Movies That Offer Entrepreneur Inspiration

By Forrest Smith -

There are a lot of results in Google for Inspirational Entrepreneur movies, but they all listed pretty much the same movies.  I’m actually surprised  some of my pics below aren’t on all the lists, but these are the movies (and a couple tv shows), that really inspire me to work harder on achieving my goals.

Iron Man

It took me quite a while to get around to watching the original Iron Man.  I’m not really into watching movies adapted from comic books and have a hard time with the whole superhero genre.  Once I actually did watch Iron Man, it kind of blew me away.  It’s obviously going to offer some inspiration since has built a large company, lives in a nice house, and does what he wants, but I found the scenes where he’s actually building and designing incredibly inspiring.  The middle section of the movie, where he is designing and building his Iron Man suit from the comfort of his home workshop are particularly good.  Oh how I dream of one day having my own space, and the time to work on various projects in a cool studio somewhere.


Perhaps it’s cheating to use a drug to make you superhuman and dominate the business world, but whenever I watch Limitless, I generally feel pretty inspired to do big stuff afterwards (and perhaps look into some drugs that could even out some of my limitations!).

Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

A fun movie about a savvy businessman who lives “very well”.  He’s kind of the guy you wish you could be; with good looks, strong netogiating skills, and a confident demeanor.  We get to see him have fun with his money, and it makes me want to do the same.



It’s not a movie (although there is a movie that I haven’t seen yet), but the HBO series offered a regular kick-in-the-ass to get to work on making big stuff happen.  I really had no idea of what to expect when I started watching this older series, but the idea of people working their way up through the ranks, starting their own businesses, and watching Ari Gold build his company (with sexy glass offices!).  I did find it mildly frustrating at times, since all of the success seemed way to easy and there were very few real setbacks, but it still was a good show to watch, and usually left me with the feeling that I should get to work on my various projects.


This was a small movie that I happened upon while flipping through Netflix, but it tells the story of the guys who invented those bottle openers that play a sound when opening a bottle.  It’s not the most glamorous of products, but I love the story of just pursuing ideas at all costs until finding the one that works.

Thank You For Smoking

Not really about creating businesses, but I have a feeling that if I could talk as well as Nick Naylor, I’m pretty sure I would have an easier time getting my ideas out there and growing businesses.


It’s a good cooking movie with a happy ending, but there are multiple aspects of this movie that are not only inspiring, but also relatable.  It follows a chef, who has been ousted from the restaurant world, as he opens a food truck with a good friend (played by John Leguizamo)  and his son.  There is a good scene where Jon Favreau’s character says that he has maxed out his credit cards while getting the food truck up and running.  Jon Leguizamo looks over and replies that “yeah, but you’ve never been happier”.  This moment is extremely relatable — I had many moments while working for myself where I wasn’t doing that great financially, but I do remember being quite happy — a happiness and satisfaction that can’t really be gained from working for someone else.


The Chef’s Table (Netflix)

Another non-movie in my lineup of movies.  The Chef’s table is an extremely well-done series of documentaries profiling successful chefs from around the world.  The show usually tells the history of each chef and their struggles.  I’ve also watched the french version of the show, which is equally well done and applicable to those working through all of the difficulty of trying to run businesses and do big things.