Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Movies with Messages for Entrepreneurs

It seems the hot trend in Blog articles is tips lists for Entrepreneurs from those that have "made it", and many of them are very informative, so I began wondering are there other sources of inspiration.  I began to browse through my DVD collection and began to see if their weren't Hollywood movies with hidden messages for Entrepreneurs.  So here are 8 tips for Entrepreneurs from movies in my DVD collection (in no particular order).  I'm sure your movie collection is different from mine so please comment if you have more, and I hope you enjoy the insights I gleaned from these titles.

1. & 2. Jerry Maguire


I actually think we get a two for one in this movie.  The first message for Entrepreneurs is actually what motivates many of us to start our own businesses.  We believe we can do it better than our current employer.  Of course in Jerry's case, he initially tries to change things from the inside only to get fired, but he does go on to start his own successful boutique agency as a result.  The second message is a bit more subtle but is a pivotal one for start ups.  Your first customer (in Jerry's case Rod Tidwell) is your most important.  Treat them well, nurture them, and they will treat you well.  They will provide testimonials, references, feedback and hopefully pay you too.


3. Glengarry Glenn Ross

This movie is little bit more obscure.  It deals with the cut throat machinations within a Chicago real estate office.  In tough times the manager institutes an incentive program with the first prize being a Cadillac and third prize is that you lose your job.  If you strip aside much of the story, probably the singularly most import piece of advice in this movie for an Entrepreneur is the acronym ABM, or Always Be Marketing.
4. Tommy Boy

OK, so looking past the hilarity of the duo of the sorely missed Chris Farley and his straight man, David Spade, this movie definitely has a message for the Entrepreneur.  Initially, Tommy really struggles to succeed in his new found role as salesperson because he's trying to sell on specifications and features.  Only when he finally learns to connect with his buyers and identify their needs and pain points, does he realize success.  I think, particularly in the software industry, we worry too much about feature comparisons, technology and bells and whistles; we forget to focus on what problems does the customer need solved and does my product solve them?

5 & 6. Ghostbusters

An oldie but let's face it, it's all about Entrepreneurship.  Faced with the end of their meal ticket on campus when their research grants and facility are cancelled, the trio of "scientists" are forced to find alternate means of support.  I think this is another movie with two good messages.  The first is a theme espoused and repeated in almost every tip list I have seen.  Do something your passionate about.  In this case two of the three (Ray and Egon) clearly are passionate about, and firm believers in the paranormal.  The third (Peter Venkman) is in just for the money, fame and the "chicks" he hopes both will attract.  Second, is that if you come out with something totally new in the marketplace, that has never been done before be prepared for ridicule, and for a long period of drought before you finally punch through and get that first success.

7. Lord of the Rings (Trilogy)

I think the social messages in this movie are numerous, as was the intent of the author when he wrote the books, but looking past that the message for Entrepreneurs is a simple one.  Persistence and belief can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and at times even when it seems all lost, all it might take is one last push to make a major, or the last breakthrough needed to achieve success.

8. The Incredibles

OK, so be technically accurate this one is in my sons movie collection but we'll include anyway.  Let's face it Bob Parr (aka Mr. Incredible) is not happy sitting behind a desk working as an Insurance Claims Clerk.  That's not where his talents are best applied.  Let's face it, he is a super hero.  The simple message in this movie is don't waste your life, or your talents in an unfullfilling job.  Identify what you are really good at, and passionate about, and even if it's not something Entrepreneurial get out that are and apply them.



As I mentioned in my opening paragraph this list is based upon movies in my DVD collection, I am sure you can think of others and if so I'd love to hear them.

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