22 Things I Learned about Running a Business from Watching Breaking Bad

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Who needs business school when we’ve got television?

Here is a list of 22 things I learned about running a business from watching Breaking Bad. Can anyone argue that Walt’s work ethic was astounding?

1. You must have passion for what you’re selling, whether you use your product or not.
2. Start out small, local, and build your empire slowly as you go.
3. Find co-workers and employees that you get along with and have the same vision and philosophy as you do.
4. Don’t step on anyone’s toes. The people above you are there for a reason, it’s best not to cross them.
5. Finding trustworthy and loyal partners is key to a successful business relationship.
6. Sometimes the best employees don’t have a college degree. They can be just as talented as anyone else when taught according to their learning style.
7. Before you hire someone make sure you do a background check.
8. Creating a superior product against competitors is difficult but once you do you can take over the industry. Keep trying.
9. Never mix business with pleasure.
10. Work stays at work. Keep work separate from family.
11. Outsourcing can save you time and money but it’s not always the best idea.
12. Hiring your friends can bring unnecessary drama.
13. If you have a booming business continue to live below your means.
14. A signed contract is always safer than a verbal agreement.
15. Sometimes working with your competition can actually expand your business.
16. Make your product stand out so it’s noticed. A little splash of color can go a long way.
17. Keep your secret recipes a secret. Sometimes your life depends on it.
18. Don’t be fooled, sometimes your best sellers can be found at the bottom of a barrel.
19. A good lawyer is hard to find. Team up with one that shares the same morals and values as you.
20. Every trend and business can have a lifespan. When it’s done, it’s done.
21. Be honest. Know the real reason you started your business and accept it, there’s no reason to lie to yourself.
22. If you are an arrogant boss, with an uncontrollable ego, you’ll end up a lonely one man show.

Breaking Bad, Disturbingly Good

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Insomnia kicked in the night I completed The Final Season. Was it because of the caffeine I drank or the overwhelming rush from the last four episodes of the series? Most likely a bit of both.

Between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM I woke up four times. Each time I rearranged my pillow and changed positions, my eyes popped open thinking about and almost worrying about the characters from Breaking Bad.

For the first time ever, in a television series, to some degree, I was drawn to every last character. For some, I couldn’t wait for their demise. The others I rooted for, hoping they’d find some sort of peace or redemption, knowing they were only destined to be doomed.

Aside from Breaking Bad’s stunning cinematography, witty and intelligent writing, flawless acting across the board and it’s Tarantinoesque direction, the development, evolution and conflicts of the characters, within themselves and with others, is what impressed me most.

Brimming with beautiful Shakespearean tragedy, each character grieves and attempts to unsuccessfully cope through their emotional, mental and physical losses, desperately clinging on to their versions of a “justified” reality that doesn’t exist.

Breaking Bad is far more than a crime drama. It’s an artistic statement of arrogance and guilt and when combined how they eat a person alive. It’s a commentary on the evils of the world and how they lurk around every corner and sometimes even within us. It’s about escapism, greed, rationalization, family. But most of all, it’s an oddly realistic and desperately sad journey of facing and accepting one’s own demons and fate.

I may be late in the Breaking Bad game but I wouldn’t have wanted my overwhelmingly intense and emotional journey with the characters to be any other way.

So cheers to Breaking Bad and it’s incredible artistry. Here’s to totally messing with my head and emotions as I struggled myself with accepting the fate of and who your characters really are, you truly are a masterpiece.