No matter how history looks at mobsters, whether they are dismissed as murderous thugs or power-hungry businessmen, their influence on our culture – fictional or historical – is undeniable.
That influence is depicted in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, a series set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era. The show’s lead character, Nucky Thompson, is a politician who was able to rise to prominence because of his sleek business dexterity and charm.
Thompson is faced with organizational, legal and personal problems along with the ambition of staying afloat in his self-built underground economy.
Business owners and marketers can gain valuable wisdom from the premise of Boardwalk Empire:
Demand spawns business opportunities.
With the entire country prohibited to manufacture and sell alcohols for more than a decade, the demand for such was almost inevitable. Nucky saw this as a golden shot to make unprecedented profit and went on to amass power and influence in the process.
Not advocating underground and illegal means of doing business here, but it’s noteworthy to point out how businesspeople should be constantly observing their surrounding for potential rise of demand.
Value your connections.
Heads of organized crime groups have power that is more or less equal to the extent of their connections or ‘network of influence’. These are intangible assets that come in handy whenever strings need to be pulled to get something done.
In a way, your business connections can also help you achieve your (legitimate) goals, particularly lead generation. Your affiliation with industry authorities and influencers can provide you with the exposure and traffic that your business needs.
Don’t let your competition gain the upper hand.
It’s not just about getting more aggressive and putting more risk on the table. To really outsmart your competitors means learning about them a bit deeper and knowing the kind of weapon they have in their arsenal that they could throw at you.
Luckily you don’t need to hire goons and make them snoop around for information. In this age of information technology, almost everything is out there – you just need to know which information to pick and use.
Watch your movements closely.
Because of Nucky’s apparent bootlegging success, all eyes – federal agents, competitors, and just anyone who just wants a piece of the action – are on him. Still, he breezes through the pressure and drama of keeping his venture alive and kicking.
It takes real leadership and business skills to bring everyone aboard and share a vision for a company. A lot of distractions and hurdles may get in the way, but by operating wisely and carrying out well-thought actions, you could build your own business empire.