image by: digitalart

The 84th Academy Awards , takes place on February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. This event started me wondering about movies that featured  women entrepreneurs.  My research did not turn up enough movies that featured women who could be called “entrepreneurs,” so I decided to focus on 10 movies featuring  successful women in business/career.

Whether you think it’s right or wrong movies influence the choices people make and the beliefs  they have about important issues that affect our lives.

For your inspirationhere are 10 movies that feature successful women in business/careers.

The Help (2011)

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid’s point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Trailer on YouTube

Inspirational lesson:

Don’t follow the crowd – build your  confidence and don’t allow FEAR to hold you back from doing what you know is right.

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

This woman has the spirit of an entrepreneur. I can relate to her story. I was a single divorced mother of  three and being an employee was not an option. Several decades ago, I sold  balloons at Venice beach CA and I sold popcorn and peanuts at the Rose Bowl parade. 

In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school,  this mom starts an unusual business — a bio-hazard removal/crime scene clean-up service.
Trailer on YouTube

Inspirational lesson:

Successful people do what others are not willing to do.  Confidence, determination, and a healthy dose of fearlessness will help you to move mountains.

P.S. I Love You (2007)

A young woman while mourning the loss of her husband, discovers that he  left messages to encourage her to live a happy productive life. Even though she was emotionally distraught she enrolls in fashion school and discovers she has a passion for designing women’s shoes.

Trailer on YouTube

Inspirational lesson:

When life hands you lemons make delicious lemonade. Even in your darkest moments, your creative mind  will reveal opportunities that will bring light into your life.

Chocolat (2000)

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop, across the street from a church, in a small French village. The shop is open on Sundays – this did not sit well with the townspeople who were rigid with their interpretation of morality and had deep rooted prejudices.  The mother and daughter were not deterred. They focused on their goal of building and growing their business, making products their customers would rave about and fostering vibrant relationships. Eventually, they wooed the skeptics in the village with their kindness, love and their product – delicious, yummy chocolate.

Trailer on YouTube

Inspirational lesson:

  • You can build and grow a business by doing what has never been done.
  • Don’t lose sight of your goal when you encounter problems: focus on what you want, instead of what you don’t want.

Erin Brokovich (2000)

Erin Brockovich, a divorced single mom, discovered several documents that indicated a California town’s water supply was infected with industrial poisoning, threatening the health of the residents.  Brockovich leapt into action. She took on corporate America, industrial giant Pacific Gas and Electric Company and won, getting millions of dollars in compensation for the residents.

Trailer on YouTube

Inspirational lesson:

Passion moves mountains. If you are not equipped with the tools to move the mountain, you will find them or they will come to you. Will Smith said it best ~ “If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you are wasting your time.

Sliding Doors (1998)

Sliding Doors raises the question: do we control our destiny?  I believe the choices we make and the chances we take play a big role in creating our destiny. Helen Quilley  is a young Englishwoman living in London who was fired from her PR job because she was caught stealing.  The film depicts two parallel lives of Helen Quilley – one based on her getting on the London Underground train as she travels back home and the other based on her missing the train.

Metacafe Trailer

SLIDING DOORS: Movie Trailer. Watch more top selected videos about: John Hannah, Peter Howitt

Inspirational lesson:
The law of cause and effect teaches that for every action there is an equal reaction. The challenges faced by female entrepreneurs can be daunting, however, we should strive to make empowering decisions for our business and personal lives. We should  stop  second guessing ourselves: be decisive, move forward, and embrace the outcome. If it’s not the outcome you’ve envisioned … learn from it and move on.

The Associate (1996)

Laurel Ayres is a brilliant savvy lawyer who struggles to achieve greatness on Wall Street. She quickly realizes that it was impossible for a black woman to be taken seriously in a white male dominated field. She decided to invent an elusive white male partner who guides her to start and grow a successful wealthy investment firm.

Video on YouTube- I could not find the trailer

Inspirational lesson:
Don’t accept the role of a victim. Stay focused on your goals and you will find new and creative ways to achieve your greatness.

Baby Boom (1987)

A Management consultant has no time in her life for anything except her high-profile job. All this changes when she inherits a 14-month-old infant from a pair of recently deceased-and very distant-relatives. A series of events inspired the character to turn her back on her high-profile job to take the plunge into entrepreneurship: she starts a specialty baby food company.

Trailer on YouTube

Inspirational lesson:

Be receptive to change, unexpected challenges can open the door to new and vibrant opportunities. Nothing ventured nothing gained:  sometimes, you have  to take calculated risks.

Lucy Gallant (1955)

After been left at the alter, Lucy Gallant, moves to Texas and starts a clothing line. She continues growing business even though it came between her and the possibility of a new love.
I could not find movie clips for this CLASSICAL MOVIE starring: Starring Jane Wyman and Charlton Heston. You can find the DVD at Rare Movies.
Inspirational lesson:

Don’t allow those who are not supportive of your dream to influence you to give it up. Be true to yourself and hold steadfast to your dreams and goals.

Mildred Pierce 1945

Mildred was a resourceful hardworking entrepreneurial woman. As a divorced mother of two, she rose from being a waitress to owing her own successful restaurant. Mildred’s success with the restaurant was over shadowed by her tumultuous relationship with her spoiled and cocky daughter.  Eventually, family greed and manipulation caused Mildred to lose her thriving business.

Trailer on YouTube

Inspirational lesson:

In life we need to establish boundaries, even with our children. Success is not just measured by how much money you make but also by the healthy relationships you’re able to create. Money can buy a lot of things but it cannot buy love and respect.

Conclusion #1:

It goes without saying that one could look at these movies and see other issues to address. For example:  racism and sexism could be addressed in “The Associate.” Parenting skills could be addressed in “Mildred Pierce” Etc.  My intention was to look for lessons that would inspire you to greatness.

Conclusion #2 –

Over the years, many of the challenges women face in their personal and professional lives have not changed.

Your turn

Do you have a favorite movie that has inspired you?

To the unstoppable “achieving greatness” confident you!

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