The Big Short by Michael Lewis - Image supplied by Penguin Random House

The Big Short by Michael Lewis - Image supplied by Penguin Random House

Starting your own business is never easy because if it were the case then everyone would be doing it. In real world, building an enterprise takes some serious hard work - the motions of going from being a start-up business to being a successful entity takes one on a challenging adventure.

When the going gets tough however, individuals tend to look for all sources of motivational inspiration. The film industry represents a popular culture resource of epic business portrayals. In this case the watching is the key...

Here are some hand-picked business inspiring films which could help kick-start or motivate your business venture!

Never quit:

Frost/Nixon - an interesting choice however the inspiring aspect driving this film is the character David Frost (played by Michael Sheen), using all his business and negotiation skills to drive a project that few believed in.

Trying to get others to understand and listen to your plan:

The Big Short, a film based on the book by Michael Lewis. The book is perhaps a better source to seek inspiration however the film provides a good example of how going against a market provides an opportunity to yield success. Though the opportunity was the unfortunate financial crash, it provided a display of how convincing others to listen can be a difficult task but at the end of the day, through perseverance, there can be some form of reward however brutal the outcome.

The idea making moment:

Jerry Maguire is one of those feel good depicting a “maybe I should or maybe I shouldn't” mood-like film. The crux of plot is at the beginning of the film, where Tom Cruise's character hits a light bulb moment and conjures a new way of conducting business which manifests into a money-churning enterprise of its own.

The romantic:

Coco Before Chanel, Audrey Tautou plays Coco Chanel in an intimate look at how the magic of business can be achieved through beautiful fashion and a fighting spirit of wanting what one believes should be the way forward in that industry.

Bringing a team together:

Moneyball – though not the best example because unfortunately Ocean's Eleven doesn’t inspire good business as it is all about crooks. The book Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less was merely about revenge - its film production was also really poor - so that is also ruled out. It seems all the team collaboration themed films are now trending on superheroes, so Brad Pitt's portrayal of Billy Beane in another film based on a Michael Lewis Book would have to make due as our fourth example of the portrayal of teamwork.
Taking a concept and putting it forward to drive an entire enterprise in a new direction formulates the business and team concept here, no pun intended in the team part as the film is undoubtedly about the sports industry.

Biased opinion aside, all the selected themed films rank a smooth ten out of ten nevertheless. movie and television ranking criteria:

10 out of ten entertaining, informative and inspiring
9 out of ten informative and inspiring
8 out of ten entertaining and informative
7 out of ten entertaining and inspiring
6 out of ten informative
5 out of ten inspiring
4 out of ten entertaining
3 out of ten worth a reference
2 out of ten it could have been better
1 out of ten it sparked an interest


Inspiring - did the production provide motivation to pursue a career or education in this industry?

Informative – did the production provide industry insight?

Entertaining – did the production capture the audience with a dramatic or comedic theme?

Reference – there is some merit to watching this production as it provides some form of inspiration, information or entertainment towards the relevant industry.

Could have been better – had potential but lacked in-depth entertainment, information and inspirational value.

Sparked an interest – the production was related to the industry but had no entertainment, information and inspirational value.