8 Lessons Entrepreneurs Must Learn From The Shawshank Redemption

Not much scene in the box – office or even in the theatres, ‘The Shawshank Redemption(1994)’ created a huge mark in the film industry once it hit the cable channels. Many people could relate their lives, to be influenced by life lessons that this movie had unveiled to an audience who understood its deeper content. Now, it’s considered to be one of the best movies of all time and if you haven’t yet watched it, I personally recommend that you do.


Sometimes life can turn to seem like a prison, where you might be punished for something you didn’t do or most of the times, life gives you a hard blow without any reason. You crave for help only to later learn that the only person who can save you is you.


Entrepreneurship is as whole as life – with an entrepreneurship cycle, in which every entrepreneur goes through the circumstances quite similar to that of a prisoner – being isolated from the outside world, often discriminated and laughed upon, left alone with your thoughts – finally the only aim is to get free ( to succeed and prove them all wrong)!


lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption


Andy says, “There are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone… there’s something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours… Hope.”

Every now and then, when life gets hard on us, the only thing that can help us sail through the storm is HOPE. It’s much more than being a four letter word – it’s that thing which keeps you put while everything else forces you to quit.

Being an entrepreneur means to sail across unknown oceans, with unforeseen winds and troubles, which await you. There might be times when everything turns into a mess, and everyone turns against you. The only thing you can rely upon to catch your back is hope!


lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption



Andy writes a letter every single week to try and raise funds and after 6 years the government writes back and says “Dear Mr Dufresne we appreciate your persistence and enclosed is a check for $200 to go towards the prison library and there’s some also charitable donations of used books you can use to develop the library”. When Andy gets the letter and the check from the government he smiles and says “it only took 6 years” So he continues to write two letters every single week and a long period of time passes and eventually the government writes to him and says “Dear Mr Dufresne we appreciate your persistence, enclosed is a check every single year we’re gonna send you a check for $500 and here’s some more books and things that can go towards the library”.


When everyone asked him to stop wasting his time writing letters, which always had a negative reply – Andy relied on perseverance which finally paid off for the prison library which became a pride of Shawshank.

What people call the overnight success of the company or a person, is actually the end result of long sleepless nights with the efforts towards the goal. The success could be overnight, an unrecognized company could shoot up in the stock market the next day. But the persistent efforts to make that huge difference is what matters and drives you to success.


lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption


Andy decided that prison wouldn’t define him and he did not have any easy way out of it. He designed his destiny to live in a fresh environment and knew that his life is much beyond the prison walls. He chipped out the way out to freedom for 19 long years, through the cell wall with a rock hammer.

You need to choose what is right for you, and your destiny is what you make it be. Realising one’s potential can open doors to opportunity and ideas that change life completely.


lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption


These walls are funny. First, you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, it gets so you depend on ’em. That’s ‘institutionalized’…They send you here for life and that’s exactly what they take, the part that counts anyway.


This is what Red quoted about Brooks. Brooks Hatlen, an inmate for five decades, was set free on parole. Fearing the outside world, where he finds life way too different and difficult to catch up, he hangs himself. He was so used to the life inside the walls of the prison, with limited freedom and resources.

But for Andy, a prison was not his place to be. He believed that he deserved a much better living and not just a place to whine to death. He keeps figuring out something to contribute to his plan of prison break.

Entrepreneurship is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some birds like to explore the skies beyond the limit. Once you realize you can make it out in the competitive world, you need to get out there. While there are many who could be pushed into this without any skill or desire, and end up to be like Brooks!



lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption


Andy, who is a banker by trade, overhears the captain of the guards, Byron Hadley, complaining about being taxed on an inheritance, and offers to help him legally shelter the money. He also makes chess pieces out of rocks, teaches his inmates up to high school level and complete their GED in prison. He uses his wit to dig through the prison wall to escape.

In this fairly competitive world, what really matters is the skill which is unique from others. The skill which benefits others and thereby helps you get a better position and importance.


lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption


Elis Redding and Andy were like the best of friends. The understanding and the desire to help each other in all times of hardships is what made the film a must watch.

Before escaping, he leaves Red with full of hope and faith to meet him outside. Andy also was keen on building friendships with other people in prison.

He helped Tommy clear GED exam in return for information of an inmate in another prison who claimed responsibility for the murders that Andy was convicted for.

Andy offers to help Hadley for a small fee of giving cold beers to his men, who were sweating in the scorching sun.


lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption

6. Will power and courage is the ultimate life saver

lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption


While given two consecutive life sentences in prison, Andy had nothing more in life, other than the gray walls of the prison, where he apparently had to sloth, till death eased him out of it. It was his willpower and courage that crept up to making the slow prison time worth a benefit for everyone in there.

Even when everything is taken away from you, there are a few greatest possessions, that none can touch or steal, it’s your Willpower and courage to fight back.

Will power is the strongest of everything, that can turn even an impossible thing into a cake walk. Remember, ‘YOU’ are much more capable than what you or anyone else can think of. It’s the hardest times that show the ‘Inner You ‘ as your complete strength.

7. Take risks

lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption


Risking to dig a hole through the wall towards freedom, was very much lethal for Andy. But when he made out of it, it was worth the efforts.

He kept his base strong of being persistent towards his goal and as well being cautious of the possible shortcomings.

When you are up for something away from ordinary, you are bound to take risks. You can keep planning but there will never be any guarantee of success.

What you can rely upon is the hard work that deserves success and also carry alternatives in case of failure.


lessons for entrepreneurs from shawshank redemption


When you are into a new business or a startup, it’s essential that you focus on the requirements and cut down the investments.

Right from laptops, office furniture, computer accessories like projectors and screens – there’s a lot to contribute to the progress of your company and these are few things which you can never compromise on.

But why to invest a huge part of the capital on this, while you can rent them at the smallest fraction of the cost with benefits like free maintenance, assured quality and also keeping up with the latest trend.

Check our website for exclusive office and personal requirements and say NO to cash burn!


For those struggling and losing confidence in your life or business, take a few hours off and watch Shawshank Redemption. It’s a complete package of moral with entertainment. At the end of it, you’re sure to see the brighter side of life, which you never discovered before.

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