The top 10 shows every aspiring entrepreneur should watch

An entrepreneurial spirit is all about finding inspiration and learning from as many sources as possible. Watching TV or online shows with a focus on entrepreneurship is an excellent way to learn from the successes and failures of others.
It started with Donald Trump’s The Apprentice but this reality TV show has since been followed by many others – some better and some worse. Of course, entrepreneurial skills and lessons aren’t only learned through reality or talk shows. There are even some fictional TV shows which give valuable insight into the entrepreneurial way of life.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the best shows every aspiring entrepreneur should watch today.

Shark Tank 
Shark Tank is a hit TV show that helped put entrepreneurship on the map. Basically, it’s about nervous but hopeful aspiring entrepreneurs who pitch an idea to the “shark tank’. Who are the sharks? A handful of tough industry titans who decide there and then whether to buy into the idea.
What will you learn by watching Shark Tank? For starters, the best possible experience in preparing for and pitching to investors. It shows you what they look at when considering an investment proposal, how deals are negotiated, and how equity deals are structured.
The entertainment value is an added bonus. I mean, did the guy who proposed selling socks in threes (so you have a replacement if you lose one) really think the sharks were going to fall for his pitch?

How I Made My Millions 
This CNBC show features some of the best examples of ordinary people who turned their ideas into million-dollar businesses. While these entrepreneurs all took risks, they eventually became millionaires through hard work and continuing to believe in their dream.
Why should you watch How I Made My Millions?  It shows all the ups and downs before success came knocking on the doors of the millionaires. It’s inspiring to see how they overcame setbacks and which resources they used to grow.  Some internationally recognised brands and their inventors who’ve been featured on How I Made My Millions include Burton snowboards and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

The Profit 
A reality show which follows Good Sam Enterprises and Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis as he identifies struggling companies to invest in. Lemonis gives solid advice on how to step away from the brink of bankruptcy after looking over the business and deciding whether to invest or not.
What lessons can you learn from watching The Profit? Many. However, Lemonis repeats one important lesson as a mantra on every show: people, process, product. He believes these three areas should be in sync for any business to succeed. Watching The Profit certainly isn’t time wasted unproductively even if you can do it from a lying position on the couch.

Game of Thrones 
You may ask what Game of Thrones has to do with entrepreneurial skills. Actually, the series offers a lot of valuable lessons for entrepreneurs. Game of Thrones is synonymous with shifting alliances, bet-hedging and power shifts. These are all scenarios that an entrepreneur are likely to encounter at some stage in his business journey.
An entrepreneurial lesson to be learned from Game of Thrones? Stay true to your word. Not keeping and delivering on promises is hurtful to your brand. Furthermore, Game of Thrones shows us how a good leader takes care of his followers/employees and receive their loyalty in return.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, the following line of the Lannisters is probably familiar: “A Lannister always pays his debts”. This is just as true for entrepreneurs.

Undercover Boss 
There is a lot of entertainment value in a CEO going undercover to find out what it’s like to do a lower-level job in his or her company. There are also a lot of leadership lessons to be learned by watching Undercover Boss.
Perhaps the most important lesson entrepreneurs can learn from Undercover Boss is how valuable their employees are. It can also reveal weaknesses in your company or small business that you weren’t aware of.
For example, an Undercover Boss may learn of the regular breakdown of a piece of equipment that impacts on productivity or efficiency. By discovering this, he can act to solve the problem permanently and improve reporting processes to ensure faster action the next time around.
As a small-business CEO, it won’t be that easy to act anonymously. However, there’s no harm in working your way around your business once a year for a week or so under your real identity. And you can still apply the lessons learned from just watching Undercover Boss.
The Office
Who said you can’t laugh and learn at the same time? Even the socially inept Michael Scott who was in charge of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in the hit comedy show The Office can teach us something about running a business.
These are some of the things we can learn from Scott:
-Recognise and reward good work. Scott gave out “Dundies” at an annual dinner.
-Personal relationships are as important as business relationships.
-There’s no harm in having fun while working.
The show ended in 2013 but it won’t hurt to watch a replay even if only to laugh. Maybe you’ll also learn how not to be a bone-headed boss in the process.
The Apprentice
Even though Donald Trump is in the White House now, The Apprentice is still going strong with Lord Sugar at the helm. Watching a group of hopeful candidates vying for the job of a lifetime certainly is entertaining.
Those who watch The Apprentice also learn some valuable business lessons from the comfort of their living rooms. Four of the most important ones are:

-Work as hard as everyone else. Sitting back and watching someone else put in all the effort will get you nowhere.
-Being a team player, even if you’re the boss, can pave your way to success.
-Use your time wisely by effectively managing your workload.
-Don’t be shy to pat yourself on the back and celebrate your successes. At the same time, reflect on the reasons for your success and how to build on it. 
This Week in Startups

This Week in Startups is a popular online show featuring a group of experts, led by Jason Calacanis, who bring you the latest news from the world of tech startups. Calacanis, angel investor and CEO of Mahalo, is a successful entrepreneur in own right.
In the bi-weekly show, Calacanis interviews a startup founder and also take questions from a virtual audience. This Week in Startups is an excellent resource for aspiring internet millionaires. Calacanis is a character who captures his audience with his sometimes crazy behaviour. He even dedicated one episode to taking calls from and responding to people who hate him!
If you like This Week in Startups, you’ll also like its sister show, This Week in Venture Capital, for some more insightful tips and tricks to help you become a successful entrepreneur. You will learn where to find the best assistance with your startup, like turning to a reputable site such as to help you with company registration.

Dragon’s Den 
Similar to Shark Tank, the BBC’s Dragons’ Den offers young aspiring entrepreneurs a wealth of learning experiences when pitching for venture capital funding.
Some lessons to be learned from this show are:
-Do thorough research and know your facts before pitching investors.
-Come prepared with a business plan and an operational structure. The bottom line: know the ins and outs of your own business.
-Be careful of becoming emotionally attached to your startup. Potential investors may ask you about your exit strategy and you should be prepared to answer them without becoming emotional about the thought of selling your business. 
The Rise to the Top

Another online show, this time from David Siteman Garland who is also the author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper. The show is about helping so-called mediapreneurs. In Garland’s own words: “The Rise To The Top and DSG TV is all about helping you grow your online audience, create awesome content and make the bling bling (in a non-sketchy way).”

Since 2008, Garland has interviewed more than 250 business people, with a strategic lesson learned from each one. He is also a self-made millionaire who helps experts create and sell online courses. His interviews with top industry professionals and celebrity authorities are all about sharing innovations and insights to help others rise to the top of their marketplace.
Inspiration for running a business can come from anywhere. Why not from TV or online shows? After all, we’re a culture obsessed with looking at screens. There are lessons hidden where you least expect them.
So, the next time you watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, think about what you can learn from them to improve your business. After all, their branding is impeccable.

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