What can Watching GoT, The Godfather, etc. Teach You about Money

The best films of all time just happen to be about following the money. Here are 10 screen gems for you to binge on if you’re planning a stay-cation through the long holidays a-coming.

What to binge-watch this holiday season? How about some movies to up your money game

Need some extra money to celebrate the upcoming holidays? Seriously considering a major life investment, like your own condo space or a career-changing move to pursue your passion? Listen up. Today’s hottest series and the best films of all time just happen to be about following the money. Here are 10 screen gems to binge on if you’re planning a stay-cation through the long holidays a-coming.

Take away the dragons, the White Walkers, and losing your head, the HBO hit can be a roadmap to how to win the game (Photo courtesy of HBO)

Game of Thrones (2011- ) The twists and turns of this wildly followed HBO exclusive mirror the power play in the corporate world—maybe minus the dragons and White Walkers. How to win the game? Strategize, build alliances, know who to trust, and pay your debts quickly because… you’ll never know when winter is coming.

Shark Tank (2009- ) Now on Season 8, you can catch the earlier episodes on Netflix to get an idea of what makes a great pitch. Be warned, however, that TV has running time constraints. In the real world, pitches take much longer to craft and present before the Sharks finally bite!

Silicon Valley provides a funny look at life in a startup and reminds us to put everything in black and white. (Photo courtesy of HBO)

Silicon Valley (2014- ) The geeks at Pied Piper draw huge laughs in this witty insider’s look at life in a startup. In between the chuckles, you get the smarts on quality control, choosing your investors wisely, keeping professional relationships, and putting everything in black and white.

ALSO READ: Why Millennials Should Invest in Pre-Selling Condos Now

Need advice on anything? The Godfather probably has an answer

The Godfather I and II (1972,1974) Arguably the best business film of all time (ask your parents about it!), the saga of the Corleone family’s rise to power is a case study for entrepreneurial success—from startup to scaling, from investment to beating the competition, from forging gainful relationships to succession planning—less the bloody vendettas and the infamous horse’s head.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) No business can survive without sales, and leads are critical. But “it takes brass balls to sell real estate.” The highly-acclaimed big screen adaptation of David Mamet’s play gives a hard, harsh look at surviving the high-pressure world of real estate (just watch Alec Baldwin’s epic “motivational” speech).

Wall Street (1987) Want to enter the stock market? What happens when you embrace the Gordon Gekko mantra, “Greed is good?” But every dream has a price. Are you willing to do absolutely anything just to get there? Money and power, or principles? It’s a dilemma that every professional must face. Watch and learn.

ALSO READ: How to Invest (and Protect) Your Hard-Earned Money

San Francisco salesman Chris Gardner showed what needed to be done to overcome financial obstacles

Pursuit of Happyness (2006) “The world is your oyster. It’s up to you find the pearls.” The inspiring true story of San Francisco salesman Chris Gardner showcases the transforming power of faith, perseverance, confidence, and love, against the worst odds. Chris’s journey from homeless loser to Wall Street legend is worth the watch. Bring on the tissue box!

The Social Network (2010) Mark Zuckerberg’s success is all about building an enterprise around a simple need. But a great idea means nothing if you don’t act on it. Told from the point of view of the legal cases that hounded the FB founder, an important takeaway is to have a clear understanding of the legal issues that arise from a startup, like intellectual property rights.

This dreamy classic showed us how to win customers—and it doesn’t just take Johnny Depp

Chocolat (2000) Yes, it’s dreamy, romantic, and magical. It also makes good business sense. Vianne Rocher sets up a chocolate shop in an ultra-traditional village that disapproves of her liberal ways. Yet, her kindness and optimism, and sinfully delicious products win the villagers’ hearts. One taste is all it takes, so consider investing in free product sampling and building singular relationships, one customer at a time.

Many of today’s game changers swear by the role of fictional narratives in inspiring their career moves. So it may not be far-fetched that your leadership strategy should have a touch of Targaryen or that you discover a bit of Chris Gardner in the way you never give up on a Big Idea while staying true to your moral compass; or that you discover the value of patience and the smarts of Don Vito Corleone in building win-win relationships that stand the test of time.


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