Hollywood can sometimes overemphasize the struggles of entrepreneurs on the big screen. But it’s clear that in many cases, the best way to reflect reality is through fiction.
If you want to become your own boss and run a successful business, there will be times when your path will be tough; you will encounter obstacles that may discourage you, or make it harder for you to continue.
It is in those moments when you must have more confidence in yourself, and you will need inspiration that gives you the strength to not give up until you reach the top.
And the 13 entrepreneurial movies I share with you below are the perfect medicine for adventurers like you who want to change the world through their great ideas.
So go to the kitchen, prepare a bucket of popcorn, and enjoy these inspiring stories!
1. The Wolf of Wall Street (The Wolf of Wall Street)
This film directed by Martin Scorsese, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, tells the incredible story of Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker with unmatched cunning and intelligence. His skills and talent earned him one of the most expensive houses in the world.
However, this man is perhaps the best example of what ambition and excess can do to a successful person. Why should you watch it? There are many reasons why you should watch this film as soon as possible if you haven’t already.
This movie will teach you how to sell, to be confident as a leader, and to recognize the talent of those around you. But you will also learn that money is not everything, and that getting to the top is not enough: you must be careful not to corrupt yourself and know how to keep your position.
2. Pirates of Silicon Valley (Pirates of Silicon Valley)
This film, which was shot only for television in 1999, has been the inspiration for many years for a whole generation of people who wanted to start their own businesses. In it, you can see the beginnings and the great rivalry between two great computer entrepreneurs of the 20th century: Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft) and Steve Jobs (creator of Apple).
Why should you watch it? These two men are truly inspiring, and their struggle and passion for the products they created will motivate you immensely.
But if there is one clear conclusion to be drawn from it is that, even if there are times when it is very tough, competition can be an incredible lucky break for you that will push you to improve your business to be number one.
3. Citizen Kane (Citizen Kane)
A film for entrepreneurs quite old (it was released in 1941), but today it is still watched in many business and journalism schools because of its great lesson.
It narrates the life of Charles Foster Kane, a fictional character who is actually inspired by William Randolph Hearst, one of the greatest newspaper tycoons in history.
Why should you watch it? Kane’s quest for power and money knows no bounds in this film.
And while creating a successful business should be an important goal for you, the protagonist of this film will teach you that there are things of far greater value in life.
Sometimes it’s hard to find movies where the protagonist is a strong female entrepreneur and where her success story is told.
Luckily, Hollywood is increasingly giving more importance to the female gender, and one of the most recent examples is the movie Joy (2015).
Inspired by true events, it tells the story of Joy Mangano, a young woman with three children who decides that she is not going to be a simple worker throughout her life.
Encouraged by her father, she invents the Miracle Mop, a type of cotton-fringed mop that will be followed by other products that succeed in making Joy a notable inventor of household products.
Why should you watch it? This movie will make you realize that it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, or in whatever circumstances you find yourself.
If you really want to achieve something in life, and you are willing to strive and fight for it, no one can stop you.
5. The pursuit of happiness (The pursuit of happiness)
Another movie based on true events, only here it tells the story of Chris Gardner.
It is one of the most inspiring and motivating success stories for entrepreneurs, which tells how a father, taking care of his son alone, and going through the worst of situations, gets the job he wants thanks to his tenacity.
Why should you watch it? Although Chris was left on the street, he never stopped fighting for his dream to have a better future for both himself and his son.
And that passion and sacrifice exists something that you, as an entrepreneur, must also be willing to give if you want your dreams to come true.
6. Wall Street
Gordon Gekko’s character has gone down in history as one of the most infamous and greedy characters on the big screen.
The movie Wall Street shows how Bud Fox, an apprentice of Gekko’s who admires this investor, will do anything to be like him, including making unethical and questionable decisions.
Why should you watch it? The goal of an entrepreneur is not just to become rich and famous, so don’t sell out solely for the money.
7. Flash of genius
An excellent movie less known than the others, but it teaches a really important lesson to anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur.
Actor Greg Kinnear gives life to Bob Kearns, the real-life inventor of the car windshield, who offers his invention to the Detroit factories but they never recognized him as the author of the product.
As a result, he had tough legal battles with the various corporations that “stole” his intellectual property.
Why should you watch it? This movie will make you see that one of the most successful businesses you can start is one that tries to improve some aspect of people’s lives.
But whatever your business idea is, you should always protect it and its intellectual property.
8. Coco before Chanel
Another entrepreneurial film in which the protagonist is none other than the legendary Coco Chanel, one of the most iconic designers of all time.
It narrates the origin of this French woman, and how she had to overcome many difficulties for being a woman to enter the prestigious world of fashion in her time.
This an example of overcoming and rebellion against the stupid rules that sometimes prevent us from moving forward.
Why should you watch it? It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. What you should appreciate about this film is that the only opinion that should really matter to you is your own.
If you believe in something, pursue it, and don’t stop until you’ve achieved it.
9. The social network
Who isn’t curious to know how Facebook, one of the biggest companies in existence right now, got started? Watching this movie you will know how it all started.
It is true that some parts have been exaggerated a lot, but the essence of how Mark Zuckerberg started this social network is well reflected on the screen.
It is impressive to see how this guy at such a young age went from being a Harvard student to a millionaire entrepreneur.
Why should you watch it? With this film, you will have the keys to starting your own company, and you will see that the sky is the limit when it comes to developing a great business idea (even if you make enemies along the way).
10. Steve Jobs
Many movies have been made about Steve Jobs (the founder of Apple). And all of them are good to motivate you if what you want is an inspiration to create your own business.
But my favorites (and the ones I recommend you to watch) are Jobs and Steve Jobs: one last thing.
The first one is a movie starring Ashton Kutcher where the origins of this entrepreneur are told since he dropped out of college to start his business in the garage of his house until he achieved success with Apple.
Steve Jobs: One Last Thing is a documentary that captures the highs and lows of this man who undoubtedly revolutionized our lives today.
Why should you watch it? Even if you don’t like him very much, there is no doubt that this man is an example to follow, and that great lessons can be learned from him by watching any film based on his biography.