I have just started watching Boardwalk Empire earlier this month and from then on it has become one of my favorite shows. Boardwalk Empire chronicles the Prohibition Era in America, while following the lives of those who operate within its presence. The existence of Prohibition in America created an opportunity for risk taking opportunist to create lucrative criminal enterprises. This underground economy inherently came with high risk, some more severe than legal reprimand. The huge financial gains and power gains produced from successful ambitions along this course brought with it very aggressive and ruthless competitors, who operated with a “by any means necessary attitude”. Also operating in a black market system meant building a beneficial network, which had to be relied upon to operate freely without significant disturbance from “moral” enforcers. This meant keeping your network happy and under control in order to sustain a comfortable positioning in such a demanding environment. Chasing opportunity in such a hostile environment was very risky, very profitable and required intense focus and keen observation skills.
Entrepreneurs can take away many helpful aspects from the interaction displayed within Boardwalk Empire. Identifying the correlations between both Boardwalk Empire and the lives of entrepreneurs can easily be done by recognizing how similar both worlds are. Through the situations presented to the characters of the show and their course of action when dealing with such situations; entrepreneurs can better assess how to better operate their own interactions and organizations along the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship.
Here are 4 crucial aspects to take away from Boardwalk Empire.
1) Know Your Surroundings. It is very important to be aware of who and what is around you. By being unaware and unassuming you create potential hazardous for yourself that can lead to costly consequences, which soon escalate beyond your control. As entrepreneurs we have to be well prepared in our dealings; which means seeking further education and working diligently to analyze and resolve complex challenges.
2) Keep Your Network Happy. Your network is your net worth. This proves to be very important when seeking assistance or participation with your entrepreneurial and business endeavors. Why so? Because your network enhances your credibility and verifies your authenticity. So it is wise to keep those happy who enable you with the ability to sustain your influence. Do wrong towards them and you may soon find new competitors who have vital insight of your operations. Never get arrogant and act like you are above those who support you. Stay humble.
3) Outsmart Your Competition. Your competition is in business to gain significant market share and develop well established positioning. One way to deflect their pursuits is to be more aggressive than them. Another way is to operate alongside them and gain valuable knowledge of how they conduct business. It is all dependent on knowing who you are dealing with and being knowledgeable of the ammunition they have at hand to deploy. Make it your mission to know your competitors entire profile in order to gain the upper hand as you all work effortlessly to outdo one another.
4) Operate Wisely. Do not let your organization get out of control and lose focus. When control is lost instability is created making it nearly impossible to remain in existence. As an entrepreneur you have to keep your operations aligned in a proper manner that enables efficient performance. Do not get sidetracked by insignificant matters losing sight of your intended pursuits. As an entrepreneur your sharp focus on achieving your set goals in order to walk in success is one of your greatest attributes.
Boardwalk Empire is a great show for its entertainment value but can teach entrepreneurs valuable lessons on how to operate their businesses. If you are not a viewer of the show do yourself a favor and tune in for great lessons on how to operate and maneuver during the highs and lows of ambitious business pursuits.