Entrepreneurial Qualities in a Movie: “Catch Me if You Can”

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In political economics, entrepreneurship is a process of identifying and starting a business venture, sourcing and organizing the required resources and taking both the risks and rewards associated with the venture. Frank William Abagnale Jr. can be considered an entrepreneur because he did all of these things. In short, he wanted to make money and at first, his method of doing so was creating counterfeit cheques. This required certain material which he sourced for himself. He managed to acquire a typewriter and special paper to print the cheques, all before he reached seventeen years old. In an attempt to grow his ‘business’ i.e. make more money from his cheques, he created various characters. He identified characters, which would not get trouble cashing checks at the bank. Frank Taylor, Frank Collins etc. He was a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer.  The ultimate rick in his business was going to jail, and he accepted this risk and avoided it for three years, during which time he manages\d to perform cons and steal over 2.8 million dollars.

There are various characteristics of an entrepreneur which Franks identifies with.

  1. He did what he enjoyed to do. When he impersonated a pilot he got the opportunity to fly for free. He was ‘free’ as he told his father in one scene in the movie.
  2. Frank took what he did seriously. He was making money based on the fictitious characters which he was presuming to be. Each character that he took on, he committed to 100%. He invested his Pan American uniform, he invested in the supplies to fabricate a medical license and a medical degree and he watched programs which he believed equipped him with knowledge needed to actually become these persons. That sort of commitment proves that he took what he was doing seriously
  3. He was dedicated to his schemes; he invested time to research the characters he wanted to become. For example, he pretended to be a high school reporter when he wanted to get inside information on the workings of an airline pilot and such.  He also
  4. In the end of the movie, after he is imprisoned, Frank actually makes a business from his knowledge of counterfeit cheques. He is able to negotiate and join the FBI team in the fraud squad department instead of serving 12 years in prison. This is how he now accumulates clients because of his expertise in the ‘business’ he created.

In a diagram provide by Forbes and titled “Phrenology of The Entrepreneur”, the characteristics of the brain are shown. There are characteristics such as worth ethic, self-esteem, trust but the significantly noticeable area which is the largest area is labeled “Ability to create own reality”. It is safe to say that Frank was excellent at creating his own reality. There was one point, when he read an article about himself where he was referred to as the James Bond of the skies. He then went to watch a James Bond movie and decided he wanted to become such a charter. He bought suits and a fancy sports car much like those possessed by the character of James Bond. His ability to live the lives as these fictitious characters in order to substantiate his cons proves that he is actually able to live outside the norm or reality. This is a dominant trait in entrepreneurs as often times they develop ornate idea which may under normal circumstances cannot possible work, however, with their way of thinking, they make things happen.

Sereta Thompson


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