Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Business Lessons From O.J. Simpson

If you haven't heard by now, O.J. Simpson was convicted for his stick-up robbery in Las Vegas. He's been sentenced to up to 33 years in Nevada state prison, and isn't eligible for parole for 9 years.

Many people had enough of O.J. Simpson in the early 1990's when he was acquitted of killing his wife, and in 2006 when he released a book entitled If I Did It.

I, too, am no fan of Simpson or his dumb decisions, but I think we can all learn a few business lessons from him. Here they are:

1) Don't Gamble
There's a rumor floating around that Simpson turned down a plea deal to do only 3 years in prison. He gambled and lost, and now he's facing more than 10 times that.

Gambling too can hurt entrepreneurs. Granted, being an entrepreneur is risky - but it doesn't mean that you should make wreckless decisions. You should always be realistic with your expectations, and never ever turn down a reasonable deal.

2) Be Honest and Ethical
Had Simpson been honest about retrieving his stolen items, he would have gone to the police. He, however, did not want the items to go towards the settlement that he owed the Goldman family. This hurt his case badly.

Entrepreneurs too should always be honest and ethical in their business dealings. Remember that what goes around comes around, and that tons of business owners are locked up every year for fraud, stealing, and/or running scams.

3) Choose Your Business Associates Wisely
Another thing that hurt his case was the company that he kept. While attempting to retrieve his belongings, Simpson was accompanied by an individual who unknowingly had a gun. Several others were convicted felons. This weighed heavily in his case.

Entrepreneurs should also be careful about being affiliated or associated with shady business people. This can hurt your reputation, which could lead to a drop in revenue. You also may find yourself guilty of being an accomplice.

4) Not All PR is Good PR
I think most agree that Simpson's sentencing was very harsh, but its his own fault. Over the past 15 years, Simpson has received some of the worst criticism from the media. Although it shouldn't happen, the media shapes our opinions - and the judge in his case obviously did not think very highly of him.

Entrepreneurs should remember that not all publicity is good publicity. This is a very common misconception. Remember this when planning your marketing strategies, and aim to get as much good PR as possible. One wise man put it perfectly: "Make the news, not the headlines."

1 comment:

  1. May I repost this message on eliteteam.ning.com? This really hit home with me today.