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Movies are one of the most popular forms of entertainment, but a great film can turn a visit to the cinema into more than just a chance to relax. A lot can be learned from the big screen stories that reveal how exceptional people deal with exceptional challenges, and for entrepreneurs, certain movies can inspire and shape their approach to running their business.
For Richard Trevino II, founder and operator of Elevation Consulting Firm, the movie ‘The Boiler Room’ was the one that made a big impact on his journey as an entrepreneur. It was the first movie he’d seen about dealing in stocks and trades, and its sheer grit, relentlessness, tenacity, and desire to make it big really grabbed his attention.
He says: “The excitement in the bullpen work areas of the firm in the movie, the level of intensity from the managers, and the fervour of closing the deal and not taking no for an answer, were the very things that motivated me to dream bigger and believe that this type of excitement could exist in a company culture.”
Trevino has been in the insurance industry for almost 14 years, and for 12 of those years he has been training and developing people. “The movie inspired me to bring this level of passion when working with those under my leadership as well as my clients,” he says.
Sherry Bevan, founder of her eponymous coaching business, found herself both moved and inspired by the film ‘12 Years A Slave’, which she describes as being almost too painful to watch. “It was an incredibly deep and emotional response,” she says. ‘In fact I was so moved that I went to weed in the garden to reflect on the work of slavery abolitionists and Martin Luther King.”
And while she concedes there are other people with greater knowledge and experience than her to fight against slavery and racism, the movie did prompt her to do her bit for women’s equality. Now she only shares quotes by women, and only uses books written by women in her book club. “That film has had a big impact on my business,” she says.
Sometimes it’s not just the on screen story that provides inspiration, but the ‘against all odds’ effort it took to get the film made in the first place.
Music entrepreneurs Rob Kolar and Lauren Brown are the husband and wife team behind LA-based band KOLARS. As equal part managers, performers and producers in a notoriously tough industry they face constant challenges, from budgetary constraints to the simple fact that there are only two of them to do everything.
As a youngster Rob was told many tales of the blockbuster film Jaws, in which his grandfather Robert Shaw played the role of Quint, and how a young director by the name of Steven Spielberg had to accomplish the near impossible to get his film made. The challenges are legendary, from the experimental robotic sharks to the precarious open water shoots. Even the choice of Spielberg was a risk as this was only his second feature film.
“For entrepreneurs, risks are essential to success,” says Rob. “If you can approach risk without fear and be guided by your instinct, risk can become less of a risk and more a brave choice that can propel you towards reaching your goal.”
Shooting Jaws was so difficult that completion often looked in doubt, and Shaw had to give up a huge portion of his salary to enable the film to be finished.
“With 10 kids and huge overheads that wasn’t an easy decision to make, but my grandfather believed in Spielberg and the film,” says Rob. “He trusted his intuition and Jaws went on to become one of the greatest films of all time. We like to think of KOLARS in a similar way. The odds may be stacked against us but we trust that our intuition will guide us on this unpredictable journey.”
Some films provide entrepreneurs with valuable business lessons that they can apply to their own startup. Maddy Raven is the founder of music marketing agency Burstimo and the movie that changed her business was The Founder, whose story center’s on the inception and exponential growth of global fast food giant McDonalds.
“Until I saw that movie, I’d always thought the foundations of a good business were quality products, marketing and talented people,” she says. “But after watching The Founder I realised that behind each of those points is one key factor; process.”
The movie made her realise that the processes and procedures that are put in place are what drive a business to succeed, determine its direction and ability to scale, and the quality of its output.
“When something in your business doesn’t go how you expect, you can analyse the process that brought you to that result and tweak it to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” says Raven. “But having to explain to different members of your team, who each have put their own processes in place over time, relearning a procedure can take months rather than days.”
January 29, 2019 at 07:31AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs