We can learn a lot from the right movies.
Here are the movies I recommend:
- Peaceful Warrior
- Le Capital
- Pirates of Silicon Valley
- The Martian
- Pursuit of Happyness
- The Aviator
- The Stanford Prison Experiment
What you can learn:
RUSH is based on a true story, about a rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor-racing season. It is a definitely a must watch. James Hunt is a total risk-taker, he will do anything to win the race, even if it may cost his life. Niki Lauda is a guy with total perseverance, he got into an accident and trapped inside the car, burnt until he almost died. Six weeks later, he was back in the race to win the cup.
Lesson learnt: Being an entrepreneur / a businessman is not easy. Every single day is a competition. Taking a calculated risk is a daily thing. Perseverance is what makes a great entrepreneur. Niki Lauda didn’t quit. James Hunt didn’t quit. This movie has got a lot of things that we can learn. Never give up. Always remember to persevere and WIN. Never take NO for an answer.
Southpaw is a story a great boxer, Billy Hope, that has become a champion. At a charity event for the orphanage where he and his wife both grew up, Billy is taunted by an up-and-coming boxer, Miguel “Magic” Escobar, leading to a fight in which his wife is accidentally shot and killed. He got super stressed out because he loved his wife so much. He started to use drugs and alcohol. He then lost custody of his only daughter, who is put under care of Child Protective Services due to his drug and alcohol abuse. He then fought in a match and lost, he lost his contract, lose his assets (mansion, car, etc), and in debt.
He basically lost everything. But he did not give up, he decided to get his life back. He wanted to be able to live with her daughter. His journey of fighting his way back up as a champion, and live with her daughter again, is something to learn from.
Lesson learnt: There are times in our lives when we lost everything. We feel hopeless. We are broken. We want to give up. However, there is always hope. As long as we believe in something, we fight for it, we will be able to change our lives. Persevere for what you love most, never let anyone break you.
3. Peaceful Warrior
Peaceful Warrior is a true story about a high achiever but impatient gymnast. He had everything a young man would ever ask for. However, he had an accident that might make him unable to practice or compete anymore. His story lead him to meet a guy named Socrates that would eventually become his trainer. This is a story how a man gets his life passion back, about how important focus is to achieve something great. “There is never nothing going on.”
Lesson learnt: First of all, science can go wrong when it meets a determination of a man. They said he wouldn’t be able to compete anymore, but he eventually could, because he didn’t give up. This is a true story that also happened to me. Doctors said my hand wouldn’t be able to write again after my accident 4 years ago (my right hand was run over by a car, it was crushed), I didn’t believe it. I believed that I would still be able to do anything I want with my hand, and I proved science wrong. I got my life back, thanks to my family and God.
Second, there are a lot of creative entrepreneurs that are unable to focus, brains generate ideas all the time. However, focus is super important for us to build a business and solve complex problems when they occur. Focus also helps us to achieve our goals faster than anyone else. The thing separates us from success is not merely hard work, it is meaningful work that effectively moves us forward.
4. Le Capital
The film follows an executive who is appointed the new CEO of a large French bank, and upsets the bank’s board of directors when he begins to take unilateral control of the bank, laying off a large number of employees and making a corrupt deal with the head of an American hedge fund. (Wikipedia)
Lesson learnt: A lot of first time entrepreneurs do not understand capitalism and competition well enough. Being a goodhearted entrepreneurs are good, and I believe that is the right thing to do. However, we need to understand that the market is actually a dog-eat-dog world. If we don’t, we won’t survive, it is not all fairy tale and cotton candy. We need to be very cautious, aggressive, and focus to be able to survive and grow a big company. Like what Mr Lim Goh Tong of Genting Group once said, “Be bold, be cautious”.
Self/less is about a dying billionaire who had everything but did not manage his relationship with his only daughter well. He met an organization that could help him to live again by transferring his consciousness into a young man’s body. He initially thought the body was genetically created in the lab, later on he found out that the body was someone else’s husband and father, he sold his body to get enough money for his daughter’s medication. He was in it to make things right again.
Lesson learnt: It’s great to spend all our time in the business, but remember what matters most. Once every a few months, think about what matters most if you are dying. High possibly it will be your family, your loved ones. So spend more time taking care of them, love them, and just spend time with them. It also taught us to actually learn from someone else’s perspective, imagine we are in someone else’s shoes, what will we learn?
6. Pirates of Silicon Valley
As you can see in the photo, it is a true story of how 2 of greatest entrepreneurs of our time met, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I believe this is a must watch for Gen-Y entrepreneurs. It is very interesting to actually experience some of the moments the two of them had in business, there are of course meaningful business lessons too.
Lesson learnt: The greatest artists steal. Steve Jobs stole the idea of graphical user interface from Xerox PARC, building the first PC for non-technologically advanced users. Bill Gates stole it again from Jobs, building Windows. Building a business is like playing a poker, Bill Gates sold to IBM an operating system without having one, we call it bluff (he didn’t even know who could build the OS yet). Of course he and his team later found the right guy and purchased it from him. There are still a lot of things that I have learnt from this movie, I recommend you to watch this as soon as possible.
7. The Martian
The Martian is about an astronaut stranded on Mars. He was hopeless and trying his best to survive. He eventually managed to live with his knowledge and effort. He was rescued after months of stranded. If he were to give up, he wouldn’t meet his family and friends ever again.
Lesson learnt: There are moments in life, when we will be hopeless. Never give up. The Martian taught us to always be resourceful and do whatever we can to survive. We human are made of hopes, dreams, and flesh. As long as there is hope, we can always do our best and sometimes, miracle happens. Hustle, grind, and be resourceful. Never, never, never give up.
8. Pursuit of Happyness
This is a true story about Chris Gardner, who lost everything after the first business did not work out (selling medical devices). His wife left him. He managed to pull things together and did not give up, he did everything he could to be able to put a roof above his only son’s head. Every single day was a struggle for them to be able to have their life back again. He eventually managed to secure a job in a stock brokerage firm. He is now a millionaire, sold his own stock brokerage firm (Gardner Rich & Co) and currently is a philanthropy, motivator, and author.
Lesson learnt: The universe will help you when you never give up. If you want something, GO GET IT. Period. Hard work pays off, hope creates miracle. Never, never, never give up.
9. The Aviator
The Aviator is a true story about Howard Hughes. A great entrepreneur of the past, he made great movies and built great airplanes. He and his team made the first large-sized airplane that we now benefit from. He was the “Steve Jobs” and “Elon Musk” of those days. A true daredevil entrepreneur that survived two plane crashes and continued on to build his vision even after he could not walk normally anymore. What is your excuse now?
Lesson learnt: If you want to build the greatest thing in the world, be obsessed, be very very obsessed. Howard was so obsessed that he would do anything to build what he believed in, he almost his life or lost all of his fortune. This reminded me of Elon Musk that put in everything he had to build SpaceX and Tesla and survived a few potential bankruptcies. Be bold, be obsessed.
10. The Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment is based on true story about how people will change when they have a different position in the society. Around 20 people that did not know each other were given roles to be prisoners and officers. The officers had the absolute authority over the prisoners. At first they were having it as a joke, for fun. Slowly the officers started to enjoy being abusive to the prisoners. Situation became intense that some of the prisoners fought back and some almost went crazy.
Lesson learnt: People change. People are not born to be bad, but they can change. Bad people today can become good in the future. Good people today can become bad in the future. Humans adapt to situation very well. They feel weak when they have no control, they feel strong when they have control. It is a good lesson for an entrepreneur to have a flexible mind on how to perceive people, most things about someone are always temporary. Giving power to the wrong people, people that do not know how to control his own power, will be harmful. Giving power to the right people, people who truly understand that power can be used for good things and bad things, will make good leaders. My point of view, be in charge and have absolute control in whatever business you are building, betting on someone else to be very good/kind is too risky. It’s not because they are bad, it is just that people change.