The year 2008 brought into this world a human dynamic so strange and disparate that it managed to take over popular culture for the next decade. No one imagined a dying, coughing chemistry teacher and a high school dropout to give the world lessons in the workmanship that is business. But here we are, peering into the darkness of vaping crystals, learning the ways of the world in undertones of sepia.
Here’s what we can learn from Breaking Bad:
Follow your passion, until it consumes you
(Ignore the fact that your passion does not lie in dealing narcotics in any way!) Business is always about extending your own interest. Follow what you love and it will take you to the better realms of this universe. Chemistry may have been White’s true interest, but it was surrounded by misguided passion and desperation. Where money accumulates, morality begins to take a back seat. Look beyond the superficial of Breaking Bad and into our own society, and examples will fly galore.
Build a product worth dying for
And as it goes with any kind of business, success is directly tied to your product. A real business has something that will have customers returning for more. Like meth. When you follow your passion and create something extraordinary, the world begins to notice, as will you if the local kingpins and cops begin to hunt you for your life. Validate the legality of the business and your product, however small it may be. Not everyone can afford a Saul Goodman.
Kill your competition
Competition does a lot for a business. Since the general idea is to rise above and do better than your competitor, wiping them out from the face of this planet may be a tad too extreme! Even with all the knocking, Walt made no real contribution towards the standards of ethical business. Take the hint and be Walt, but don’t be Walt.
Necessarily run background checks on your employees or associates
Heisenberg held no such prerequisite, because why would you question a well-behaved, suit-wearing fast food chain owner? This obviously ended beautifully for everyone, just like it did for the chicken (dead, and with fries on the side). When you don’t do your homework and decide to test run relationships, you get partnered with a Tuco or an Aryan, or in worse cases, a Todd. Once again, this stems a new set of problems, because now, they just don’t want you to live.
Be humble and supportive towards your peers
Fair treatment was a hard choice for Heisenberg, who decided to honour his peers with the sacrificial scapegoat title instead. Clearly, chivalry wasn’t one of Walt’s best traits. Hence, when you find someone who admires and respects your work, you extend the same with humility. The disproportionate ratio of Gales to Heisenbergs in this world is why you should cherish a Gale in your life with utmost gospel obedience.
Breaking Bad does not attempt to glorify the use of narcotics in any way, neither does it try to dramatise the drug market of New Mexico. If anything, the show is a mirror to the human mind. Even while we are busy calling Walt a narcissist and a selfish pragmatist, we also end up rooting for him and despising anyone who comes in his way.
Breaking Bad is the reflection of duality that dwells in the society, the black and white of right and wrong that constantly justifies and finds faults among the same things. Even in the greyness of the show’s premise, there are lessons to be learnt on how not to handle life, even when you have just about two years left of it.
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