movies for budding entrepreneurs

You are your own hero; you are your own motivation: This is not the rant of a narcissist; this is the reality of every entrepreneur trying to make it big in the startup world. Every entrepreneur needs to stay true to themselves and their ideals. However, in a highly competitive world which will often burden an entrepreneur with failure and disappointment, one often needs to look at external sources to find that spark of motivation and to keep the fire of self-belief burning. Thus, in support of your journey to greatness, I present the ten must watch movies for budding entrepreneurs.

1. Nightcrawler (2014)

A rather dark movie which features a brilliant performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler is the story of a struggling guy looking for a job who sees an opportunity in delivering raw video footage from undiscovered crime scenes and selling them to the highest bidder. He eventually ends up founding his own company known as Video Production News, where he hires an intern and becomes obsessed about maximizing the profits and the reach of his startup.

This is one of those movies for budding entrepreneurs that shows you the dark side of entrepreneurship from the viewpoint of a disinterested bystander, which maximizes the effect of the dark undertone of this movie.

From this movie, an entrepreneur can learn about the undeniable success that stems from working hard, as well as learning when to draw the line which is a lesson in retrospect. As the movie states: Why you pursue something is as important as what you pursue!

2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

A very moving film which stars Will Smith as a struggling salesman with a son to take care of, The Pursuit of Happyness shows the protagonist, Christopher Gardner, at the worst point of his life. The is one of those movies which thoroughly focuses on the themes of determination, hard work, will power and above all perseverance. Will Smith take the viewer on a journey full of anguish and suffering with his only goal being: earning money to take care of his child.

This movie also teaches you about the power of dreams, and how one must always work for their dreams, no matter what society tells them. A very important message from this movie is: Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. 

3. The Social Network (2010)

The Social Network depicts the life story of Mark Zuckerberg, a man who needs no introduction. The movie features the themes of up-scaling a company, which in this instance is from a mere network of hostels to a global network of interconnected users. It is one of those movies which starkly depicts the ideas of self-pride, fulfillment, and the concepts of treachery and betrayal. How Mark Zuckerberg turned his dreams into reality, and the hurdles he faced along the way, is inspirational for every entrepreneur looking to make his mark on the world.

4. The Godfather (1972)

A legendary movie, The Godfather is one of Hollywood’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies. The story features the rise of a crime family from a small operation to one of the largest criminal organizations in the city. While we certainly do not want to encourage you on the path to violence, this is one movie for budding entrepreneurs which continues to inspire generations who are looking to do something great in their life.

Also Read: 10 Best Motivational Videos to Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

5. The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician and visionary who is part of the team that is trying to crack the German Enigma Code so that the Allies can win World War II. In this film, we see a man ahead of his time, trying to create a machine which does not exist and is failing innumerable times. He is constantly hounded by the disbelief of his officers, co-workers and others. However, we find that Mr. Turing ultimately succeeds in building a machine that permanently cracks the Enigma Code.

This is one of those movies for budding entrepreneurs which justifies the true value of endurance, belief and perseverance. As the movie goes on to say: Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines of who do the things no one can imagine.

6. Chak De! India (2007)

Taking a break from Hollywood and venturing into national territory, Chak De! India is the story of a hockey coach who has been accused of throwing a World Cup Final against rivals Pakistan. Struggling to regain his honor, the coach, played by Shahrukh Khan, takes the reins of the women’s national hockey team, who have to battle against social prejudices, patriarchy, chauvinism and so much more to even earn a place in the Women’s Hockey World Cup.

The story of their fight to earn what they deserve, and how they battle all odds to lift the World Cup, is a story which serves as a source of inspiration for all. The brilliant performance by Shahrukh Khan and all the other actors, and the tailored dialogue, shows you how perseverance, dedication, management and teamwork are vastly important for success.

Also Read: Entrepreneurship lessons to learn from Shahrukh Khan

7. 3 Idiots (2009)

Based on the book Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat, 3 Idiots captures the story of three boys in a top engineering college, and their life after it. The theme of this film focuses on academic and peer pressure, the struggle to keep matching unrealistic expectations, the divergence between dreams and reality, and amidst all the negativity, the warm light of friendship, brotherhood and hope which drives us.

3 Idiots is one of those movies which delivers to us an emotional and power-packed performance as they show us the lives of the average Indian engineering students, and their struggle to find what they love. Their inspiring stories are ones which we can all relate to, and ones which can motivate every entrepreneur.

8. Mary Kom (2014)

Mary Kom depicts the story of a famous Indian female boxer, Mary Kom, and her struggles. Mary Kom, who is portrayed by Priyanka Chopra, is a girl from a small town in India who wants to make it as a boxer, but has to struggle against odds like discrimination, corruption, societal expectations and her own self. In this movie, we follow the protagonist as she struggles against all odds, driven by her self-belief, motivation and her mentor to train hard and compete at the highest level for her country, which happens to be a story every entrepreneur can relate to.

Also Read: 99 highly motivational quotes that will inspire you to succeed in 2016

9. Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Journeying to the realm of animation, because I strongly believe in not letting your inner child die, Kung Fu Panda is the story of a fat and ordinary panda Po and his journey to become the greatest Kung Fu Master of all time, the Dragon Warrior. It is said that: some people are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them. I am not quite sure which one it is with Po, just as no entrepreneur is sure of his own destiny. However, Po is driven by his love of Kung Fu, just as every entrepreneur is driven by his/her love for his/her work. Even at a time when no one believes in Po, he believes in himself. However, when Po loses all hope, his master deciphers the way to train Po is not the ordinary way.

Thus, this film teaches us about making the most of your opportunities. This film shows us that everybody is unique, and that the value of mentorship cannot be underappreciated. The cherry on the cake is at the film’s climactic scene, where Po says: there is no secret ingredient. Hence, you realize that you are special, and you can be great only if you believe in yourself.

10. Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story is possibly everyone’s favorite animated movie. Toy Story features Woody and Buzz Lightyear, two favorite toys of a young boy named Andy. The central themes of this movie are: friendship, teamwork and self-belief. Buzz believes that he is not a mere toy but an actual astronaut of the Star Command out to explore a new planet. Woody is constantly critical of Buzz’s fantastic ideas, but his self-belief appears to be unshakable. However, when Woody and Buzz get lost together, they realize they have to work together to get back home.

This movie teaches how teamwork and friendship can help you overcome hurdles you can’t overcome alone. We learn about the incredible power of self-belief and we also learn that, even when you lose belief in yourself, all you need is a friend to dust yourself down, re-motivate yourself and get back to business.

Do you have any other favorite movies that have inspired you on your entrepreneurial path? Do let us know!

Rajdeep Mukherjee

A web developer, coder and a startup enthusiast. He is vigorously active and passionate about MUNs (Model United Nations).