Like many serial entrepreneurs, I tend to view everything through the lens of "How can I apply this to my business?" Even when watching "comfort movies," I find it fairly easy to identify relevant, actionable lessons that can be applied to any stage of business.
To that end, here are some classic films you may have overlooked, and the lessons you can learn from each.
1. Ghostbusters (1984)
When starting a business, the first step is always to identify a need that you can fulfill or a service that you can provide and create an action plan. Next, you need to get a team that can help you execute that plan. The third -- and hardest -- step is to find paying customers and deliver the service as you have envisioned.
Honestly, I'm hard pressed to come up with a more memorable marketing slogan than "Who you gonna call?"
2. The Last Starfighter (1984)
Once you have a business plan, the next step is to gather the right people. For some positions, you need to have recruiting challenges to ensure you get the right candidates for the job.
3. Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
You've probably heard it said that management is all about being a good leader. Unfortunately, many business owners take on their management roles out of necessity and not due to any particular skill or training.
When faced with a rival who has the right credentials for the job during a camping trip, Shelley Long's character shows us that resourcefulness can equal experience any day.
4. The Money Pit (1986)
Managing a project of any kind can be frustrating. Deadlines fly by, time and money are spent, and there is nothing to show except frustration and an endless barrage of questions about when it will be done. You may even begin to question why you ever thought it was worth doing -- until the day it is finally complete, and everything is right with the world.
In this early Tom Hanks film, you'll see that play out through two people who take on a house remodeling project -- and afterward, you'll never look at a "two-week" estimate the same way again.
5. National Treasure (2004)
As an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to have enough faith in your own vision to sustain you. That passion is what will attract others to join you -- and keep you going even if everyone else stops believing in you.
Nicolas Cage, in one of his best roles, shows what happens when one man holds true to his passion beyond even the last shred of hope -- and why it sometimes does pay to keep going.
6. The Cutting Edge (1992)
If you have been in business long enough, you will eventually find that you might have to replace a key employee. You may, unfortunately, have to sacrifice things like personality and culture fit to find someone with the right experience -- in the hopes that that will come later. Additionally, there will be a huge initial resource sink as you get them trained up in the particulars of your business.
In this movie, you'll see the whole process when a former champion needs to find a new partner to get back on top -- as well as the rewarding results.
7. Galaxy Quest (1999)
When your team has been together for a while, it can become easy to overlook each other's value. You may even start to resent each other for small things that don't actually matter and stop working together effectively.
A particular highlight here is the scene where each character is confronted with the impact their role has had on others -- and makes them each better as a result.
8. Big Night (1996)
When you start a business, you have the best intentions, to stay true to yourself and provide the best service. Unfortunately, no matter how good your intentions, there's always the possibility that the business won't be successful.
The dinner scene is the best example of closing a business with dignity you'll ever watch.
With these eight movies in your queue, you'll cover all the major phases of a business and have fun doing it.