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10 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

10 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

Have you ever walked into the movies and come out inspired and feeling like a different person?

If you are an entrepreneur or preparing yourself to become one, you must watch these unforgettable movies to understand what I mean.

1.   Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

pirates-of-silicon-valley-original

    “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Steve Jobs.

    This is a classic film that shows the beginnings of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as they built their technology empires in the 1980s. It highlights their rivalry, trials and triumphs, and the different ways the tech founding fathers operated. You will see how a 20-year-old took on a huge corporation like IBM and learn the value of believing in your dream and following through with it no matter what. It doesn’t matter if someone copies your idea. What matters is the execution and how well you do it. Nobody can copy that. And when you’re just starting out, a little competition never hurt anyone.

    2.   The Social Network (2010)

    The Social Network

      “We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!” – Sean Parker.

      This is another great movie that every entrepreneur should watch. It shows the meteoric rise of the world’s youngest billionaire and his Harvard dorm-room startup – Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg took a simple idea and turned it into one of the most profitable businesses to date. You’ll see how he did it and the challenges he faced along the way, including rifts with his co-founders. Apart from learning from Zuckerberg’s experience, you’ll also enjoy some deft storytelling and brilliant background score.

      3.   Boiler Room (2000)

      boiler-room-large-picture

        “What do you mean, you’re gonna pass. Alan, the only people making money passing are NFL quarterbacks and I don’t see a number on your back.” – Seth Davis

        Every entrepreneur in business faces moral dilemmas at some point in their career. This movie is about a 19 year old college dropout, Seth Davis, who is faced with a dire moral issue. Seth rises to become one of the top brokers at brokerage firm J.T. Marlin, but something at the firm seems suspicious. What does he do when faced with the dilemma of money and greed versus morals and legality? What would you do? This movie will sensitize you to the very real struggle between right and wrong, money and greed and morality and legality in business.

        4.   The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

        pursuit-of-happyness5

          “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period. All right?” – Chris Gardner

          This is an inspiring story of a struggling salesman, Chris Gardner (Will Smith), who losses everything, including his wife, house and money. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and defeat, Chris picks himself up, works harder and smarter than the competition to make life better for himself and his son. It’s a powerful motivational movie based on a true story that will give you goosebumps and help you see the value of having a good attitude and strong work ethic in the pursuit of happiness and a better life.

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          5.   Flash of Genius (2008)

          flash of genious

            “Whatever happened to this little thing called justice we talked about?” – Bob Kearns

            Anyone who’s an entrepreneur must watch this movie to understand why it’s important to protect your ideas from being stolen. Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), a college professor, invents the windshield wiper that is embraced by all the auto giants of the 1960s, becoming a standard device on all cars. However, the automakers do not give Kearns the credit he is due. It might be heartbreaking to watch as Kearns fights powerful corporations for his credit, but therein lies an important lesson for all entrepreneurs to learn.

            6.   The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

            The Wolf Of Wall Street

              “I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?” – Jordan Belfort

              This controversial movie might not have won Leonardo Di Caprio (playing Jordan Belfort) an Academy Award, but it sure can teach you valuable lessons about success, fame, fortune, greed and respect for law. As Belfort says, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” However, with achieved goals, money, power, fame, women and drugs comes many temptations that can jeopardize your success. Discipline and awareness is critical to retain any success you achieve.

              7.   Office Space (1999)

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              office_space_peter

                “Let me ask you something. When you come in on Monday and you’re not feeling real well, does anyone ever say to you, “Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays?” – Peter Gibbons

                This hilarious film is for anyone who hates their 9-to-5 office job and is itching to plunge into entrepreneurship. It revolves around Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), who discovers how much he hates sitting inside a cubicle every weekday, taking orders from his creepy boss Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole). If there’s ever a film that will make you laugh, give you a refreshing new outlook on life, motivate you to get out of a desk job you hate and fire you up to pursue a venture that you truly love, then this is it!

                8.   Limitless (2011)

                limitless

                  “I had come this close to making an impact on the world. And now the only thing I was going to make an impact on was the sidewalk.” – Eddie Morra

                  This thrilling film about a struggling writer, Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) will teach you something about taking shortcuts, quick fixes and the easy path to success. Eddie is sure he has no future as he is faced with unemployment and his girlfriend’s rejection. However, that all changes when an old friend gives him a mysterious pill that allows him to access 100% of his brain abilities. Stoked on the untested drug, Eddie rises to the top of the financial world, but terrible side-effects and a dwindling supply threatens to collapse his house of cards. Quick and easy fixes aren’t so easy after all, or are they?.

                  9.   Wall Street (1987)

                  Wall Street (1987

                    “The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” – Gordon Gekko

                    This is arguably one of the best entrepreneurial movies of all time. It follows an ambitious young stockbroker, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), who will do just about anything it takes to succeed as he is guided by the nebulous motto “Greed is good.” Suddenly, everything comes to a head when Fox is asked to help do something not only illegal, but morally reprehensible. The movie will teach you not to sell yourself out for the sake of money. Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about being rich and famous.

                    10.  The Godfather (1972)

                    godfather-111

                      “Great men are not born great, they grow great . . .”  – Mario Puzo

                      Another strong contender for the all-time greatest piece of cinema for entrepreneurs. It follows the story of the Godfather and his son Michael Corleone who oversee the growth of a small family business into what eventually becomes the largest organized crime family in New York. Although we don’t recommend taking the illegal route, this is a must-see for all entrepreneurs who want to learn what it takes to get to the top, and more importantly what it takes to stay there.

                      I’m sure we’ve left out a few. Tell us in the comments below; what movie would you add that every entrepreneur has to watch?

                      Featured photo credit: Pink Cow Photography via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      David K. William

                      David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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                      Last Updated on October 22, 2019

                      How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Get Unstuck

                      How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Get Unstuck

                      There are plenty of people who successfully made a career change at the age of 40 or above:

                      The Duncan Hines cake products you see in the grocery store are a good example. Hines did not write his first food guide until age 55 and he did not license his name for cake mixes until age 73.

                      Samuel L. Jackson made a career change and starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction at the age of 46.

                      Ray Kroc was age 59 when he bought his first McDonald’s.

                      And Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at the age of 44.

                      I could keep going, but I think you get the point. If you have a sound mind and oxygen in your lungs, you have the ability to successfully make a career change.

                      In this article, I’ll look into why making a career change at 40 seems so difficult for you, and how to make the change and get unstuck from your stagnant job.

                      What’s Holding You Back from Making a Career Change?

                      There are a flood of amazing reasons to make a career change at 40. Heck, you could argue the benefits of making a career change at any age. However, there is something a little different about making a career change at 40.

                      When you are 40, you probably have lots of “responsibilities” that come into the decision-making process. What do I mean by responsibilities, you ask?

                      Responsibilities tend to be our fears and self-doubt wrapped in a bow of logic and reason. You may say to yourself:

                      • I have bills to pay and a family to support. Can I afford the risk associated with a career change?
                      • What about the friends I have made over the years? I cannot just abandon them.
                      • What if I do not like my career change as much as I thought I would? I could end up miserable and stuck in a worse situation.
                      • My new career is so different than what I have been doing, I need additional training and certifications. Can I afford this additional expense and do I have the time recoup my investment?
                      • The economy is not the best and there is so much uncertainty surrounding a new career. Maybe it would be better to wait until I retire from this company in 15 years, and then I can start something new.

                      If you have experienced any of these thoughts, they will only pacify you for a short period of time. Whether that time is a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years.

                      Since you know that you prefer to do something else for a living, you start to feel stagnant in your current position.

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                      Your reasons for inaction that used to work are no longer doing the trick. What used to be a small fissure in your dissatisfaction in your current position is now a chasm.

                      Ideally, you never stay in a situation until that point, but if you did, there is still hope.

                      4 Tips To Change Your Career at 40

                      You do not have to feel stagnant in your current role any longer. You can take steps to conquer your fears and self-doubt so you can accomplish your goal of changing your career.

                      The challenge of changing your career is not knowing where to begin. That feeling of overwhelm and the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most people from moving forward.

                      To help you successfully change your career at the age of 40, follow these four tips.

                      1. Value Your Time Above Money

                      There is nothing more valuable than your time. You are likely receiving a pay-check or two every month that is replenishing your income. Money is something you can always receive more of.

                      When it comes to your time, when it is gone, it is gone. That is why waiting for the perfect situation to make a career change is the wrong mindset to have.

                      Realistically, you will never find the perfect situation. There will always be something that could be better or a project you want to finish before you leave.

                      By placing your time above money, you will maximize your opportunity to succeed and avoid stagnation.

                      If you feel disconnected when you are at work, understand that you are not alone. According to a Gallup Poll, only 32% of U.S. employees said they were actively engaged at work.[1]

                      Whether you think your talents are not being properly utilized, the politics of promotion stress you out, or you feel called to do something else with your life; the time to act is now.

                      Do not wait until you retire in another 10 to 20 years to make a career change. Put a plan in place to make a career change now. You will thank yourself later.

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                      2. Build a Network

                      Making a career change is not going to be easy, but that does not mean it is impossible.

                      One benefit to being further along in your career is the people you associate with are further along in their career as well.

                      Even if most of the people in your immediate network are not in your target industry, you never know the needs of the people with whom they associate.

                      A friend of mine recently made a career change and entered the real estate industry. The first thing he did was tell everyone he knew that he was a licensed real estate agent.

                      It was not as though he thought everyone he knew was getting ready to sell their home. He wanted to make sure he was in the front of our mind if we spoke to anyone purchasing or selling their home.

                      You may have had a similar experience with a financial adviser canvasing the neighborhood. They wanted to let you know they were a local and licensed financial adviser. Whether you or someone you knew was shopping for an adviser, they wanted to make sure you thought of them first.

                      The power of your network being further along in their career is they may be the hiring manager or decision-maker.

                      You want to let people know you are considering a career move early in the process, so they are thinking of you when the need arises.

                      Let me put it to you in the form of a question: When is the best time to let people know you have a snow shoveling business?

                      In the summer when there is not a drop of snow on the ground.

                      Let them know about your business in the summer. Then ask them if it is okay to keep in touch with them until the need arises. Then you want to spend the entire fall season cultivating and nurturing the relationship. As a result, when the winter comes around, they already know who is going to shovel their snow.

                      If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, start throwing out those feelers before the need arises. Then you will be ahead of your competition who waited until the snow fell to start canvasing the neighborhood.

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                      Learn about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

                      3. Believe It Is Possible

                      One of the greatest mistakes people make when they want to try something new, is they never talk to people living the life they want.

                      If you only talk to friends who have not changed their career in 30 years, what kind of advice do you think they will give you? They are going to give you the advice that they live by. If they have spent 30 years in the same career, they most likely feel stability of career is essential to their life.

                      In life, your actions often mirror your beliefs. Someone who wants to start a business should not ask for advice from someone who never started one.

                      A person who never took the risk of starting a business is most likely risk adverse. Consequently, they are going to speak on the fact that most businesses fail within the first five years.

                      Instead, if you talk to someone who is running a business, they will advice you on the difficulties of starting a business. However, they will also share with you how they overcame those difficulties, as well as the benefits of being a business owner.

                      If you want to overcome your fears and self-doubt associated with changing your career at 40, you are going to need to talk to people who have successfully managed a career change.

                      They are going to provide you a realistic perspective on the difficulties surrounding the endeavor, but they are also going to help you believe it is possible.

                      Studies show the sources of your beliefs include,[2]

                      “environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs.”

                      By choosing to absorb the successes of others, you are choosing to believe you can change your career at 40. On the other hand, if you absorb the fears and doubts of others, you have chosen to succumb to your own fears and self-doubt.

                      4. Put Yourself Out There

                      You are most likely going to have to leave your comfort zone to make a career change at 40.

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                      Reason-being, your comfort zone is built on the experiences you have lived thus far. So that means your current career is in your comfort zone.

                      Even though you may be feeling stagnant and unproductive in your career, it is still your comfort zone. This helps explain why so many people are unwilling to pursue a career change.

                      If you want to improve your prospects of launching your new career, you are going to need to attend industry events.

                      Whether these events are local or a large conference that everyone attends, you want to make it a priority to go. Ideally you want to start with local events because they may be a more intimate setting.

                      Many of these events have a professional development component where you can see what skill-sets, certification, and education people are looking for. Here you can find 17 best careers worth going back to school for at 40.

                      You can almost survey the group and build your plan of action according to the responses you receive.

                      The bonus of exposure to your new industry is you may find yourself getting lucky (when opportunity meets preparation) and creating a valuable relationship or landing an interview.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Whatever the reason, if you want to change your career, you owe it to yourself to do so. You have valuable in-sight from your current career that can help you position yourself above others.

                      Start sharing your story and desire to change your career today. Attend industry events and build a mindset of belief. You have everything you need to accomplish your goal, you only need to take action.

                      More About Career Change

                      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/HY-Nr7GQs3k via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] News Gallup: Employee Engagement In US, Stagnant In 2015
                      [2] Indian J Psychiatry: The Biochemistry Of Belief

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