All work and no play doesn’t make a very satisfying life for the modern entrepreneur. Thankfully, there are ways you can learn more about business and entrepreneurial life lessons and still have fun at the same time. Check out these top 10 best movies for entrepreneurs, featuring aspiring business owners who find success, failure and everything in-between.
1. Burnt (2015)
If at first you fail miserably and destroy your entire career as a famous chef … try again? After losing his job and his reputation, a cuisine extraordinaire decides to stare defeat in the face and attempt to open up his own restaurant in its wake. There is a good lesson for entrepreneurs to be learned here: failure does not mean the end. If you don’t succeed the first time, it does not mean you have to give up on your dreams. It just means you have to approach them a little differently.
2. The Intern (2015)
Bored to tears after retiring from his old job, a 70-year-old Baby Boomer decides to do what only a twenty something millennial would: he becomes an intern at a blossoming startup. Unfortunately, his previous education and experience didn’t quite prepare him for the unfamiliar and fast-paced startup world. Entrepreneurs watching this film will be given a much needed reminder that hard work, no matter how wise or experienced you might be, is not optional.
3. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Synopsis: a man loses everything he has, including his house, job and spouse, leaving him and his son with nothing. He spends the rest of the movie wallowing in self-pity and in the end accomplishes nothing. Not exactly. Left with almost nothing, a single father chooses to put his misfortune and failures behind him to pursue a better life. He builds his own success from the ground up. Instead of giving up hope when things get difficult, he pushes through the pain. This movie will inspire you to do the same.
4. The Big Short (2015)
The Big Short chronicles the true story of what happens when you choose to question everything and then stop at nothing to find the answers to everything you don’t know. It’s perfect for entrepreneurs to watch because the main characters find great success as they venture into the unknown, the same way someone starting their own business might do. This movie will teach you to let go of your fear and pursue the answers you think need to be found.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
With success, fame, power and wealth comes a completely different view of the world. You can choose to use what you have earned for good, or you can choose to give in to greed and let it all go to your head. This movie can teach all entrepreneurs an important lesson about choosing wisely when faced with the after effects of success. If one day you find yourself at the top, what will you do with that power? And if you find yourself near the bottom, what will you be willing to do to climb up?
6. Steve Jobs (2015)
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs developed innovative technologies for years, but how much do we really know about the man behind the tech? This movie focuses on the many pressures Jobs underwent as he launched some of Apple’s most successful products before his death in 2011. Entrepreneurs watching this film will recognize the struggle Jobs’ character must go through in order to stay on top and maintain his success. You may also feel inspired to work even harder than you already are.
7. Office Space (1999)
Do you absolutely hate your nine to five desk job? So does Peter Gibbons. This employee is tired of working for a boss he can’t stand, so naturally, entrepreneurship (a unique form of it, anyway) seems like the ideal option to escape the office. This dated film is a comedy, so be prepared to laugh at the expense of a fictional character you might relate too a little bit too well. Also perfect for the current entrepreneur happy to be reminded of the agony he or she no longer has to endure.
8. Unfinished Business (2015)
Unfinished Business is a movie about competition. A small business owner travels overseas to close a deal that could change his professional life for the better, only to find out his business isn’t the only one to choose from. Entrepreneurs who watch this comedy will be reminded of how small business owners often have to struggle in order to succeed in their chosen niche. While it may be a comedy, it involves an important lesson about standing out and making the most of your market.
9. Results (2015)
When you are working as an entrepreneur, sometimes mixing your personal life with your professional life happens without your noticing soon enough … and there are almost always consequences. This comedic take on the matter follows two personal trainers and their unhappy client as they struggle (and fail) to keep their professional and personal endeavors from overlapping. Entrepreneurs will love to laugh at an all too real caricature of real business struggles.
10. The Social Network (2010)
How does one start and run a business from their dorm room? The logistics are a little bit different for everyone, but if you are looking for a mostly fictional but still thrilling account of how Mark Zuckerberg got Facebook up and running as a student at Harvard, this is the perfect movie for you. The film also deals with legal issues related to copyright and brings to question the validity of the social media platform we all know and love.
Entrepreneurship does not have to be all business all the time. Take some time to enjoy yourself and gain a few much needed entrepreneurial reminders, too. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And you will probably head straight to your laptop to brainstorm new business strategies for your startup as soon as the movie comes to an end.