and persuades people. Of course, as much as you can absorb something that you can apply to your venture, you can also ascertain what to avoid to prevent problems and negative aftermaths.

8. Boiler Room

Another film on brokerage firms is the Boiler Room. Again, it reveals the cruel side of the business atmosphere, especially in a cutthroat industry. College dropout Seth Davis gave up the unlicensed casino he was running from home to please his stringent dad, a federal judge. He got a job as a broker and displayed good skills at making cold calls.

There are great tips on selling that can be taken from the Boiler Room. There are also lessons on how to invest well. But what it drives across is for people to make smart decisions, calculate risks, and learn when to retreat to a safer place. Drive and motivation are good, but if losing seems to be palpable in the end, it is better to step back and review one’s actions rather than to jump in even when the odds are against you.

9. Jerry Maguire

“Show me the money!” It’s one of the movie’s famous quotes. These were the words of athlete Rod Tidwell to his sports agent, Jerry Maguire. The latter was at the crossroads of his career, having an attack of conscience because sports management firms put profit first over their clients’ welfare. Maguire decided to quit his job and start his agency, with an altruistic purpose in mind. But the sports industry is a ruthless one, showing Maguire and his protégé in his former company scrambling for clients’ contracts.

Business is business, but client relationship is also important. It’s not all about making money. It’s also about looking out for each other’s welfare. The entrepreneurial journey becomes fulfilling when you see your purpose in the bigger scope of things. Sometimes, you have to make unpopular stands because you believe in something greater. Just press on and do what you think is best.

10. The Pursuit of Happyness

It is a heartwrenching drama of a struggling salesman, Chris Gardner, who got evicted and had to live on the streets with his son. He had to work as a stockbroker intern without pay to secure himself a paid position. Eventually, he landed the position amidst the many contenders. In the end, Gardner became successful as he established his brokerage firm.

Based on a true-to-life story, The Pursuit of Happyness an inspiring film about determination and perseverance in spite of all the difficulties and challenges life has to offer. Gardner is a living testament that success is about not giving up and making every effort to achieve one’s dreams.

We can add several more movies to the list. Many of them reflect the complex world of business and entrepreneurship, and they also leave thought-provoking lessons that entrepreneurs can apply in real life. The films illustrate impressive ideas that one can implement in his business, as well as vital points to avoid to pivot from misfortunes and problems.

Some of them may be works of fiction, but they still mirror the things we see and experience in society. It is good to allow these movies to not only entertain us but also to instruct us on how to move forward on the entrepreneurial journey.