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.