Light, Camera, Action

As the saying goes sometimes the best way to capture reality is through fiction.

Drawing parallel to 2007 – 2008 financial crisis, Adam McKay’s biographical comedy drama The Big Short connects three people to narrate the housing market collapse. Similarly, Wolf of Wall Street, Jerry Maguire, Pursuit of happiness, Guru – some of the most enlightening movies are inspired by real people entrepreneurial in nature. As the saying goes sometimes the best way to capture reality is through fiction. Whether it’s based on a true story, a work of fiction or thought-provoking documentary, a good movie can inspire and motivate even the most weary business owner. We reached out to several entrepreneurs to find out their movie connection.

A Great Story in an Even Better Way

Ankit Khurana, Founder and CEO, BeYouPlus

“A founder's story is always an underdog’s story. That brings me to my first choice, the ultimate underdog’s story - ‘The Rocky Anthology’. One scene in particular echoes in my head every time I find myself feeling defeated and helpless. "It's not about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and still keep going." Finally, another of my favorite is ‘Steve Jobs’. Aaron Sorkin gave us only three moments from the great man's life and yet it was a compelling story. My favorite scene is when Michael Fassbender explains why his shirt needs to be white and no other color. Its attention to detail is what separates it from the rest.”

‘Rocky’ left me Inspired

Shashank Vaishnav, Co-Founder and CTO, WittyFeed

“Rocky is all about a boxer who fights back harder and selflessly to win against all the odds. He decides never to give up. In the same way, our business faced many setbacks at the initial level. There was a time when everything new that we had tried, failed. During those times, Rocky was my light in the darkness. Each one of us at WittyFeed has a habit of never giving up. I guess this is the biggest change that we’ve brought in our business: to never give up, to be selfless, and keep doing our work.”

‘Gump’ Taught Me - ‘Life is Like a Chocolate Box’

Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO and Co-Founder, Next Education India

“Forrest Gump is one of my favorite movies and I often revisit it for motivation. The movie taught me that it does not really matter whether you fully understand everything or fit for the society. What really matters is that if you put your heart and soul into something and put in an effort to the best of your abilities, you will excel in all aspects of life. The outright honesty and integrity of Gump’s character is awe-inspiring. I try to apply the learning in my professional and personal life. As a leader, I tried to walk on uncharted paths. Such situations require a complete conviction in the cause.”

‘Catch Me If You Can’ Taught about being Resourceful

Shailja Dutt, Founder and Chairperson, Stellar Search

“One movie which left a lasting impression was Leonardo Dicaprio’s ‘Catch me if you can’. Who would believe that a movie about a conman would imprint an indelible life lesson, but it did! The movie teaches a valuable life lesson about being resourceful. Nothing can take the place of your natural talent and ability, no degree or experience can take the place of innately curious, passionate and tenacious temperament. Abagnale’s ability to learn on the fly and think at the speed of light, allowed him to communicate with many highly-educated people who were older and came from varied professional backgrounds. Despite the fact that he wasn’t as educated as them, he managed to impress them. Resourcefulness is a skill I value deeply in our business and it’s a key trait we look for when we hire people.”

Two Lessons I Learnt from ‘Star Wars’

Jatin Varma, Founder, Comic Con India

“The first lesson is ‘fear is the path to the dark side.’ You cannot be fearful of failure; This came in handy when it came to scaling up the business. Right after our first ever show, we knew we had something unique in hand. However, we had extremely limited funding and knowledge of organizing events. With just one show under our belt, we just took a leap of faith and moved right ahead. The second lesson is ‘Destroying the second Death Star – Introspection and Analysis.’ It’s certainly the right attitude to accept failure and move ahead but analyze the reason behind the failure. This is a very obvious lesson. I have faced many failures but I analyzed each one of them.”

(This article was first published in the June issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

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