Movies have a big impact on our everyday life. There is no denying that even with DVRs where we can record everything on cable television, we still take a lot of time to watch movies. The 2009 movie “Avatar” now has become the highest grossing film in history — by a wide margin.
In fact, technology has increased our appetite to watch to entertain ourselves since we can now watch not only on television, but computers and smartphones.
There’s no reason to feel guilty about watching a movie, thinking you should be working instead.
Relax! You can actually learn about business by watching movies!
I asked a few small business leaders what were their favorite movie quotes of all time and then I thought about what I learned from that movie. Grab your popcorn and take a look at what they shared:
Movie: Goodfellas. “Business is bad? F-you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F-you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? F-you, pay me.” (From Bob London)
- Lesson: If you are part of the organization, there are no excuses for results. It is also an incentive to keep your company overhead low so you have cash to pay for what you really need.
FOCUS FIRST, GROW LATER!
Movie: Jerry Maguire: Remember the Mission Statement? “We are losing our battle with all that is personal and real about our business. Every day I can look at a list of phone calls only partially returned. Driving home, I think of what was not accomplished, instead of what was accomplished.”
- Lesson: Fewer clients, more personal attention makes for a better business. Growth for growth’s sake is a bad business strategy.
STAND UP FOR YOUR BUSINESS!
Movie: Road House: “Be nice. Be nice until it is time to not be nice.” (From Prasann Thakrar)
- Lesson: Being nice in business does not always get the results you want. Many times, we need to press our point.
RISE TO THE OCCASION
Movie: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium: “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.” (From by Phillip Zannini – @PhillyMac)
- Lesson: We need to remember that we are responsible for our own success. Never look for that one magic bullet in business or for someone to save you because no one is coming. The magic comes from the hard work you give to your business.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO SELL
Movie: Glengarry Glen Ross “Good leads are for closers“. (From Vicki Donlan)
- Lesson: You need to know what to do with a lead if you are going to close a sale. There is no substitution for being able to sell. We all need to learn and have skilled sales people on our team.
GET TOUGH — DON’T COMPLAIN!
Movie: A League of Their Own: “There is no crying in Baseball“. (From Scratch at Boston Baby Dolls).
- Lesson: No matter how bad it gets, long term, crying does not help us in business.
From the same movie “Of course this is ‘hard’:
- Lesson: People always tell me that their business is especially hard. Guess what, every business is hard.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE POWERFUL
Movie: Hustle & Flow – You’re in charge of your business and the power of marketing relationships. (From Elizabeth W. Wilson)
- Lesson: No matter where you come from, you can become successful.
DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHAT YOU CAN’T DO
Movie: Legally Blonde: Elle uses what she has to achieve her goals. (Submitted by Phillip Zannini)
- Lesson: We all need to make it work from where we are right now
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life: The movie shows the principles of leadership. George Bailey puts his customers, employee and family interests first by taking responsibility. (From Stephen Antisdel of Precept Partners)
- Lesson: If more financial institutions has operated this way maybe the “Great Recession” would have been avoided.
LOVE YOUR LIFE
My favorite movie quotes are from the movie, Jerry Maguire, as said by Jerry’s mentor, Dickie Fox:
“Hey, I don’t have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.”
Want more? Check out Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo, the co-author of The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies interview on my radio show.
What are your favorite quotes or business lessons from movies? Share them below.