Everyone has their favorite genre of movie. Some prefer action-adventure, comedy, or sci-fi / fantasy to name just a few. But everyone seems to enjoy just the right feel-good movie that leaves them inspired in one way or another. Here are five classics that will make you imagine the possibilities if you owned your own business.
1. The Ultimate Gift
While the storyline is classic, riches to rags to riches formula, this movie has a heart-warming twist. The main character, Jason Stevens, is a young man who is deeply wounded due to the loss of his father and shallow but successful relatives. He has also been born into money and an enormous family business. When his rich grandfather passes away, a set of challenges is laid out in the will that he must embrace before he receives his full inheritance, including the family business. This one’s a tear jerker, but the final challenge that Jason faces gives some amazing depth into how someone rightly focused can use their business and money to bring good out of tragedy, and live a life with meaning and direction.
This movie takes a profession that most people seem to love to hate, used car salesman, and actually does a pretty decent job on illustrating how it could be redeemed. The main character, Jay Austin, also owns the car lot and loves cars and money to the point of functioning in that stereotypical slimy role. In fact, his wife and kid don’t even trust him. He also loves classic cars, and in the midst of this, purchases one that needs to be restored as a personal pet project, which has a bad flywheel. The turning point happens for him when losing his business, wife and son becomes a reality. In an effort to win it all back, he actually seeks out the counsel of a friend, who also happens to be a person of faith. His friend lays out an analogy for him between the defective flywheel and how he is living his life, and Jay begins to explore operating his business and personal life with integrity.
It’s a Robin Williams film, so it already has that going for it. But this interesting pseudo-sequel to the classic Peter Pan story explores what happened to Peter Pan after he left Neverland and supposes that he got married and had a family. His stoic career path causes him to forget who he is and about any dreams that he had, and his workaholic mindset even threatens the stability of his family. When Wendy asks him to come and speak at an event in which she is the guest of honor for her work with orphan placement, he briefly recalls that he too, was orphaned. But when his kids are kidnapped by archenemy Hook and transported to his old stomping grounds, his pursuit of them reminds him of his former life as an orphan and the importance of family. It’s implied that this also births in his heart a desire to find a way to come alongside Wendy and use some of the riches from his business to help orphans grow up and become successful.
4. We Bought a Zoo
Several months after main character Benjamin Mee goes through the life changing experience of losing his wife and being left with caring for two school-age children, one of whom isn’t handling things particularly well, he decides moving might be for the best. His search for the perfect place brings him across a dilapidated zoo on the edge of bankruptcy. The change of scenery and purpose in taking on the business of being the zoo’s new owner not only saves the animals, but brings healing to him and his family.
5. Secondhand Lions
Main character, Walter, is dropped off by his irresponsible single mom to live in the country with his eccentric uncles, who are rumored to have a great deal of money. Her plan is for him to find out if that’s true while she continues to run around and figure out a way to get their money from them. Walter sees through her shallowness and he and his uncles end up growing together as a family. As they get to know one another, his uncles tell him the wild stories behind where all of their wealth came from, which inspires Walter to become a self-employed cartoonist.
It requires a great deal of hard work and dedication to own your own business, whether it’s a small one that allows you to be self-employed or a major corporation. But it can also be the most rewarding experience of a lifetime, especially when there is a vision included in that dream to somehow make people’s lives and the world a better place.