With the smell of popcorn in the air and the big screen in front of us, summertime is synonymous with movie time. Studies show that 62 percent of American adults go to the movie theaters each year and more than 90 percent have cable in their home.  But, as an entrepreneur, do you really have time for films and television?  Sure you do.  You may be surprised by the business lessons you can learn while watching films.  So, grab your popcorn and check out these three films. 



Yeah you read that right - Ghostbusters.  This 1984 comedy classic is about a group of unemployed college professors who team up to fight ghosts.  Ghostbusters demonstrates every entrepreneur’s journey.  After a shock to their lives, they identify a need for a service, in this case eradication of paranormal entities. Next they decide to go into the business – ghostbusting.  This film mixes the comic hijinks of a rag tag bunch of startup business owners with the sensibilities of dealing with government regulation.  Government oversight comes into play with many companies.  If you don’t follow the rules you too might find yourself in jail, like the team did.  Along with the laughter there are great things to learn about starting a business.  Sure there might not be any ghosts running around your neighborhood, but you could help your community meet a different need.   

Major Film Lesson: Find a need in your community and fill it.



Barbershop is a film about a family and the business that affects their lives.  Often we go into business to make money with the hope that we can leave something for future generations.  Did you know second generation businesses fail at an astronomical rate of 70 percent?  In this film second generation owner, Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube), has different dreams than his father.  Music is where his heart is, not the family barbershop business.  He has difficulty dealing with many of the day-to-day portions of running a business, such as human resources and personnel, shrinkage and loss, and even community relations.  Calvin’s management issues bring stress to him and those around him.  Franchise ownership may have been a better option for Calvin.  It would have given him access to a team and a proven system.  Such access to successful business expertise could have helped him make the best decisions for his business. 

Major Film Lesson: Businesses can be easier run with a team.  



A standout independent film from 2014 is Chef.  In it, renowned chef Carl Casper, played by John Favreau, loses his restaurant job because of his own mistakes and his failure to keep up with technology.  He then steps out on his own to start a food truck.  Casper goes from his comfortable restaurant gig to something that is bigger than money, a work/life balance.  The wealth Casper gains comes in the form of a renewed relationship with his family.  Casper not only reaches new success, but he picks up some tricks along the way.  The journey is at the heart of this film. As it progresses there are successes and failures, but the finish line stays in sight.

Major Film Lesson: It’s not about how you fail, it is how you recover.


Now it’s your turn. Let us know in comments what other films have valuable lessons for business owners. And if you’re interested, we’ve also got TV show recommendations