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What The Walking Dead Can Teach Small Business Owners

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What The Walking Dead Can Teach Small Business Owners

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What Can the Walking Dead Teach Small Business Owners? (original image from


I love The Walking Dead. I find it one of the most compelling TV shows on the air. My wife and I binged watched the entire first season during a holiday weekend and we have been diehard fans ever since. We look forward to losing ourselves in a fresh new episode every week.  Over this past season, I started thinking about a few things The Walking Dead could teach us small business owners as the gang continually faces obstacles and challenges in the Zombie Apocalypse.  Here’s a few tips:


You Cannot Survive the Zombie Apocalypse Alone

Just like Rick, Daryl, Carol, Carl and Maggie, small business owners cannot survive alone. Even if you are one of the many “solopeneurs” out there today (according to Business News Daily there are over 17.9 million of you), you have to figure out a way to build partnerships. Use LinkedIn to find strategic partners that will help you grow your business – or network the old fashioned way if you want. The key here is to find folks with different skill sets than you but compliment your service offerings. Just like in The Walking Dead, sometimes you need a Rick Grimes to lead the pack – but sometimes you also need a Carol Peletier to go undercover and do intelligence gathering. Find your right team to get your business growing.


You Cannot Rest On Your Laurels

Every time our Walking Dead gang gets comfortable in a situation, get ready for all hell to break loose. Remember the Prison, Terminus or even this season’s Alexandria?  Small business owners have to constantly be ready to react and change everything – at the drop of a hat. Your advantage as a small business owner over the big guys is the very fact that you can react quickly, like a speedboat, while the big guys are trying to get their big bulky battleships to turnaround.  Compete where you have the advantage and strike quickly when opportunity presents itself.


Sometimes It Will Feel Like the Whole World Is Against You

It is… and the Zombie Heard is always coming. The key to getting away is to NOT do what everyone else is doing.  Innovate and find ways around obstacles. Who’d have thought that a prison designed to keep people in, would be an ideal hiding place to keep zombies out?  That’s the kind of thinking that can make a small business become a huge business quickly.  Don’t do what everyone else is doing – find ways to completely change the game.


Sometimes Your Favorite Characters Die

Probably what makes The Walking Dead so compelling is the fact that your favorite characters are never safe. One after another, after another suffer their inglorious end at the hands (well, chompers actually) of one or more hungry zombies.  Your small business is exactly the same. Your favorite product or service may just as quickly suffer the same fate of a zombie caused death. Look at your own skill sets or services and realize that 7 out of 10 of them may be obsolete in 5 years – or less! Realize that there is no destination you reach that will be the end all and be all of technology, education, wisdom or knowledge. In today’s world, you have to keep reading, thinking and tinkering or the next guy, gal, or zombie will beat you to the punch!

Nick Cavarra
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