Many of us go through great lengths in order to become successful business owners. We slaved away in high school to get into a good college or university. Then, we did our best to go through college so that we could get into a competitive business school in the likes of Harvard Business School or the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. On the other hand, some people don’t go through these. They form a business plan, open a checking account, get the necessary permits, and set up their online or physical stores.
Either way, no matter how much education or training you’ve acquired in business, you can always still try to learn more about becoming a successful entrepreneur. And, sometimes, the best business lessons we could get come from stories — specifically, Hollywood films. These are three films that have imparted invaluable knowledge to budding business owners. These lessons would, ultimately, help you become a much more successful business owner.
Joy: Staying Resilient and Persevered
Becoming a business owner is never an easy task. But this task becomes much harder if you are a woman fighting your way through a boy’s club while juggling a demanding-but-low-paying job and kids. But this is what Joy (played by Jennifer Lawrence) does in the 2015 film, Joy. This film is based on the real-life story of Joy Mangano. She is the woman behind innovations such as the Miracle Mop. She later became a self-made millionaire and the “queen of the Home Shopping Network.”
In the movie, Joy teaches about the value of pushing through your ambitions even if the odds are against you. Joy faced many trials and tribulations such as complications with patents, financial struggles, betrayals from the people she worked with. In the end, her efforts led to rewards when she successfully built her empire, Ingenious Designs, LLC.
The Social Network: The Value of Loyalty
Unlike the previous movie mentioned, the 2010 film, The Social Network, doesn’t exactly embody the lesson on loyalty. Instead, it shows us the consequences of betraying the people that you work with. This movie is adapted from the book, The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, which tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and the invention of Facebook in the dorms of Harvard University in the early 2000s.
In the movie, we see the early friendship and business partnership between Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield). Saverin provided the seed funding of $1,000 that supported Zuckerberg as he built the social media platform. Thus, Saverin was initially credited as a co-founder. But after complications and betrayals regarding the shares of the then-growing company, Saverin was forced out of the picture as co-founder against his will — effectively ending the friendship and business partnership between the two.
Through this film, we’ll learn the consequences of being disloyal to your partners. Yes, you can still become successful. But what is the value of that success if there’s some bad blood between the people behind the scenes?
The Devil Wears Prada: The Importance of Valuing Your Workers
Again, much like The Social Network, The Devil Wears Prada doesn’t exactly embody the business lesson that it teaches us. But it teaches us the consequences instead. This 2006 film is based on the novel of the same name, which was written by Lauren Weisenberger. In this film, Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep) isn’t exactly the business owner that launched the magazine that she presides over as the editor-in-chief. But the movie still shows an important lesson about being the boss and maintaining a healthy relationship with your workers.
Priestly’s personal assistant, Andy Sachs (played by Anne Hathaway) gets beaten down and burnt out by her demanding boss. Thus, the dynamic between the two characters isn’t healthy at all. So it wasn’t surprising that, in the end, Sachs leaves her post as an assistant just a few months after starting on this job.
In this movie, we learn the importance of maintaining a balanced relationship with your workers. If you have a good camaraderie with them, then they will be more eager to work with you and help turn your business into a success. Otherwise, you might just end up with a business that has a high turnover rate and struggles to stay stable.
Running a business takes a lot of skill, knowledge, and talent. You need to be able to cultivate innovation and creativity to transform the business landscape and create a lasting legacy. But you won’t be able to do that if you don’t value perseverance, collaboration, and having healthy relationships with your workers. The good thing is that there are movies that teach us these lessons.