Top 10 Movies for Entrepreneurs

Movies can uplift us, show us life from another perspective, give you glimpse into your own, and inspire us to reach for something we’ve been wanting to obtain. That’s why they’re perfect tools to give people inspiration. So here are 10 movies that entrepreneurs can go to for inspiration and motivation as you build your business.

Joy (2015)

Joy tells the story of Joy Mangano, the woman who developed the self-wringing Miracle Mop. It follows her through the entire product development process from idea to design to production to launch and her successes and failures following, including dealing with success.

Joy acts as both a motivational and cautionary tale to entrepreneurs. First, it shows that you can be successful with the right idea bolstered by the right people at the right time. However, it also shows the failures that come with making a business. Everything from patenting to production are covered in the movie, which also focuses on the personal toll of starting a business. Joy learns you have to be careful who you work with and that no matter what you must protect your passion.

Steve Jobs (2015)


Steve Jobs was a true visionary and innovator, but he was also a very complex and sometimes misunderstood man. This movie shows him in a way we’ve never seen before. It shows him during the three biggest product launches of his career, which for him were also integral artistic pieces that were meant to show the public what true innovation is.

However, the reason this movie is on this list is because it showed Jobs as an innovator, businessman, and artist. Many times entrepreneurs are misunderstood. You have a vision, but sometimes people don’t understand that vision. However, this movie shows that Steve Jobs never wavered and only settled for the best. It is both a lesson in perseverance and commitment to what you believe is best for your business.

The Social Network (2010)


From one complicated man to another, The Social Network is a sweeping look on being an entrepreneur from idea to implementation to success and all the triumphs and defeats in between. Mark Zuckerberg created THE social network, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The movie is framed in a lawsuit that was being taken up against Zuckerberg.

The lesson that this movie tells you is that success is often dependent on who you decide to work with and who you push away. However, it’s important to note that there must be a balance between your personal and professional life. A little too much of either could lead you down the wrong path in your business. Also, the movie shows you what it takes for success, but also what is unnecessary for success. You don’t always have to push people away. You don’t always have to think everyone is out to get you.

Related Reading:  Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur: How Would You Get Out of A Rut?

Cool Runnings (1993)


“Feel the Rhythm! Feel the Rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time!” Sometimes you have a dream, but it seems like everything is against you achieving that dream. That was the case for the four men that made up the first Jamaican bobsled team. If you know anything about Jamaica it’s probably that there isn’t snow in the country, which makes training for bobsled extremely difficult. However, Derice, Sanka, Junior, and Yul find a way to gather money, train, and eventually make it to the Olympics.

Cool Runnings teaches us a very important lesson about not letting yourself get knocked down. Almost everything was against the team, but they pushed on and found ways to get past their obstacles.They found ways that may not be traditional to do what they aspired to do. A lot of times as an entrepreneur you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. You may have to do some things your own way, but the important thing is that you’re doing what you love. You may not always come out as the winner, but any amount of success is an accomplishment in itself.

Moneyball (2011)


Moneyball tells the story of the 2002 season of the Oakland Athletics. After a loss in the postseason and losing three of their star players to free agency, general manager Billy Beane must find a way to rebuild the team. However, they can only afford paying the lowest salary possible to their players. He finds Peter Brand, who comes up with an algorithm for drafting players that gives them the best, while keeping costs down. Their untraditional approach is met with skepticism, but their perseverance led them to success.

When you have your back against the wall, you have to innovate your way out of it. That’s what Moneyball teaches us. Brad Pitt’s Beane had to find a way to get the best with no money. Despite heavy opposition to use the traditional approach, he stays the course and ends up being successful in his goal of making the best team possible with the lowest cost. It’s a perfect analogy for the #HustleLife. You may not have all the money you would want to put into your business, but you can still find ways to get the best.

Related Reading:  The Role of “Made in USA” in Branding Your Startup

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)


What we are all on is truly a pursuit of happiness, however it’s not as easy as it sounds. Pursuit of Happyness is about entrepreneur Chris Gardner as he deals with being a homeless single father as he pursues a job and attempts to sell a bone density scanner that no one seems to want. Obstacles are being thrown at him left and right, but he slowly learns that doing things an innovative way is sometimes the best option.

This Will Smith film tells us something very important: success doesn’t happen right away, but it can happen. Chris Gardner did almost everything right. He put his head down and worked hard and did what he had to do to get to where he is today. It’s not easy and it will feel like everything is working against you, but at the end of the day hard work pays off just like it did for these famous entrepreneurs.

Rocky (1976)

It’s the ultimate underdog story and we know you can never get “Eye of the Tiger” out of your head after watching it. Rocky Balboa is a down and out boxer who is widely seen as a bum in his neighborhood. But when he is given the chance to fight a World Champion, he goes to work to become the best boxer he could be. When he realizes he can’t do it alone he accepts help from a former boxer to train him.

The movie tells us a few different things. First that hard work pays off and no matter what people think of you, you just have to prove them wrong. Second, Rocky had to know when it was time to ask for help, which is a crucial time in your business.

However, what makes Rocky such an important movie is that it was an underdog when it was first released. It was only the second movie that Sylvester Stallone wrote and really the first movie he was heavily featured in. Until then, he was just going through the motions of struggling actor. So the fact that this film not only won the Oscar for Best Picture, but became a classic that still holds up just proves that hard work and perseverance pays off.

The Intern (2015)


The Intern tells the story of 70 year old Ben Whittaker who applies for an internship program with a hot startup. After impressing the hiring team, he works with the company’s ambitious CEO and founder Jules. He becomes a voice of reason for her and eventually helps her make both business and life decisions.

Related Reading:  Beyond Crowdsourcing: Alternative Funding Sources

It’s never too late to follow your dreams. That is the biggest takeaway from The Intern. Robert DiNiro’s character Ben proves that age shouldn’t be a factor in joining the new fast paced start-up environment (just check out these entrepreneurs who did). However, another takeaway is from Anne Hathaway’s character, Jules. As the CEO of an extremely successful startup, she takes a very hands-on approach to leadership, but realizes that she can’t do it all herself and that she has to allow other people to help. The movie teaches us that you have to learn to have a work-life balance and realize that sometimes the latter needs some work too.

Jerry McGuire (1996)


Jerry McGuire tells the story of the titular sports agent as he realizes that quality truly matters over quantity. He leaves his secure job at an agency (and all the money and success he had) and goes into business for himself to prove that his philosophy of having a personal connection with your clients and passion for their success is the correct path.

Entrepreneurs can take a lesson from Jerry McGuire in motivation. What motivates you in your business? Money or passion? Tom Cruise’s McGuire learns that it is the latter that brought him the most happiness and eventually success.

Office Space (1999)


Office Space gives a satirical look at the place where you spend most of your day: work. Specifically, it follows the people that are fed up with where they work. From Peter, who just stares at his desk rather than works, to Milton, who was actually laid off but continues to work, the characters are tired of the monotony of the day. Slowly, they break the norms, which also slowly makes them happier.

In the end, sometime the decision of becoming an entrepreneur goes back to the fact that you’re looking to do something bigger. Sometimes entrepreneurs want to work for themselves and have creative control. Office Space outlines what it feels to be like to be stuck in a place you don’t want to be. Maybe you won’t go to the extremes of the movie, but it could be your time to quit your day job.

For Even More Entrepreneurial Inspiration:

Want to see more?

For more on entrepreneurship, building your business, and tackling a startup, just sign up for our daily blog email list!