8 tips from Nightcrawler that will make you a better entrepreneur

Like most movie-goers, when I choose to watch a movie I expect it to be worth my hard earned money. Now, how each of us define the worthwhile of a movie can vary greatly. As an entrepreneur, I always hope to learn a business lesson from my movies and where most people don’t see any, I often do. No, I don’t go to the movies with a notebook to take notes, but it’s always a bonus when I can get more than just some Hollywood induced emotions.

The last movie I watched, Nightcrawler, thought me a lot 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:

Before I get into the lessons I learned, let it be clear that I do not condone any of the actions taken by the main character, Lou. Lou 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 8 things every entrepreneur should try to learn from Lou (warning: spoiler alert):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Have a clear vision: 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.
  5. Believe in yourself: 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.
  6. 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. You can read my article about failure here.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

Now it’s your turn. If you’ve watched Nightcrawler, tell us what you’ve learned from it.


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