The Top 9 Films For Entrepreneurs – 2017
Entrepreneurs are a funny bunch of people we see and do things differently, and despite conventional logic, and often friends and family telling us to ‘do something normal’ or ‘safe’… we don’t.
Drive is the most valuable resource we have, and that can at times run low. So it’s great when you come across a movie where you can take time out, yet at the same time refuel in a sense by taking subtle inspiration from what you see on screen.
So here now are my carefully chosen Top 9 Films For Entrepreneurs. It’s 9 because I couldn’t bring myself to legitimately include Jerry Maguire as it’s just too ‘Hollywood’.
Each of these films have either an underlying message or motivation for continuing to press ahead with our respective missions.
9: The Commitments
Released in 1991, this film was hugely inspirational for me… it tells the story of a young wheeler dealer from Dublin who has a vision to put together a soul band, driven in part, by despair for the current state of music which bands were putting out.
Without any money or resources to speak of, the film’s protagonist, Jimmy Rabbitte, has only his vision and drive which he uses to find a way of just making things happen. Whilst not as grande as building the world’s largest computer company, it’s still very much entrepreneurial by nature as it’s based around having that all important vision and showing that you can achieve success if you believe in yourself.
Additionally, if you like soul music you’ll love this film as it is packed with soul classics including Take Me To The River, Try A Little Tenderness, In The Midnight Hour.
This is a modern day history lesson, the story of the original ‘start up’… a small group of friends working from a garage who, led by Steve Jobs, later built it into one of the largest companies in the world.
It’s truly a fascinating story for anyone who doesn’t already know it, and even for those that do it’s highly rewarding and great to watch the story of someone in our field work who was truly the best in their class.
7: The Business
Set in the early 1980s this is the story of a young East Londoner who, with nothing to his name, heads out to Spain to work for a fellow Ex-Pat who had built up a successful nightclub and drug running operation.
The entrepreneurial theme is very much in the building of their business as the film progresses but within it, there’s a very important warning and demonstration of what can happen if you get overly confident and don’t stay grounded in what you do.
The whole movie has a terrific British gangster feel with it being directed by Nick Love, and also features a very well crafted 80s sound track.
I’ll grant you… at first glance this is not an obvious one to include. However, and assuming you’ve already seen it.. the film follows Renton a down and out heroin addict in the roughest part of Glasgow.
As well as being a modern day classic British film with an excellent sound track, it shows us that even someone with the very, very worst start in life can turn their life around. Whilst he doesn’t become a millionaire, he does clean up his life and land a stable career.
Whilst I can’t personally relate with Renton’s background, I’ve always been inspired by the turn-around theme of the film.
5: Boiler Room
This is the original film based on the ‘antics’ of Jordan Belfort, the rogue Wall Street Trader who film Wolf of Wall Street was also based on.
Jordan Belfort is one of the world’s greatest salesmen as many would agree, myself included having studied his courses.
This film is based on his boiler room telesales operation which pressure sold junk penny stocks in the USA. This film is likely to strike a chord or be great to watch for anyone involved in or has an interest in telesales.
Featuring a very young Vin Diesel in one of his first films, Ben Affleck with an excellent cameo appearance, plus some very 90s suits with colour combinations almost as wrong as the share dealing.
4: The Wolf of Wall Street
This film has it all! And it’s actually my all time favourite film. Business ethics do not feature in this film!… but it’s a great story of a rise to success and watching a start up grow.
The art of selling is central to the film and the film makers deserve credit for featuring accurately some of the techniques for selling by phone which Jordan used at the time and teaches today in his seminars and video courses.
It also features a brief cameo of Jordan himself right at the end, introducing ‘himself’ (Leonardo DiCaprio) on stage.
3: The Social Network
This is the other ultimate start up story, and with the occasional bit of artistic license… otherwise quite accurately tells the story of the fastest growing company of our time.
Also featuring an incredible soundtrack, The Social Network and Mark Zuckerberg’s story is something to be admired. It’s an essential piece of modern history and very much essential inspiring viewing for anyone remotely involved in tech.
2: The Middle Men
The porn industry has since the late 70s consistently driven innovation and been at the forefront of technical evolution. It started with their immediate embracing of home video taping, and as told in this film… the industry invented, yes invented, online payment systems.
To this day all online credit card processing is based on the technology which the two lead characters in this film were responsible for developing.
Extra bonus if you’re also a fan of suits… Gabriel Macht who plays Harvey Specter is one of the three lead actors.
1: The Founder
The story of Ray Croc, founder of The McDonalds Corporation. This is a hugely watchable and extremely enjoyable film and one which you feel great empathy and respect for Ray Croc.
This is number one because it is a truly fascinating story and was of course set before computers were really a thing, so to have built such an empire without any electronic devices is in a way, mind blowing.
There are several scenes, which I won’t reveal, which really strike a chord for anyone who has or is going through the process of setting up a business. One scene in particular fully encapsulates what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and it does so in a way in which no other film ever has done before.
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I hope you enjoyed this article, it was good to finally get down to compiling it.
As well as being a movie fan, my specialism is in producing marketing videos. So if you have a project involving video coming up and you would appreciate some expert advice and help, please do get in contact.
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CEO, WOW Video Production