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The Bigger Picture: The 10 Movies Every Entrepreneur And Businessman Should Watch

Movies can be so impactful: from bringing you down to tears, to making you feel so pumped you’d jump out of the couch and get out there to start selling guns. There is no limit to how a motion picture can change your mood or alter your goals. But if you’re an entrepreneur or a business visionary in need of some inspiration, then we got you covered.

Movies, like inspirational clips from ET or Jordan Belfort, can help you learn tons of soft skills that are necessary when navigating the world of deals and business. Whether we’re talking about convincing a potential client, locking a billion dollar M&A or hustling your way up to the top spot, there is no lack of movies that will help you figure these out, and more.

Here is our selection of the top 10 movies that you should watch if you’re in the business of making money and going after success!

1. Social Network

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Photo Credit: the Social Network

This is a classic! If there is anything out there that will pump you up to start your own business, become an entrepreneur, or launch your own product, then the Social Network is the right movie to watch. The story of Mark Zuckerberg and the conception of Facebook is just too good and too dramatic for you not to be moved. The series of events and sprinkles of assholness here and there just make you wonder how awesome it must feel to hand out a business card that says “I’m CEO Bitch!”. The journey from being a guy everyone hates to becoming the youngest billionaire alive, or the ability to bring down the Harvard network in a night, or even better, using rejection as a driving force to fuel innovation and coming up with the next big thing feel like a rush of excitement and a series of vodka shots throughout! Oh, and did we say that Justin Timberlake totally aced it with his Sean Parker role?

2. Limitless

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Photo Credit: Limitless

Who never dreamt of being able to learn French in few hours, make millions of dollars day trading or memorize a book just by skimming through it? Who never dreamt of being limitless? The movie, featuring Bradley Cooper, will help you visualize what being productive really means. Although the story is a fiction and a pill will never be able to let you access full functionality of your brain, visualizing what it would be like still can help motivate you to push yourself even further. Speak one language? How about learning another! Want to make money? How about day trading or launching your own business! Networking much? How about grabbing coffee with the world’s most powerful and sharing your words of advice with them! It is unrealistic, but still motivating as hell. It’s like being a student and dreaming of owning a Bugatti, a $90 Million mansion and running a trillion dollar company. It seems impossible, but just thinking about it and visualizing it is enough to get you back on track and working even harder than you ever did. Entrepreneurs sometimes lose focus and get depressed over low revenues or slow growth, so a dose of motivation to remind you that you can be limitless is a most welcomed gift!

3. Wolf of Wall Street

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Photo Credit: Wolf of Wall Street

Here is something we can all agree on! Wolf of Wall Street is “ambition” bottled down, put on steroids and made into a movie! Yes Jordan Belfort might’ve been a criminal who did some nasty things, but the overall picture is that of a guy who didn’t want to settle for average, and fought tooth and nail for a place amongst the big players. Launching your own business and fighting through the ranks is no easy task, and Jordan’s journey from a rookie getting thrown around on a trading floor to a multimillionaire setting his company on track for greatness is admirable! Many of us would dream to have Jordan’s lifestyle, and the only way to get there according to him is to “pick the phone and start dialing”, a metaphor for get out there and work yourself off, persevere and leave no stone unturned in your quest for success. Entrepreneurs, in many respects, can learn a lot from Jordan’s story, from his struggle, his hard work, his smart techniques and ultimately his downfall. Whether you are the kind of person who wants to “solve their problems by becoming rich”, or interested in being knocked down to reality by realizing that the only obstacle in your journey to glory “is the bullshit story you keep on telling yourself as to why you can’t succeed”, the Wolf of Wall Street is definitely a must watch if you need a push in the right direction!

4. Lord of Wars

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Photo Credit: Lord of Wars

What do you do if you feel you’re trapped, you can’t grow, you’re wasting your time or need to stand out from the crowd? You become the best at something, and you pursue it all the way through! Lord of Wars is the best way to exemplify why being good at something leads to success. Whether it is being great at coding, manufacturing phones or selling guns (ethics aside), once you master a skill, it’s easy to reach peak performance and achieve greatness. Lord of Wars is the story of an entrepreneur who didn’t want a life of mediocrity or monotony, but rather wanted to be the best and work hard to build his fortune from the ground up. Customer acquisition, growth hacking, building loyalty and accessing contracts are just few things you’ll see Yuri do throughout the movie. Regardless of the fact that he was an arms dealer, the story of Yuri is that of ambition, perseverance, compromise, thinking big and skill mastery. Every entrepreneur needs these skills, and watching Lord of Wars will be a great initiation to these powerful and important aspects of building a business and becoming the best at what you do!

5. The Pursuit of Happyness

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Photo Credit: Pursuit of Happyness

If there was ever a movie I would watch again and again while almost crying every time, it would be Pursuit of Happyness. The journey of a guy who went through being broke, homeless, incarcerated, cheated, humiliated and rejected only to become one of the most famous and best traders ever is a reminder that greatness is not impossible. The movie is a reminder that working hard and persevering will always yield great results. Never giving up, never letting people drag you down and never yielding to obstacles is the only path to success. Pain is a part of the process to become successful, and those who are patient enough to bear it and keep hustling are the ones destined for glory. If Chris Gardner can do it after all he’s gone through, then as an entrepreneur you have no excuse not to keep crushing it and believing in yourself until you make it big!

6. Jobs

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Photo credit: Jobs

Watching Jobs can lead to 2 outcomes: you either realize what a useless life you’re living, or you get down to your parents’ basement to set up an office and get something going! The story of Steve Jobs and his journey from a hipster to the founder of the world’s most valuable company is one hell of a movie! Steve’s struggles after being kicked from his own company, or his rocky social life and his extreme ego-centrism are some traits that make the “flawless” Apple story much more realistic, and attainable. Every entrepreneur should watch Jobs at least once, because much of building a business is similar to what’s going on in the movie. Dealing with investors, board members, employees and imprinting one’s vision into the perfect product is not easy, so bracing yourself for those hard moments is a must.

7. Scarface

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Photo Credit: afrostoshelltoes.com

We’re no different than Tony Montana. He was a Cuban immigrant setting his eyes on the American dream and trying to build his own little empire, much like entrepreneurs who brave the world and start as complete strangers aspiring for success and glory. Whether you’re looking for Money, Respect, Power, or all of the three together, then Scarface is your must-watch movie, because asides from the drugs, crime and debauchery, there is a lot to learn from a Cuban building his business from the ground up in the US.

8. The Godfather

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Photo Credit: Bookshop Blog

The Mafia structure and dynamics is comparable to a business: You have multiple divisions and departments, several managers and employee levels, a plethora of competitors trying to wipe out your profits and the CEO/ founder trying to keep everything together. Now in order to master the art of management and leading a company or a startup successfully, building loyalty and alliances, negotiating compromises and establishing yourself is a necessity. Who else to learn from than Corleone, the one and only Mafia mob who elegantly navigates the system and makes the most out of it. One of Corleone’s advice, which every entrepreneur should live by when dealing with clients, investors or partners, rings true with everyone: Always make them an offer they can’t refuse!

9. American Gangster

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Photo Credit: Melty.fr

Cutting middlemen, making the best product in the market at the cheapest price, building customer loyalty and establishing affiliate programs. Sounds like the perfect recipe for succeeding in business, at least that’s what every entrepreneur would tell you. If you happen to believe this is a magic formula as well, then check American Gangster, the embodiment of what setting a business from scratch and perfectly executing a business plan should look like.

10. Last But Not Least

The last movie is one that is not out yet, it’s actually still in the making. The movie is yours, the story of your life, you get to make it the best version it can be or you get to throw it down the trash and making it as pathetic as your ambition and passion at the moment. Own your success and your destiny, pursue your passion like there is no tomorrow and become the best at what you do. Only then will your life be worth capturing in a motion picture, and only then will you have people looking up to you and wishing they could be in your shoes. You can be the next Steve Jobs, the next Mark Zuckerberg, or you get to be someone no one will ever hear of or care about. The choice is yours!

Photo Credit: We Heart It