Top 15 Must-Watch Inspirational Movies for Entrepreneurs

Looking for a selection of feel good movies to inspire you? Look no further than this top 15 selection of must-watch inspirational films for entrepreneurs. Many of these movies have a similar theme: turning difficult and troubling times around and creating something truly inspirational. Themes to inspire you to cherish and appreciate life and never give up on your passions and dreams. I have included some fairly recent films (in 2014), to hopefully help you expand your current collection. Grab some popcorn and enjoy! 🙂

1. The Social Network

[ot-video type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB95KLmpLR4″]

Why The Social Network?

The story behind Facebook is probably one that truly defines what it means to be entrepreneurial. Although loosely based on the story of Mark Zuckerberg and his insane passion for developing Facebook, you could assume there’s some creative license used in constructing the story. Note: this isn’t necessarily a ‘feel good’ movie, as it does have a darker side to the story… but it does capture one key point that made it worthy of being on this list.

That is: having a passion for succeeding and stopping at nothing until you do.  Of course there are probably aspects of the Zuckerberg character you might not like, but watch and absorb those traits that inspire you. Remember: your greatest achievements always start with an idea. Develop that idea with ferocious curiosity and follow through.

The Meaning: There will be bumps along way, but never give up on your intense passion and desire. You are an entrepreneur.  

Quotes:

[blockquote style=”1″]Eduardo Saverin: “You know what, settle an argument for us. I’d say its time to start making money from theFacebook but Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want advertising. Who’s right?”

Sean Parker: “Neither of you, yet. TheFacebook is cool. That’s what it’s got going for it.”

Mark Zuckerberg: “Yeah.” Sean Parker: “You don’t want to ruin it with ads because ads aren’t cool.”

Mark Zuckerberg: “Exactly.” Sean Parker: “It’s like you’re throwing the greatest party on campus and someone saying it’s gotta be over by eleven.”

Mark Zuckerberg: “That’s exactly right.”

Sean Parker: “You don’t even know what the thing is yet. How big it can get, how far it can go. This is no time to take your chips down. A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?”

Eduardo Saverin [giving evidence at the deposition]: “A billion dollars. And that’s what shut everybody up.”[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1”]Sean Parker: “You’re going to hand them a business card saying, ‘I’m CEO, bitch'”[/blockquote]

2. Slumdog Millionaire

[ot-video type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzbwV7on6Q”]

Why Slumdog Millionaire?

Slumdog Millionaire is a movie about survival and triumph. It’s the story of Jamal from the slums of Mumbai. Jamal is only one question away from winning ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’, which raises many questions. Why would a child from a poverty stricken conditions be knowledgeable enough to win? Learning about Jamal’s background is hard-hitting. It’s not something you would wish on any child. Despite this: his energy, his playfulness and motivation to keep going is truely inspirational. Slumdog Millionaire is a story about believing in your destiny above all else. 

The Meaning: Regardless the situation, never give up on your destiny. 

3. Julie & Julia [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozRK7VXQl-k”]

Why Julie & Julia?

Julie & Julia brings two worlds together.  The story of the famous French cuisine chef Julia Child and the story of call centre worker Julia. Feeling lost and seeking meaning in her life, Julia she embarks on a challenge. That is, to cook Julia’s 524 recipes in 365 days. She decides to document her journey along the way, and calls it the Julie & Julia project. She blogs about her journey of cooking Julia’s food and the outcome is inspirational.

The Meaning: Find your passion, devote your heart and soul and you will reap the rewards.

Quotes:

[blockquote style=”1″]Julie Powell: I could write a blog. I have thoughts.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]Eric: See that’s so great about blogs, you don’t have to be publish. You can, just go online, press enter, there it is, out there. Julie: I’ll probably need a deadline. Eric: Why? Julie: Because otherwise it’ll be like everything else I do. Let’s face it, I never finish anything. Eric: Hey! Julie: Well it’s true![/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. – Julia Child[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing. – Julia Child[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude. – Julia Child[/blockquote]

4. The Devil Wears Prada [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG0xYJJbko8″]

Why The Devil Wears Prada?

The Devil Wears Prada movie highlights the struggle many of us face in giving up parts of ourselves in the hopes that the payoff will be worth it. In this case, Andy’s dream job is to be a magazine writer. She see’s the benefit in working for prestigious fashion journal Runway, as experience with Runway can open a lot of doors. The problem? Fashion is obviously not her world, and the job is a thankless task. This movie demonstrates the example of trying to ‘fit in’ by changing who you are – how you dress, who you socialise with and even down to being called a different name. Andy gives her all in this job. The result? Her world outside of work starts to crumble around her because she longer fits in it.

The Meaning: The real beauty is in being comfortable with being in your own skin. Own your identity and love who you are. Work hard, but never give this up…. For anyone!

5. The Pursuit of Happyness [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89Kq8SDyvfg”]

Why The Pursuit of Happyness?

Warning: this is one of those feel good, tear-jerking movies! It helps you realise that with the right mindset, you can turn hopeless situations around. Chris Gardner, a single dad living on the streets has seemingly no options. Against all odds he manages to work his way up to owning his own brokerage firm.

The Meaning: Never give up. Ever.

Quotes:

[blockquote style=”1″]You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]Hey dad, you wanna hear something funny? There was a man who was drowning, and a boat came, and the man on the boat said “Do you need help?” and the man said “God will save me”. Then another boat came and he tried to help him, but he said “God will save me”, then he drowned and went to Heaven. Then the man told God, “God, why didn’t you save me?” and God said “I sent you two boats, you dummy!”[/blockquote]

6. Jobs [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR6yMl2FZSQ”]

Why Jobs?

Say no more – it’s the story of Steve Jobs and his insane passion for creating visionary products. Although the movie received criticism in not portraying an accurate view of Job’s life, it is a phenomenal story that every entrepreneur should watch. Job’s inability to compromise on his product and how this resulted in him treating colleagues was hard-hitting, but makes for some interesting lessons in leadership! 

The Meaning: Don’t be a copycat, take a risk in being a visionary. You could change the world. 

Quotes:

[blockquote style=”1″]The greatest artists like Dylan, Picasso and Newton risked failure. And if we want to be great, we’ve got to risk it too. – Steve Jobs[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]How does somebody know what they want if they haven’t even seen it? – Steve Jobs[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]I would rather gamble on our vision than make a ‘me, too’ product. – Steve Jobs[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. – Steve Jobs[/blockquote]

7. The Secret [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=san61qTwWsU”]

Why The Secret?

The Secret movie brought the term “Law of Attraction” into popularity. It’s a documentary with interviews from some of the worlds top inspirational and spiritual teachers. It brings to light a very simple concept, and that is that our mind is much more powerful than we have ever imagined. The way we think and act on a daily basis and directly shaping our future. If we know this, we can make a decision to shape our thoughts in order to attract more positive outcomes.

Does it work? Do I believe it? It comes down to your own personal opinion, but let’s say it can do no harm! If it makes you even just a little happier than before, it’s worked… right? My personal belief is that the Law of Attraction has to be followed up with the appropriate action. The first step is to have the thought, the second is to act on that thought.

The Meaning: Your thoughts create your reality.

Quotes:

[blockquote style=”1″]Whatever is going on in your mind is what you are attracting.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]We are like magnets – like attract like. You become AND attract what you think.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]One energy field. Our bodies have distracted us from our energy. We are the infinite field of unfolding possibilities. The creative force.[/blockquote]

8. The Bucket List [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc3mkG21ob4″]

Why The Bucket List?

Need I say anything more than Morgan Freeman?

What if you knew exactly when your use by date was? If you knew how much time you had left on this planet? The story of The Bucket List is the story of two people forming a friendship with one thing in common. Their days were numbered. So, they create a list and set out on an adventure to cross off each item before they run out of time. It’s an inspirational comedy that will leave you wanting to create your own bucket list, and start doing the things you really want.

The Meaning: Life is precious, make your moments memorable.

Quotes:

[blockquote]Carter Chambers: Even now I cannot understand the measure of a life, but I can tell you this. I know that when he died, his eyes were closed and his heart was open. And I’m pretty sure he was happy with his final resting place, because he was buried on the mountain. And that was against the law.[/blockquote]

You just read that with Morgan Freeman’s voice in your head, right?

[blockquote style=”1″]Edward Cole: Here’s something to remember when you’re older Thomas – never pass up a bathroom, never waste a hard-on, and never trust a fart. Thomas: I’ll remember that when I start “decrepitating” sir.[/blockquote]

9. One Chance [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wtq5hN2eOE”]

Why One Chance?

Once Chance is the story of the underdog. Paul Potts, a cell phone salesman who against all odds manages to achieve his dreams by Winning Britain’s Got Talent. This tale shows us the highs and the lows. From what seemed like hitting rock-bottom and failing – by being knocked down by his idol, Luciano Pavarotti and losing the ability to sing altogether, his ultimate success was a based a coin toss. He took the chance to enter Britain’s Got Talent and to impress the judges on the show. The rest is history. 

The Meaning: Even when you may have given up all hope, there is always a glimmer left. Take chances. 

10. Chef [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF_rYNupPwg”]

Why Chef?

#Foodporn. Enough said.

Visually stimulating and enticing, Chef is certainly a crowd pleaser. It’s a really fun film that only gets better as it goes along… but, be warned! You might end up with a grumbling stomach! Social Media, in particular Twitter, is heavily featured. With Twitter birds everywhere, you’re left wondering if Twitter was a sponsor of the movie.

Chef Carl Casper is criticised for losing his food ‘mojo’, after receiving a horrible review from a popular food blogger. When he challenges the reviewer for a second helping and a new menu, he is shutdown by the owner of the restaurant. Choosing to quit rather than giving up his creative flair, he starts his own food truck business with a friend and his 10 year old son.

The Meaning: Turn criticism into motivation. Create a business that’s centred around your passions and surround yourself with people you love.

11. Yes Man [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3ar1tBj_Zk”]

Why Yes Man?

The Yes Man movie is based on a book by Danny Wallace. In the film, Carl Allen’s life is going nowhere fast. Carl attends a self help conference based on the concept of saying ‘yes’ to any question thrown his way. The story that follows is the result of Carl saying yes to every opportunity – it’s an insane adventure in which Jim Carrey makes a lot of fun. In the end, Carl realises he’s taken the ‘yes’ exercise a little too far, as everything unravels. However, his life has also changed for the better. 

If you don’t mind a Jim Carrey movie, there’s lots of laughs and inspirational messages. It’s a great reminder about seeking the right balance between saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to opportunities that come our way.

The Meaning: Entertain the possibility of new opportunities in your life, and if it feels right, say ‘yes’. 

Quotes: 

[blockquote style=”1″]Allison: The world’s a playground. You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]Terrence Bundley: YES! Say it a million times. Then say it a million more. And the word you will have said two million times is… [looks around and sees everyone at the seminar is naked]

Terrence Bundley: Oh, my God. Yes People: [while covering themselves up as best they can] YES![/blockquote]

12. Dead Poets Society [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrBk780aOis”]

Why Dead Poets Society?

The Dead Poets Society is a fine example of Robbin Williams’ ability to play characters that are both entertaining yet inspirational. It’s the story of a very unconventional English teacher, John Keating, who questions his students to think outside the box and squeeze the most out of life. Probably most famous for his preachings of ‘carpe diem’, meaning to seize the day. Although there is a sad side to the movie, in which Mr Keating’s teaching methods is blamed for the suicide of a student, the rally of the other students in defence of Mr Keating is inspirational.

The Meaning: carpe diem – seize the day.

Quotes: 

[blockquote style=”1″]John Keating: We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]John Keating: No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]John Keating: They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.[/blockquote]

13. Divergent [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sutgWjz10sM”]

Why Divergent?

Divergent is movie around self-identity. In a futuristic society where you must choose one faction based on a dominant personality trait, you’re in real danger if you’re seen as ‘divergent’. Although a simple test is to tell you what faction you belong in, that being ‘Erudite’ (educated), ‘Abnegation’ (selfless),  ‘Candor’ (honest) and ‘Dauntless’ (brave), you get to make your own decision. Once the choice is made, there’s no going back. You path is set in stone.

After taking the test, Tris discover’s that she’s Divergent and in great danger. This movie reflects how many of us feel when we don’t want to be forced into a single identity.

The Meaning: Be yourself. Never force yourself into an identity that isn’t you. 

Quotes:

[blockquote style=”1″]Four: I don’t want to be just one thing. I want to be brave, selfless, intelligent, and honest, and kind… Well, I’m still working on kind.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]Tris Prior: Don’t try to define me.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]Tori: You’re different. You don’t fit into any of the categories. They can’t control you. They call it divergent.[/blockquote]

14. About Time [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7A810duHvw”]

Why About Time?

Initially I thought this movie was just a romantic comedy with a cool time travel sci-fi twist. Then you realise there’s a lot more to it. About Time has some inspirational life lessons around making the most of every moment. At 21 years of age, Tim Lake discovers a secret that has been passed down by the males in the family. That is, they can travel back in time. I love this film because it shows us the importance of valuing life and how we choose to spend our precious time.

The Meaning: Treat everyday as a treasure. 

Quotes:

[blockquote style=”1″]Tim Lake: We’re all travelling through time together every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]Tim Lake: I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day to enjoy it as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary life.[/blockquote]

[blockquote style=”1″]Tim Lake: Live life as if there were no second chances.[/blockquote]

15. Click [ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_VrHQ026wA”]

Why Click?

Okay – I’m going to finish on another weird time travel movie. If you don’t mind watching the occasional Adam Sandler movie, then you’ll enjoy Click. This movie is based on the concept of using a universal remove control to control every aspect of life, including the ability to re-wind and fast-forward time.

With the ability to skip the boring bits of life, Michael ends up fast-forwarding just a little too much. While he has his finger on fast-forward, he has played out his life on automatic. He soon discovers that his missed out on a little too much.

The Message: Make the most of life in its entirety, the good and the bad.

I hope you’re enjoyed this top 15 list of inspirational movies. What are your favourites? Leave a comment below and add to the list. 

Image Credit: Home Theater, Almost Complete by Geoff Sloan, on Flickr

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