By Kumar Arora, serial entrepreneur and investor
Need some entrepreneurial inspiration? Watch more movies. This may seem slightly counterproductive. However, time on the sofa with a snack in hand could dislodge powerful inspiration for entrepreneurs. Like reading entrepreneurial books, you can pull nuggets of wisdom from movies. Movies are often based on true stories -- and don't forget the power of documentaries, which paint a picture of how something or someone came to be.
I've found inspiration in movies, some that have even shaped creative ideas within my own businesses. From the visuals to the storytelling, to the overall character development -- you can always find things to relate to your own business.
With so many movies and documentaries available on Netflix, it can be a toss up on what you should watch for entrepreneur inspiration. To help, here are my top six movie picks.
1. The Defiant Ones
The Defiant Ones is a four-part documentary series that details the personal and professional journey of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. The documentary shows how the two music industry icons created Beats and made their product a massive hit, as well as their partnership with Apple.
Entrepreneurs can draw a lot from The Defiant Ones. Not only do you get a rare glimpse into the ups and downs of two of the most influential people in the music industry, but you also get a lesson in true entrepreneurship and marketing.
2. The Pursuit of Happyness
The entrepreneurial journey has plenty of ups and downs, and The Pursuit of Happyness can serve as a source of inspiration during those downs. Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, Gardner doesn't go silently into the night.
Despite being put down by family and friends, as well as being thrown out of his apartment and becoming homeless, Gardner keeps fighting. This movie speaks to the core of entrepreneurs. Learn from failure, never give up and stay passionate, no matter how challenging or impossible things may seem at times.
3. Lord of War
Lord of War can be used as the foundation to all your entrepreneurial endeavors. Yuri Orlov, played by Nicolas Cage, finds a niche market that explodes into a billion-dollar industry. It is the quintessential supply-and-demand movie for entrepreneurs.
The number one reason startups fail is no market for a product or service. In fact, 42 percent of startups fall victim to entering into something with little to no market demand. Lord of War is a violent yet valuable lesson in finding a massive market, sourcing product for that market, sales and even logistics.
4. Erin Brockovich
Erin Brockovich is a movie that empowers women entrepreneurs to take action in the face of odds, gender discrimination and education bias. This movie is the true story of Erin Brockovich, played by Julia Roberts, detailing how she helped win the biggest direct-action lawsuit in history.
Women entrepreneurs, as well as their male counterparts, can learn a lot from this movie. It can inspire you to stick to your guns in the face of adversity and somewhat impossible odds. This movie also showcases the importance of being socially responsible and having sustainable business practices.
5. The Founder
The Founder is based on the life of Ray Croc, the salesperson and entrepreneur that rocketed McDonald's to national success. While facing failure, Ray Croc, played by Michael Keaton, had an idea that revolutionized the food industry in America.
Many entrepreneurs can relate to Croc's journey. Failing a few times in unsuccessful business and sales ventures, he saw a gap in a marketplace and pursued it with vigor. This is inspirational because all of us have had that "ah-ha" moment.
6. Becoming Warren Buffett
Entrepreneurs know the difficulty of finding funding all too well. The last movie on my list is all about finance and how you can draw inspiration from one of the most famous financiers and investors of all time -- Warren Buffett.
Becoming Warren Buffett is a documentary about his life. Highlights for entrepreneurs include having faith in yourself, never giving up, perpetually learning, making calculated finance decisions when they count and staying humble. Did you know Warren Buffett is worth $85 billion and still orders breakfast at the McDonald's drive-thru? Staying humble as a successful entrepreneur is essential.
There are a lot of other great movies that can spark entrepreneur inspiration. Just like books, use the ones you get the most from and apply those valuable nuggets of wisdom. Next time you need a little nudge to get back on the entrepreneurial path to success, it could be better to switch your phone to airplane mode, close your laptop and fire up a movie.
Kumar Arora is a serial entrepreneur turned investor, and one of the sharks on CNBC's "Cleveland Hustles," produced by Lebron James.