In most cases, I could not agree more. However, I make an exception to this rule when I am watching TV shows to get inspiration and to learn.
Cutting through the noise, I have put together a list of some of my favorite entrepreneur TV shows that every entrepreneur should watch when they need a little inspiration.
Here are three great TV shows for entrepreneurs:
1. Men Who Built America
Seriously, if you haven’t watched this and you’re an entrepreneur, stop reading this article, go to Amazon and and start watching. The mini-series features some of the most infamous and successful entrepreneurs in the world.
You discover instructive anecdotes, like that JP Morgan had the first electric home in the U.S. and that he bet on the “electricity idea”–going against his father’s traditional investment views.
Or that in today’s money, Rockefeller would have actually been worth close to $ 500 billion dollars. That’s an insane amount, particularly when you consider that the richest man in the world today is Bill Gates with a net worth of just over $ 70 billion.
When to watch: This show is great when you need a little motivation. Seeing what these entrepreneurs achieved is truly inspirational and can get you through any startup slump. When you hear numbers like $ 500 billion get thrown around, how does that not motivate you to work?
2. The Profit
Marcus Lemonis, the show’s host, is the real deal. When it comes to business, he has a very unemotional and honest approach. In each episode, he goes to a struggling business and helps them turn things around.
This season he went to visit Flex Watches and eventually bought a 40 percent stake in their company. The once-successful company had gotten off track in its messaging and lost its way. Lemonis bought in because he believed they could turn it around.
When I talked with Travis Lubinsky, co-founder of Flex Watches, he explained:
“The Profit shows a side of business that people don’t want to talk about. On shows like Shark Tank, you see the excitement and enthusiasm of having a company. On the Profit, it shows the cold hard reality: Running a business is really hard. Seeing this side is very valuable for entrepreneurs because it lets them know, they are not alone in their struggles and they just need to power through it.”
When to watch: This show is perfect for when your venture is struggling. You see that every business goes through similar challenges and pains. I have found it especially useful when you feel stuck on an issue.
When you are watching the show, you see business owners who cannot seem to think outside the box and are stuck on an issue, too caught up in the day-to-day to find a way to solve it.
It’s a good reminder that sometimes, you just need to take a step back and look at a problem from unorthodox vantage points before you can solve it.
3. Silicon Valley
While this show is a comedy, and there is no doubt that it’s funny, the best part is that it’s actually a fairly credible interpretation of how the startup world works in places like Silicon Valley.
Nerdy tech founders with poor people skills. Crazy billionaires that want to destroy the competition regardless of ethics. Startups with millions in the bank that still work out of houses. These are just some of the many realities of this style of entrepreneurship seen on the show.
When to watch: If you are raising venture capital or looking to relocate to Silicon Valley, this show can give you an inside look to what it is really like and all the absurdities that come with it.
Honestly, it’s also great when you are stressed out with your business and need a little humor–but you still want to keep it business-focused.
Laughing and learning: the best combo there is.