4 Lessons Business Owners Can Learn From Scandal

Finally, my Scandal withdrawal symptoms will be alleviated as the seventh and final season of the popular drama debuts on October 5th. Yes, my favorite show on TV is Scandal, the ABC drama series starring Kerry Washington. Papa Pope makes my heart race. His monologues and delivery are masterful. Huck is that perfectly flawed character that you can’t help but love. And I am #TeamJake all day. As I’ve watched each episode with great anticipation, I have discovered there are some lessons business owners can learn from Scandal. Here are four:

  1. Hire a good team of experts. 

    Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, has a great team of experts (aka Gladiators) working for her. Each person is quite unique and has their own backstory, but what’s most important is their skill set and commitment to getting the job done. Bill Gates once said, “The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people.” Not ready to hire full-time staff members? Consider freelance help.

  2. It’s okay to make mistakes. Even presidents have faults and failures. 

    Business owners and entrepreneurs often see their success stalled by their need or quest for perfection. The truth is, most successful CEOs have made tons of mistakes and they learn from them. James Dyson, founder of the Dyson Company, created 5,127 vacuum prototypes, which were all considered failed attempts. It took him 15 years to create the prototype that would change his life. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company he started, only to return years later to become wildly successful. On Scandal, the President makes huge blunders, but continues to reign supreme.

  3. In business, sometimes you have to be a gladiator.

    Much like the Scandal gladiators, business owners need to think quickly and be aggressive to get what they want. It may mean being a bit of a risk taker or simply being different and being unapologetic about it. Richard Branson wrote on LinkedIn about taking risks to get his magazine off the ground.  “…We learned so much about business by taking chances, getting things wrong, and getting up to give it another go.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, once asked an engineer, “Why are you wasting my life?” Wow. Talk about a gladiator. He’s a risk taker, though, who is now richer than three of the Wal-Mart heirs.

These days being a calculated risk taker or even a “badass” in business is a good thing.

4. Every client wants to hear those two wonderful words: “It’s handled!”

This is especially true for service-based businesses. Whatever service you provide, whether it’s appliance repair, hair styling, or coaching, your clients trust your skills and expertise and simply want you to fix their problem. So, do just that. Handle it! Be an incredible “fixer” like Olivia Pope.

Scandal is one of the most addicting shows on TV and that’s exactly what you want your clients to be: addicted to doing business with you! If you think some of the shenanigans on the show are downright crazy, well entrepreneurs are called crazy all the time. Let’s go gladiators!

This post was originally posted in 2015. It has been updated and revised for accuracy.