In need of a shot of inspiration? Take a well-deserved break and watch these motivational videos to fuel you against the long hours and hard work.
The life of an entrepreneur is hard work – especially in unprecedented times like these. And at times, a boost of motivation might be all you need to regain your confidence and push through challenges and adversity.
That’s why we’ve curated our top 12 motivational videos, all the way from inspirational speeches to light-hearted animation. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
Indisputably one of the most successful and innovative thinkers in history, Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address is a must-watch for all entrepreneurs.
Dissecting his speech into three stories, Steve Jobs shares invaluable insights and anecdotes about his own entrepreneurial and life journey. Starting from when he dropped out of all his required courses to “drop in” to the courses he genuinely wanted to take – one of which was calligraphy. Though seemingly random at the time, that experience in design played a big part in his design of the Macintosh computer, specifically its beautiful typography. He then goes on to explain how getting fired from Apple – thought devastating at first – turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to him, leading him to found NeXT and Pixar, and meet and fall in love with his wife. Finally, he shares what he learned about life after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004 – that your time is limited, so think carefully how you spend it.
Key Takeaway: Trust your journey. Find work you love. And alway stay hungry, stay foolish.
Rocky Balboa’s Speech to his Son from Rocky Balboa
Sometimes, a motivational pep talk is all you need. In this scene, boxer Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone) shares some nuggets of wisdom about success to his son Robert (played by Milo Ventimiglia).
A short but empowering speech, it is guaranteed to move hearts and motivate you to keep pushing forward, even when you’re feeling down and running out of faith.
Key Takeaway: Quit the pity party and take responsibility. Stop blaming other people for your failures. Instead, hold yourself accountable and believe in yourself.
Cadillac’s “Don’t You Dare” Campaign
“Don’t you dare play with your food.” “Don’t you dare paint on the walls.” “Don’t you dare change the rules.” “Don’t you dare raise your voice.”
Let us guess. As entrepreneurs, chances are that you’ve thought of giving up after being told time and time again that your dream will never come true. And we get it – eager to seek validation, it’s easy to get carried away by people’s opinions and criticism. However, this powerful viral video serves as a much-needed reminder that it’s only the people who are willing to push the boundaries and defy the odds that are able to succeed.
Key Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to defy conventional wisdom for the better.
The Basketball Scene from The Pursuit of Happyness
A Will Smith classic, The Pursuit of Happyness is one of the most iconic biographical films around. Featuring the story of American businessman Christopher Gardner, it follows his hard-fought journey from hitting the absolute rock bottom – losing his job, life earnings, house, and wife, all the way up to securing a position as a stockbroker in Wall Street.
Tight on time to sit through the whole movie? We’ve got you covered. Watch this two-minute clip of the protagonist Chris (played by Will Smith). What he says here essentially becomes the soul of the movie: “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you, you can’t do it. You want something, go get it.”
Key Takeaway: Go chase your dreams. Don’t let anyone let you tell otherwise.
Nike’s “Never Too Far Down”
Yes, you might not be an athlete, or even have anything remotely to do with sports. But the qualities athletes exhibit are certainly invaluable attributes that all entrepreneurs should learn from.
After all, no one knows the importance of resilience better than athletes do. Featuring some of the most legendary athletes from LeBron James to Serena Williams, this video reminds us of the difficult path athletes go through – we’re talking long hours of training, gruelling competition, and not to say an enormous amount of pressure. Yet, it ends with an empowering message that reminds us to all stand back up when times are difficult, “No matter how far down we may be, we are never too far down to come back.”
Key Takeaway: It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever. Stay resilient and keep fighting when times are tough.
”Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Life is full of rejections – especially in the life of an entrepreneur. Here, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about her journey in becoming the author of the award-winning memoir Eat, Pray, Love.
Before getting her book published, Elizabeth had to take on a gruelling side hustle as a diner waitress and deal with six whole years of rejection letters. How did she keep on going? By continuing to do what she truly loves.
Key Takeaway: Passion is key – not only will it empower us to sit through the hard times, but also keep on striving for the better.
J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech
The woman behind one of the most loved book (and movie) series ever, J.K. Rowling’s road to becoming a billionaire was no easy task.
Following the death of her mother and a short-lived marriage, J.K. Rowling was left in a perpetual state of depression, joblessness, poverty, and a baby daughter to raise alone. To make matters even worse, her books came back with countless numbers of publisher rejections and cold responses.
In spite of all that, J.K. Rowling’s speech serves as a reminder to all of us that hitting rock bottom doesn’t have to define us. In fact, she names failure as something that’s “worth more than any qualification I ever earned” and the “the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life”.
Key Takeaway: Better days are ahead. Persevere in doing what you love and you will eventually reap inconsequential benefits.
Gatorade’s “The Boy Who Learned to Fly”
In spite of being an animation and a Gatorade ad, this video is nothing short of being inspirational.
Basing the story on Usain Bolt, the video starts out with a young, wide-eyed, and carefree version of Bolt darting across the streets while repetitively saying “Not going to late” in a singsong to get to school on time. As he grows to be a competitive runner, Bolt caves into public pressure to perform well. After a moving pep talk from his mother, Bolt is lifted from his inner struggles and realises that worrying can only weigh you down. This epiphany, ultimately, makes him win the race.
Key Takeaway: Worries only work to weigh you down.
“5 Ways to Kill Your Dreams” by Bel Presce
Yes, it can’t be denied that luck plays an important role in determining the success of your business, but what nobody tells you is that behind that luck also comes an immense amount of hard work and dedication.
Here, Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Presce debunks the greatest myths about entrepreneurship and teaches you that there are no shortcuts to success.
Key Takeaway: There is no such thing as an overnight success. Behind every success story is unseen hard work, dedication, and sacrifice.
The Death Crawl Scene from Facing the Giants
The saying “The biggest barrier to success is yourself” could not be any more true. More often than not, your road to success and victory is not interfered with by obstacles themselves, but rather your own perceptions, beliefs, and fear.
This scene from the drama sports film Facing the Giants sees Coach Grant (played by Alex Kendrick) blindfolding Brocks (played by Jason McLeod) and pushing him to crawl and hit the 50-yard line – and beyond! – with a 160-pounds man on his back. And that was all accomplished when Brocks didn’t even think he could reach 50 yards!
Key Takeaway: You are more capable than you think you are. Never let presumptions get into your head and interfere with your ability to succeed.
Under Armour’s ”Will Finds a Way”
Featuring seven inspiring fitness icons within the short span of 74 seconds, this video shows how each and every one of the individuals built their way to success in their own unique way.
Ending with Dawyne Johnson looking right down the camera lens as he asks, “How are you gonna get here?”, it serves as a reminder that each success story – albeit each having their unique processes – all come with a whole lot of hard work and dedication.
Key Takeaway: Stop making excuses. If you really want to succeed, you will find a way.
Neil Gaiman’s 2012 Commencement Speech at the University of the Arts
Tailored specifically for budding artists, creators, writers, and freelancers, this video showcases an endearing yet empowering prose delivered by best-selling author Neil Gaiman.
Recalling his journey in becoming an author – from being a journalist to a freelance writer, Neil gives sound advice and advises us all to enjoy the ride of uncertainties and dares us to push the boundaries to achieve the impossible.
Key Takeaway: There is beauty in the road of uncertainty.
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