Breaking Bad: 5 Lessons About Being Successful in Business
Breaking Bad was a hit show in the US that tells the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned crystal meth manufacturer. Walter is talented as a chemist, so he produces a superior product. It also turns out that he is a very capable entrepreneur. The series gives insight into the human condition and can also be used a learning tool for people looking to start a business. Here are a few of the lessons that can be learned from the show.
Spoiler Alert – Do not read this if have not watched the show but plan to do so.
It is never too late to start a new job
Walter White from Breaking Bad is a very intelligent high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. At this point he decides that he must provide a more stable situation for his family upon his death. Because he does not have long to live and he is an expert in chemistry he decides the best way to help his family is by producing and selling crystal meth, a highly illegal drug. Walter was not afraid to take on new risks in order to put himself in a position to make more money. Aspiring entrepreneurs must realize that the bigger the risk the bigger the reward can be.
Offer a better product than the competition
Before Walt starts producing crystal meth in Breaking Bad the competition in his home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico is not that great. The other producers are not trained in chemistry and consequently do not produce a quality product. Walt drastically changes the market by producing crystal meth that is over 99% pure. Word of his superior product spreads and he quickly becomes a major player in Albuquerque drug scene. Walt’s obsession with producing a high quality product is major reason for his rise to success in the show Breaking Bad. All entrepreneurs should know that being the best at what you do will help you attract business.
Brand your product
Not only is Walt’s product better than the competition, it actually looks different. Its distinctive blue color easily identifies the brand as a Heisenberg (the name under which Walt operates).
Find a reliable partner
One of Walt’s major problems when entering into the world of drug dealing is finding a way to sell huge amounts of an illegal drug. Being a chemistry teacher did not give Walt good connections into the underworld. Walt is forced to deal with some unsavory characters. Walter ends up killing two of his major distributors because he is afraid they will do the same to him. All entrepreneurs should feel comfortable with vendors or clients before doing business with them.
Make yourself indispensable
Throughout Breaking Bad, Walt’s time producing drugs he faces many near death experiences. He is almost killed by other producers and/or the people who sell his product for him. He manages to come out of these situations unscathed because he is indispensable to them. Nobody can produce a product as good as Walt so killing him would also hurt their bottom line. Entrepreneurs that provide unique value will find it easier to keep clients. Stories of entrepreneurship from illegal activities can have lessons that can apply to real life situations. Never underestimate the intelligence of people who operate in black markets.