Many will agree that we are now living in the age of entrepreneurship. The industry has developed at an astounding pace in the last few years and is not showing any signs that it will slow down in the near future. Being a successful entrepreneur is not impossible in any way, however, as with any career, there are moments when the weight of the word seems to be too much to bear.
When this happens, the most important thing that we can do is look for ways to get through the rough patch as fast and as safely as possible. Sometimes you may need a bit of encouragement, and in other cases a change of perspective may prove to be invaluable.
Regardless of the reason behind your predicament, the best way to motivate yourself is through a great movie. Watching a movie after a hard day can help you unwind and will prevent.
Unfortunately, the sheer number of movies out there can make choosing which one to watch a chore on its own. To help you skip the need to spend hours looking for a good movie, here is a list of 15 amazing movies that will inspire entrepreneurs everywhere:
Some of these are old, some new, but each of them is extremely good and helpful in its own right. The following movies will help you unwind, so that you can rest for a new day full of opportunities.
- Nightcrawler (2014)
Having been released a few years ago, Nightcrawler is a great movie for people with great vision. This having been said, keep in mind that the movie can be a bit brutal at times, but it’s nothing too bad. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, his masterpiece presents the story of a man struggling to find a job, without any success. He does get a break eventually, when he witnesses a murder and decides to be a crime journalist.
Nightcrawler is a great movie that can show you how much you can accomplish with a little drive and persuasion. You’ll be more focused and a lot more positive after seeing this movie; it has a strange ability to make you realize just how wide the horizon really is, and how many things you can achieve as long as you don’t give up when things get tough.
It is genuinely impossible to watch this movie without being inspired by it, so when things seem to be too difficult, or when you hit a dead end, take a couple of hours and give Nightcrawler a try.
- The Social Network (2010)
Second on the list is a movie that tells the story of how one of the most famous social networks in the world came to be. Based on the amazing story of how Mark Zuckerberg started the company Facebook, The Social Network features a perfect soundtrack and beautiful storytelling that will inspire you regardless of how bad things may be.
The movie shows you that turning your dreams into reality is not difficult, as long as you never give up and stay positive, and also offers a lot of information on how to scale up a company from a small college startup to one of the most successful companies in the world.
The fact that many critics question the accuracy of the movie is true, however, this does not change the fact that watching The Social Network is a great way to get back on your feet when you are lacking inspiration.
- The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
A beautiful movie starring Will Smith in the role of Chris Gardner, a homeless salesman that struggles with financial and personal issues, The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a real story.
The movie is based on the memories of the real Chris Garner, which have initially been published as a best-selling book, and shows how important never giving up really is.
One of the more interesting aspects of the movie is how it manages to give viewers a sense of reality that is usually rare in Hollywood movies. So watch it if you feel like whatever you try doesn’t seem to work, and remember that you should NEVER give up, regardless of how hard the struggle becomes.
- Forrest Gump (1994)
This one has everything that a great motivational movie needs: an inspiring story, an interesting main character, and beautiful storytelling. Forrest Gump presents the unbelievable adventures and accomplishments of a simple man with a good heart.
The character starts with nothing and slowly becomes more and more accomplished, in the most unexpected ways. He fights in a war and becomes a hero, he turns into a professional ping-pong player, and owns a huge shrimping business, all while inspiring those around him.
You too will be inspired by this move, and learn that you can be extremely successful, as long as you don’t give up and always do what you consider to be right.
The story of Forrest Gump also shows that you don’t have to be a genius in order to do what you want in life, you just have to work hard.
The main character is played by Tom Hanks, whose acting helps transmit the movie’s message: You have to try in order to achieve what you want; Try and try again until you make it.
- Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
A great movie about another one of the world’s greatest success stories, Pirates of Silicon Valley covers how Bill Gates and Steve Jobs built their companies, and dealt with various struggles.
These two so called “pirates” are amazingly portrayed by Noah Wyle (Steve Jobs) and Anthony Michale Hall (Bill Gates). The movie will take you through the earliest period of the two entrepreneur’s rivalry and show you that even though life is difficult at times, you must continue to work or you may lose everything. And the only way to truly lose is to stop trying.
As Hall said, in the role of Bill Gates, “Success is a menace. It fools smart people into thinking that they can’t lose”
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption is more than just an inspirational movie for entrepreneurs. It is also one of the best movies of all time.
The movie tells the story of two imprisoned men who develop a bond over the course of many years, while trying to survive in a ruthless environment. They slowly realize that they can find redemption through acts that show their humanity towards one another, and show that perseverance can truly help you achieve anything regardless how impossible it may seem at one point.
Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman help bring the two main characters in The Shawshank Redemption to life, and have incredible chemistry, keeping you fully immersed in the story from the beginning of the movie until the end.
This one should definitely be on your list if you are running low on inspiration and need something to motivate, and help you get back in the game.
- Moneyball (2011)
This movie hasn’t received as much attention as it deserves, however, it is a great choice if you are looking for a great story about what it means to turn things around when everything goes south and achieve success against all odds.
Moneyball’s action revolves around the Oakland Athletics and its general manager Billy Beane player by Brad Pitt. The team is quickly losing money, and all of their star players have been offered contracts by bigger teams, which leaves Billy in a difficult situation. He must find a way to create a winning team with close to no funds.
This is a great example of how important it is for an entrepreneur to constantly innovate in order to beat the competition and achieve success with the least amount of money at his disposal.
- The Godfather (1972)
A classic through and through, The Godfather is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time; one that everyone should watch at least once in their life.
The film tells the story of how a small family business grows and finds itself having to fight off the competition. As time passes, the business turns from a family affair, into the largest organized crime network in New York City.
The action focuses on the two characters that run the operation, father and son, as they take the necessary actions in order to stay on top of everyone else.
The Godfather is a great choice for anyone looking to find out what is needed to succeed and to keep being successful. This having been said, do not get involved in any illegal activities. Draw the inspiration that you need and apply it to your own life.
- Rocky (1976)
No inspirational movie list could ever be complete without the best underdog story in the history of cinematography.
Starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, a man working hard to achieve success, the movie is a great example of how an opportunity can change someone’s life for the better. Rocky teaches viewers a lot about what being successful actually requires and emphasizes the importance of being competitive.
Watch this movie and you will never forget that every successful entrepreneur had to start somewhere, and that only through hard work can one get where he wants to be.
- Wall Street (1987)
A slightly darker film, Wall Street shows just how dangerous business and greed can be when combined.
The action focuses on Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen, as he does anything in his power to achieve success, up to the point where his motto becomes: “Greed is good”.
While you should never resort to illegal activities in order to be successful, the movie does teach viewers about how important information is when growing a business.
You can draw the inspiration that you need, from this movie, without succumbing to greed. Instead, look at how important having the right piece of information really is, and apply this lesson to your own life.
- Boiler Room (2000)
Drawing inspiration from the movie Wall Street, this inspirational film can teach entrepreneurs some great salesman tactics that will always work, no matter how much the business world changes.
Boiler Room will motivate you and help you get back in touch with your desire to be successful and to do business. This is one of the movies that are a must-watch for every entrepreneur looking to learn a few secrets of the trade, as well as reset his or her moral compass.
- Jerry McGuire (1996)
Jerry McGuire is a great inspirational movie that is based on a true story. This one is also a classic, however, it is one that few people know of.
The main character, played by Tom Cruise, tries to see a difficult situation through, while people turn their backs on him. As the movie progresses, he determines which is the best course of action, and end up being successful in both his personal life, as well as in his career.
If you’ve taken a few serious hits and need something to motivate you, then watch this movie and remember the following quote: “Success consists of simply getting up one more time than you fall.”
- Office Space (1999)
Another great film from 1999, Office Space will help you get rid of your boring routine and mix things up in order to make your work feel easier.
The protagonist has stopped going to work as a result of him being sick of doing the same thing every day. While he expected to be fired, he gets promoted, but things are not as simple as they seem and his bitter side returns to haunt him.
Office Space is an amazing movie that you will want to see multiple times, and every time you see it, you will rediscover an inner strength will help you move forward.
- com (2001)
This one isn’t a great Hollywood movie, but an amazing documentary regarding the internet gold rush that took place in the final years of the 1990s.
As you would expect from a documentary, it has everything needed in order to teach a few valuable lessons regarding the Internet that we have become so dependent on. The film presents several aspects of being successful online, and can provide valuable insight that will help motivate you in the future.
- Something Ventured (2011)
Another, newer documentary, Something Ventured presents the story of the first venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.
If you are looking to get into the VC industry, then you have to watch Something Ventured, as it will explain many things regarding how things get funded, and what is at stake big investors.
This documentary will also show you that the brave ones that push through innovative ideas are often rewarded. In other words, it will motivate you to do your own thing and to believe in your ideas.
Bonus round: Ctrl+Alt+Compete (2011)
A more up-to-date documentary containing great insights into the startup industry, Ctrl+Alt+Compete will offer you a glimpse into the various realities of this world. Depending on your opinion, this movie may prove to be a rough awakening to reality when it comes to the startup industry.
The Nexus for All Motivational Movies
Every one of the movies above is beautiful and will surely inspire you, however, if you want more diversity, then you can always browse through some of the TED videos that revolve around entrepreneurship and find your motivation there. Even better, most of them will also teach you new things, and may determine you to choose a new strategy to get over the difficult situations that demoralized you.
TED videos are always free, and the speakers are usually professionals who have achieved success in their field and have decided to hold a presentation and tell others what mistakes they made and how they got over them. Take advantage of this knowledge!