Doing it alone and starting your own venture is tough. On the map of big life decisions, it is on the very edge of uncharted territory labelled ‘Here be dragons’. The unknowability is exciting and stimulating no doubt, but there are unavoidable challenges waiting around every corner.
Happily, there are many who have gone before us and can act as guides and inspiration for our entrepreneurial dreams. And the very best and most intriguing endeavours are explored in increasing tendency in our current media landscape through podcasts, books and even big Hollywood movies.
I want to look at three great examples of this; biographical films made about pioneering super-women – Coco Chanel, Julia Child and Joy Mangano. Household names for the most part due to their accomplishments, but the interesting part is the journey they took to get there.
These three films are masterclasses in the struggles that arise when chasing your dreams and what overcoming them looks like. Each of the subjects has been immortalised in film because they changed the way we live in some way, shape or form. And because of the challenges they had to surpass in order to get there. These films are more than just a good time. They are motivational quotes incarnate.
Want to be your own boss? Watch these films and pick up some tips on what it takes. So fire up your online streaming sites ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get inspired.
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
Despite being the name behind one of the world’s most prestigious high-end fashion houses, Coco Chanel herself came from humble beginnings. As the title suggests, this film follows Chanel’s life from her childhood in an orphanage to just before her recognition as one of fashion’s enduring lights. Chanel’s life was nothing if not eventful and this dramatic portrait guides you through the happiness and heartbreak that dogged her on her path to success. Coco Before Chanel reminds us that both good times and bad can burst into our lives at any moment but a love for the work can see us through.
Likely the lesser known subject on this list, Joy was a major biopic in 2015 thanks to an award-winning performance by Jennifer Lawrence. The subject matter, however, is the true light that shines through this film. We begin with an introduction to Joy Mangano; a single parent of two who, by all accounts, seems to be stuck in life. But after cutting her hand whilst mopping up wine and broken glass, she is inspired to create a self-wringing mop. The film tracks her endeavours and (you guessed it) the challenges that come with trying to launch a new innovation. Joy stresses the importance of belief in the product and the belief in oneself to carry the idea through until the end.
Julie & Julia (2009)
Best known in her native USA, Julia Child began her TV cooking programme career in the 1960s and became the gold standard for television chefs. Before that however, she had to learn how to cook – overcoming male prejudice at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in the process – and dedicated years of her life towards writing her seminal cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This film catalogues her trying journey tenderly and with humour, while splicing it with the life of Julie Powell, a writer whose blog recreating every dish from Child’s book saw major success albeit not without her own trials and tribulations. Julie & Julia is a 2-for-1 special on how to keep your chin up when others are trying to get you down.
So after watching and absorbing these films, I hope you feel more equipped and more prepared to embark on the journey that you feel calling your name. Any new venture will have its challenges but remember the lessons of these films – a love for the work will see you through, believe in yourself and persevere, persevere, persevere.