The importance of entrepreneurship can be seen everywhere.
You hear about the importance of entrepreneurship in the news when billionaires such as Jeff Bezos become more successful.
You hear about the importance of entrepreneurship on television shows such as Shark Tank.
You hear about entrepreneurship in movies as well.
This post analyzes the importance of entrepreneurship in nine movies.
By the time you are done reading, you will be able to copy these entrepreneurs’ real-life strategies.
These are the top 10 qualities of successful entrepreneurs:
- Refusal to quit
- Willing to network
By reading this post, you will see examples of all these traits in popular films.
The entrepreneurs in these movies are so successful they made films about their lives.
Will you emulate their strategies?
Let’s find out.
Spoiler Alert: This post summarizes movies about successful entrepreneurs in order to point out the importance of entrepreneurship in the films. Therefore, if you haven’t seen these movies, watch out for spoiler alerts.
How to Be a Success in Business with the Help of 9 Popular Films
The movie “The Founder” is about Ray Kroc who took credit for the McDonalds food chain.
According to the biopic, Michael Keaton’s Kroc lied that he was the chain’s founder when he wasn’t.
However, Kroc shows admirable qualities I believe entrepreneurs should emulate.
For example, a scene in the movie illustrates the importance of entrepreneurship:
The original founders, brothers named McDonald, wanted ice cream in their shakes.
Ray, who was running the enterprise, felt paying for freezers to hold the ice cream was too costly.
He went ahead and did what he wanted and put powder, not ice cream, in the shakes.
They still tasted delicious and he saved a great deal of money. Today, MacDonalds restaurants and Ray Kroc are famous due to Ray’s ingenuity.
The brothers wanted to be authentic, but they were stubborn.
Ray was open-minded and creative. Those are the qualities entrepreneurs should emulate.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: open-mindedness and creativity
The Wolf of Wall Street
In The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a man who takes advantage of people’s desire for money.
His talent for convincing people to invest is the object of jealousy among the rival entrepreneurs in the film.
DiCapprio’s character succeeds due to his charisma and passionate appeals.
Pretty soon, he is a financial success, lives in a mansion, drives an expensive car, and is married to a gorgeous woman played by Margot Robbie.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: charisma and passion
Director Oliver Stone made Wall Street as a tribute to his father who believed that business brought peace (Source). Yet, this movie presents a different side of the business world.
Michael Douglas’s character, Gordon Gekko, is ruthless.
He plays his corporate pirate role without redeeming features. He influence’s his protégée, played by Charlie Sheen, to commit corporate crimes for which Sheen’s character gets jail time.
Why do I think this film displays the importance of entrepreneurship?
Charlie Sheen’s character gets humility. He learns from his mistakes and becomes a moral entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs need to evolve as their industries change. They shouldn’t assume they know all that there is to know. Entrepreneurs should never stop learning.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: humility and open-mindedness
A man gets laid off from his fancy restaurant, so he opens a taco truck. The chef learns humility.
A snobbish food critic who doesn’t like the food learns to appreciate it. Together, they invest in a successful restaurant.
Why this is important for entrepreneurship: open-mindedness.
The chef learned humility; the food was delicious even if it came from a truck.
The food critic was open-minded, and they formed what turned into a successful partnership.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: humility and open-mindedness
Note: Like the rest of these tips, this review of Joy gives spoiler alerts in order to show the importance of entrepreneurship in the film.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Joy has it rough.
Joy was a brilliant child who was blocked from realizing her vast potential.
When she becomes an adult, her battling divorced parents live with her, and her ex lives with her as well.
Everyone in this dysfunctional household argues and has money problems. Also, her family depends on Joy for everything. For instance, her mom expects her to be the family plumber.
On top of all these problems, Joy has a job she hates where customers accuse her of not being joyful enough.
They seem to get a break from this stress when they are invited conditionally on a yacht.
The family accepts the invitation on the condition they do not bring red wine. Predictably, someone does, and Joy is left to the task of mopping up the wine. The broken glass slashes her hands.
Joy is inspired instead of depressed.
She invents a mop that rings itself with the push of a button. No more wine-stained bloody hands for mop users.
Her success is ruined when people steal her designs and overcharge her for parts. She goes into debt and winds up in trouble with the law.
Due to a desire to help her child, she does her research, takes safety precautions, and turns the tables on the crooks trying to steal from her and scalp her prices.
How does Joy show the importance of entrepreneurship?
Joy displays traits entrepreneurs who want to succeed should have:
Ingenuity: Joy invents a new mop and outsmarts the people who seek to keep her down.
Networking: Joy networks with her friend in order to succeed on QVC.
Persistence: Joy went on QVC twice. She refused to quit in the face of obstacles.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: ingenuity, willingness to network, persistence, and refusal to quit
The Social Network
I can tell you truthfully, at the time of this writing, I recently viewed the documentary The Social Dilemma. Does it matter? Will it bias my review of The Social Network?
I know the criticisms of Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg. I report them as I update my post about the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook.
Regardless, I respect the guy despite myself.
The movie shows Zuckerberg’s earlier days at Harvard. Two classmates approach Mark about starting a Harvard social network.
Mark takes the idea and develops the social network without the knowledge of the college boys who actually thought of the idea.
He ends up reluctantly paying them off and betrays his best friend who initially helped him. Along with party-boy Sean Parker, Zuckerberg turns Facebook into a social media giant with three billion users.
The movie portrays Zuckerberg negatively. Even his college girlfriend despises him. Zuckerberg complained the film never should have been made in his lifetime.
Let’s revisit Facebook’s problems over the last three years:
In 2018, Facebook was accused of selling data to Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg confessed to the breech.
The news portrays Zuckerberg negatively, social media users criticize Zuckerberg as prioritizing hate for profits and his former advertisers do as well.
MeWe’s Mark Weinstein calls MeWe “the anti-Facebook“.
His own employees walk out on him and resign with blistering protest letters made public.
Why do I respect Zuckerberg then?
He has been the subject of all this criticism since 2018. Politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren don’t like him either (Source).
Yet, after three years of constant critics, scrutiny, and financial loss, Zuckerberg emerged as one of the world’s richest billionaires.
Due to the pandemic, Facebook use rose, especially the use of Facebook groups.
I refuse to call this luck. People predicted the end of Facebook. Politicians such as Elizabeth Warren insisted Facebook needs to break up since its lack of competition violates the US Constitution.
How much can one entrepreneur take? Clearly, a great deal. Zuckerberg never quit in the face of all this dissension, downright hostility actually.
There was a movement on Twitter calling for Facebook users to delete their Facebook accounts.
Zuckerberg never quit although Google+ shut down its social media site when accused of similar data breaches.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: refusal to quit in the face of adversity
In the movie based on the life of Steve Jobs, Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs is the co-founder of Apple Computers that he started with a friend also named Steve in a garage.
After the company expands, Jobs is let go during a meeting of the Board of Directors.
After being fired, he went on to achieve success in other areas.
For instance, he worked for the Walt Disney Company.
Ultimately, Jobs returned to Apple, a company that floundered without him.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: Refusal to quit in the face of adversity and open-minded enough to find another purpose
The Big Short
Christian Bale’s character broke my heart in this film, as many of the kinder entrepreneurs in some of these movies did.
The movie broke the fourth wall of film-making as it retold the housing crisis of the last decade.
Bale’s character insisted he was right. But, he wasn’t right, not at first. As he followed his instincts, he became a poorer and more unsuccessful entrepreneur. For instance, he had to fire his staff since he could no longer afford their services.
Since the movie, which did well at the Oscars, broke the fourth wall, it seemed more like a documentary of the housing crisis than a movie.
The filmmaker literally defined vocabulary necessary to our understanding of the film on the screen.
I was bored. However, Bale’s heart-breaking performance kept me glued, entranced.
What can we take away from this as we learn about the importance of entrepreneurship? Be depressed? No!
Bale’s character stuck to his guts. He continued to follow his plan despite the immediate failure he experienced.
When you are an entrepreneur, you are in for the long-game. Don’t expect immediate success.
For instance, search engine marketers know that Google rewards visibility and increased traffic to websites with longevity.
Other marketers know developing trust which leads to a strong brand takes time too.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: patience and refusal to quit in the face of adversity
Note: Although Jerry Maguire is not a true story, Jerry represents real-life sports agent Leigh Steinberg. Therefore, I feel this example should be included in a review of a film showing the importance of entrepreneurship.
Tom Cruise’s Jerry Maguire starts the iconic film on top of the world. He seemingly has everything: charm, good looks, a gorgeous lady (played perfectly by the late Kelly Preston), and a wildly successful career as a sports agent.
Cruise’s Maguire comes to realize the closeness of the one-on-one relationship with his client (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. who won an Oscar for his role and became a breakout star) is more important than having shallow relationships with many clients no matter how much money they give you.
Gooding’s famous line from the film is “Show me the money.” Ironically, Cruise’s Maguire realizes it is not the importance of money but the importance of relationships that matter although those realizations cost him his woman and his job. He is one of the rare moral entrepreneurs these reviews depict.
Importance of entrepreneurship depicted in the film:
Networking matters. Building solid relationships make you successful, not the almighty dollar.
Traits successful entrepreneurs should emulate: Willingness to network and refusal to quit in the face of adversity
Importance of Entrepreneurship FAQ
Why are entrepreneurs important to the economy?
Entrepreneurs have the ability to create wealth and improve the standard of living not only for themselves but also for related businesses.
Wrapping Up: Importance of Entrepreneurship
As you can see, the entrepreneur spirit is alive and well in each of these films.
Despite some of the ruthlessness shown in the movies, these successful entrepreneurs do demonstrate some admirable qualities which we can strive to emulate in order to be successful entrepreneurs ourselves:
Commonalities of successful entrepreneurs:
- Willingness to network
- Refusal to quit during challenging times
Readers, please share so entrepreneurs discover the importance of entrepreneurship found in these films.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Can you suggest any additional films that show the importance of entrepreneurship? Can you add any qualities entrepreneurs need to be successful?
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com and co-founder of the Mostly Blogging Academy. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She won the Best Internet Marketer Award and the Best Blogger Award at the 2021 Infinity Blog Awards. Wald was also nominated as 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.