MONEY LESSON FROM THE NIGHTCRAWLER (2014)

I decided to mix up the teachings by giving a summary of some movies entrepreneurs like you and I can learn from. Not everybody is prone to reading pages of books but we can be engaged by watching movies – We can learn from being a couch potato!!!

Personally, when things get overwhelming for me, I try to look for inspiration to help me continue grinding. One place I have found a good amount of inspiration from is movies. Whether it’s a heart-warming sitcom, irreverent thriller or thought-provoking biopic, a film can inspire and motivate.

The first movie in the movie lessons series will be NIGHTCRAWLER. The movie instilled in me some lessons and I feel compelled to share those lessons.

To those that have no idea which movie I’m talking about, here’s a link to IMDB:Nightcrawler (2014)
Directed by Dan Gilroy. With Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed. When Lou Bloom, a driven man…www.imdb.com

Before I get into the lessons I learnt, let it be clear that I do not support some of the actions taken by the main character, Lou although he was able to build a successful business. Some of his techniques might be unorthodox to say the least, but there’s a lot to take from them. Here are the things every entrepreneur should try to learn from Lou;

  • Be desperate: It’s one thing to want a chocolate cake, but it’s another to be hungry. In the first case, it would be nice to reach your goal, in the other, you have to reach your goal to survive. Lou, desperately needed a job to survive, that made him go for his dreams in the face of adversity. Most entrepreneurs need to have the urge to succeed to be successful, it’s a must.
  • Opportunities are not made in heaven: Lou was selling some stolen scrap metal at a junkyard but when he saw a job opportunity he knocked, although the boss rejected him out rightly telling him the simple reason that he wouldn’t fucking hire a thief. But who gives a fuck anyway, he gave his best shot as he knew you’re not born to do a thing, you have to make your own way, here’s what he pitched: 
     “I’m a hard worker. I set high goals, and I’ve been told that I’m persistent. Now, I’m not fooling myself, sir. Having been raised with the self-esteem movement so popular in schools, I used to expect my needs to be considered. But I know that these days, our culture no long caters to the job loyalty that could be promised to earlier generations. What I believe, sir, is that good thinks come to those who work their asses off. And that people such as yourself, who reached the top of the mountain didn’t just fall there. My motto is, if you want to win the lottery, you have to make the money to buy the ticket.”
  • Dream: In more than one scene, Lou has his eyes set on a prize that is bigger than himself. As entrepreneurs, we need to aim to build or achieve things that are more than ourselves.
  • Know Why:  You might have a dream, but how are you going to get there? A vision is what guides you through the steps and for Lou, that was clear. He started up as soon as he saw a business opportunity of shooting videos of crime scenes in the neighborhood across San Diego at night, he brought the right equipment, hired a team member, acted quickly but most importantly figured out why at all he should all of it, (quoted below a conversation he had with the media company that gave him business):“Last year I took an online business course and I learned that you have to have a business plan before starting a business, WHY YOU PURSUE SOMETHING IS EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU PURSUE…”
  • Be Clear, Sharp and stay focused: A good old guy from the same industry offered him a job with much better tech and money and when the guy insisted him on joining him, he rejected him by saying, “I feel like grabbing you by your ears right now and screaming, “I’m not fucking interested!”. Instead, I’m going to drive home and do some accounting.” If you don’t, no one will. When Lou started his business (if I can call it that way), his equipments were subpar and he was the subject of jokes for his competitors. And even though he knew he wasn’t the best (at the time), he never doubted he would succeed.
  • Take risks: Okay now, I’m not asking to go break into some fancy house in a nice neighborhood or do other illegal things, but let’s be realistic if you play it safe, you are just going to get lost in the bunch. Be different, don’t be afraid to be unconventional, take risks. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll fail. So this competitor added new trucks, equipment, staff and started eating away his business, he literally ensured that he gets killed. His only employee who was rather a very uneducated and dumb fellow started to bargain with him for better shares, etc. he filmed him dying and did not feel bad even about getting him killed intentionally, he quotes something like this: “That’s my job, that’s what I do, I’d like to think if you’re seeing me you’re having the worst day of your life.
  • Know your stuff: You can’t expect to be successful if you know don’t know about your industry. Lou spent his unemployed days teaching himself from free online resources and mastered what was important for his business. You can do the same, so get on it, become the reference in your field.
  • Fake it till you make it: I’m usually not the biggest fan of that approach, but that does not mean it doesn’t work. In Lou’s case he lied about the existence of a successful company, but that gave him a platform to act as a CEO and make decisions worthy of large businesses. So, start acting like who you want to become.
  • Be in control: Don’t kill for it, but when someone else has so much power that she/he can sway you from leading your company the way you want to, then my dear friend you have a serious problem. I’m not asking you to be a stubborn, but while you can be flexible and listen to others, you have to remember one thing: this is your dream!

Haven gone through the list, i hope you do take time out to see the movie, relate it with the lesson and take ACTION!

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