Movies & Series

Five streaming tips for aspiring self-made millionaires

Will Smith played Chris Gardener in The Pursuit of Happiness.

Will Smith played Chris Gardener in The Pursuit of Happiness.

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One idea, a little luck – and you’ve got the million in your pocket. The dream of making a quick buck is not uncommon and undoubtedly the greatest motivation for many startups and young entrepreneurs. But the way from the bottom to the top is not a straight line. There are numerous stumbling blocks, hard setbacks and difficult decisions waiting for anyone who wants to make it to the top.

Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos have impressively demonstrated how you can build your own empire with little start-up capital, but their path was not free from obstacles – on the contrary. At the same time, their stories underline how important it is to keep going despite the headwind.

Not giving up is just one of many aspects that ambitious entrepreneurs should bring with them. After all, careers require more than just perseverance. It takes authenticity (“Straight Outta Compton”), thinking outside of known boundaries (“Joy – Everything but ordinary”) or courage (“The pursuit of happiness”).

So if your motivation is low, these films are for you. Our five streaming tips provide impressive examples of stamina and inspire you to keep going.

The pursuit of happiness

Available on subscription from Netflix

San Francisco, 1981: Banker Chris Gardener (Will Smith) works as an underpaid sales representative who can barely support his family. When his wife Linda (Thandie Newton) leaves him and the landlord quits the apartment, everything seems to be lost for Chris. Without a roof over his head, but with a five-year-old son (Jaden Smith) at his side, the desperate father has to develop a plan for survival. He sees the only chance to get started as a stockbroker. But the path begins with an unpaid internship, of all things, which also does not contain any promises of permanent employment. Despite all the hurdles, Chris sticks to his plan to give his son the carefree childhood he deserves.

The real Chris Gardner, on whose story the film is based, has undoubtedly demonstrated willpower. That courage and perseverance are rewarded is demonstrated by “The Striving for Happiness” in a very unique and sometimes touching way.

Straight Outta Compton

Available to borrow anywhere

Things were rough on the streets of Compton, California in the mid-1980s: those who don’t follow the rules of the neighborhood will be targeted by rival gangs. For the five boys Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.), MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) and Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) is the simple everyday life that they use in their songs let it flow in. Their own sound and honest lyrics scare the radio stations away, but they soon enjoy cult status in their community. It is the beginning of a successful music career that, with authenticity, pain and passion, led to albums sold millions of times and later even a huge headphone business (Beats by Dr. Dre).

“Never forget where you come from!” Turns out to be a simple but true saying in “Straight Outta Compton”. The story of the rap crew NWA underlines how important authenticity is for one’s own success – and what happens when you lose your feet on the ground.

Up In The Air

Available by subscription at Filmtastic, as well as for rent everywhere

For Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), life takes place in airports, business lounges and first class. As a “corporate downsizer” who dismisses staff for other companies, he travels all year round America and takes on the unpleasant job that managing directors do not want to take on themselves. A lucrative business that leaves no room for a private life. But a proposed cost plan reduction by his colleague Natalie (Anna Kendrick) should change his way of working and replace it with termination talks via webcam. An idea that Ryan refuses to accept. To prove how important his job is, he takes Natalie with him on trips from now on. At first shocked at suddenly losing the most important part of life, he soon realizes that there should be more important things in life than his own job.

With his tragic comedy “Up In The Air”, director and author Jason Reitman provides food for thought that could bring work-life balances that have gone off the rails back on track. Loving your job is good. Don’t give up on it. Reitman’s Oscar-nominated screenplay leaves out the topic of burnout, but for budding self-made millionaires who will invest time in their business, this film bead is an entertaining warning.

Joy – Anything but ordinary

Available to borrow anywhere

Outstanding business ideas often grow out of small everyday problems. Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) proved this particularly impressively in 1990 with her reinvention of the mop. A careless moment and a pile of broken pieces led her to her life-changing idea for the “Miracle Mop”, which made wringing out by hand unnecessary. However, she had already proven her entrepreneurial skills 20 years earlier with small developments that other lower ones broke the nail on. Joy did not get financial participation in her ideas due to a lack of experience and a lack of patents. It was only with her mop and her skills as a sales talent that she started an unprecedented success story on the home shopping channel QVC.

However trite it may sound, anyone who knows how to sell their product is on the right track. It’s not about reinventing the wheel, but simply optimizing it further. Is an idea good? Then it can become even more innovative with its own twist. Thinking out-of-the-box can be the first step to a million.

Self Made – The Life of Madam CJ Walker (Miniseries)

Available on subscription from Netflix

At the end of the 19th century, CJ Walker (Octavia Spencer) struggled as a black woman with a child and starvation wages through an existence on the margins of society. In addition, she is troubled by hair loss, which further depresses her low self-confidence. A new type of product that helps her to regain her hair, gives her the idea of ​​getting into the business herself. It will be the beginning of an incomparable rise that made CJ Walker the first black millionaire.

Many self-made millionaires want to leave a lasting impression with their story. CJ Walker did it. Contrary to critical voices and all social discrepancies, she dared to take a step forward. Unimpressed by the opinion of others, she followed her plan and is considered an inspiring role model of her time. If you ignore skeptics and doubters on your way to the top, you can invest your energy in much more effective goals.

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