Starting a business and learning to swim are alike in a lot of ways; you feel like you’re drowning! As a business owner though, it’s not water that’s trying to drown you. It’s data, debts, records, complaints, and a lot of other things. Even after your business is past the start-off phase, things can still get really tough.
Dishonest employees, damaged goods, and even those refunds that kinda hurt your feelings. Finding people who share these feelings can help to take some of the edges off. Even though they’re movie people. Not to mention that you could learn a thing or two from these movies on keeping your business afloat. Here are three of my favorite must-see movies for every entrepreneur:
The Social Network
This is a 2010 movie directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. It tells the story of the founding of possibly one of the biggest social media platforms in the world- Facebook. In the movie, Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is a bright, young sophomore in Harvard dumped by his girlfriend Albright (Played by Rooney Mara). In a fit of rage and drunkenness, he hacks into Harvard’s database and creates an app called “Face mash” where he trashes his former girlfriend. Harvard’s site crashes and Zuckerberg is punished with a six-month disciplinary action. From there, through weeks of hard work, dedication and determination, he builds an app called The Facebook with his friend Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield).
Down the line, both Zuckerberg and Facebook have to fight through series of legal battles with the Winklevoss twins and Saverin. The movie is a great example of some of the hard decisions business people have to take to make it to the top. It also teaches vital lessons like the need to act on an idea proactively (like Zuckerberg did), to not sell out too quickly (like Saverin did), and to keep going regardless of the ordeals on your way to being successful.
Wolf of Wall Street
Written by Terrence Winters and directed by Martin Scorcese, this movie is centered around the life of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo Di Caprio). The movie tells a tale of how far one stockbroker is prepared to go for success. Jordan Belfort who’s a stockbroker is fired from his job due to fraud. He later sets up his own firm, Stratton Oakmont, where he continues to carry out illegal activities and prospers by insider trading practices. Eventually, Belfort’s greed and lack of personal values cause him to lose a lot of vital relationships and lead to his subsequent arrest.
This movie highlights the dangers that occur when a business person loses their work ethic and sense of personal values in the throes of success. Belfort started out by valuing his relationships and working hard, as a result, the community culture in his firm gave birth to a lot of loyal employees. Down the road, Belfort throws all this away in the bid to keep climbing the ladders of success. The movie is proof that cutting off important relationships and having no personal values will ultimately destroy both the business and the business owner.
Pirates of Silicon Valley
This movie takes a deep dive into the world of computers and is based on the lives of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs- their rise and fall as they battled to create and sustain their respective tech companies: Microsoft and Apple. The story focuses more on the story of Steve Jobs and is told from a third-person POV who happened to be one of Steve Jobs’ closest friends. The movie is centered around the rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as they build their companies and the ruthless determination of each to wipe out the other. One striking lesson from the movie is that you’ve got to have the confidence to go after what you want and defend it. Confidence was one thing Steve Jobs was not lacking. Believing in yourself is crucial to success.
Even after being ousted from the company he founded, Steve Jobs didn’t dwell in the dumps for too long; he founded another company called Apple Next. This confidence, competitive streak, and willingness to not give up after a defeat are useful qualities every entrepreneur must imbibe.