9 Business Quotes From the Silver Screen for Entrepreneurs
July 19, 2016

9 Business Quotes From the Silver Screen for Entrepreneurs

by Brian de Haaff

Need some inspiration for your work and business? Well, look no further than the silver screen. I am not a huge movie buff, but I do find that great stories with compelling characters can often be the source of fresh ideas.

Whether it is the coming-of-age flick Good Will Hunting or a Disney favorite, many films offer meaningful reminders about leadership, bravery, or whatever challenges might be staring you in the face next.

In fact, many entrepreneurs keep their all-time favorite quotes on display in their workspace — to inspire a new outlook, gather up more courage, or simply keep trying to beat the odds.

Here are some of my personal favorite movie quotes — and from my experience, each one reflects the unique personality traits required for building a successful business. So whether you need a refresher in humility or a good kick in the pants, read on.

1. “If you don’t run, you can’t win.” — Chariots of Fire

Courage: Some days it might feel safer to be sitting in the stands with the spectators. But successful entrepreneurs stay in the race and do not give up, even when trials come and threaten your success.

2. “I don’t think that there’s anything worse than being ordinary.” — American Beauty

Individuality: The world may want you to conform, but nonconformists are the ones who shake up the status quo and change the world. When you feel alone, that is okay. Remember that entrepreneurs are a rare breed — and you are in good company.

3. “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” — Pride of the Yankees

Humility: Lou Gehrig reminds us that even in those spotlight moments, we must stay humble and recognize how fortunate we are to be in this place and time. Nobody is completely self-made. Recognize and share credit with those who helped along the way.

4. “Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself.” — Good Will Hunting

Passion: Running a business is a risky proposition — and you really have to love what you are doing if you want to be successful. Do a gut check now and then to ensure you are doing things for the right reasons and investing in what matters most to you.

5. “Go ahead — make my day.” — Sudden Impact

Chutzpah: I am not suggesting you actually say this to anyone — but Clint Eastwood’s famous line can be a good motivator. (For example, when the big boss is about to assign you a complex project that no one seems to want.) Dirty Harry would not back down from any challenge, and neither should you.

6. “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…” — Finding Nemo and Finding Dory

Perseverance: Dory’s memory is not enviable, but her indomitable spirit sure is — as well as her ability to push through fear and continue searching until she finds a solution. Think about Dory the next time you fear you might be all out of options, and instead, just keep swimming.

7. “After all, tomorrow is another day!” — Gone With the Wind

Optimism: Scarlett O’Hara always had some new scheme brewing, even when the odds were stacked against her. A savvy business owner herself, she knew what a difference one day can make. When faced with a tough problem remember that tomorrow the game may look entirely different — and is a brand-new opportunity to try again.

8. “Wax on, wax off.” — The Karate Kid

Diligence: When you are running a business, some days may feel like you are perpetually waxing Mr. Miyagi’s car — all work with no payoff in sight. But remember that your hard work (yes, even the mundane tasks) is for a purpose. It is preparing you for something great.

9. “Nobody thinks it will work, do they?” No. You just described every great success story.” — Say Anything

Confidence: There will always be people who tell you that what you are dreaming of cannot be done. And others will be ready to dole out unhelpful advice that can threaten your success — if you listen to it. But you must tune out the naysayers. And then prove them wrong.

Which movie quotes inspire you the most — and why?

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

Follow Aha!

Follow Brian

Related articles

The Best Cover Letters That CEOs Love to Read
April 13, 2017
The Best Cover Letters That CEOs Love to Read

A well-crafted cover letter is a great way to get noticed. Find out what to include in your cover letter to catch the attention of a CEO.

New Marketing Managers — Do These 8 Things in the First 30 Days
January 28, 2019
New Marketing Managers — Do These 8 Things in the First 30 Days

Are you a new marketing manager? Check out these suggestions from eight marketing experts on how to show your true value in your first 30 days.