Breaking Bad Business 101: 5 Success Tips From Walter White


By Johnnie Loftus

If you’re a fan of the show Breaking Bad you already know that Walter White, A.K.A. Heisenberg, made quite the transition over the course of the series. The mild mannered chemistry teacher/husband/father that we meet in episode 1 appears nothing like the criminal mastermind we end up with by the final episode.

Ever wonder why so many of us find Walter White’s transformation into Heisenberg so compelling to watch?  It’s because in some way we’re all Walter White. We all yearn to just take charge and go for what we want in life, to do something great, something that will make a splash in the world.

That’s what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Now I’m not saying that you should get out there and start cooking meth or anything, but there’s definitely something to be learned about achieving success in life from the Breaking Bad story.

So for those looking to become a Heisenberg in their own business enterprise, (minus the murder and mayhem), we’ve distilled five 96% pure business survival tips  you can learn from Walter White’s journey on how to be successful in business.

Establish Your Product As One Of A Kind

Always make sure that your product is the best that it can be, and that it has a unique identity in the marketplace. Walter White, being the control freak that he is, does a good job of creating a product in the purest form and highest quality possible. In addition, the blue coloring of his product makes it unique to his competition and instantly recognizable and synonymous with the best in the industry. It even gives it an automatic brand name, “Blue Meth”.

However, it is not simply good enough to create such an item, true success comes when you can continually maintain the standard over an extended period of time. This is what separates the winners from the losers and can take you on the path to success.

Know Your Clientele

Building relationships with your customers is really one of the key factors to long-term success. You want to know that your clientele are honest and trustworthy. As with other factors, achieving strong business relationships can take a long time and require extreme patience, something that Heisenberg is familiar with in his dealings with people like Tuco Salamanca.

You, as the successful businessmen, need to understand that your clients can be unpredictable at times. (If you’re in the drug trade, then this may include a beat down or two). You will need to possess the ability to improvise and adapt in order to keep the business relationship intact.

breaking bad business tips 

Choose Your Business Partners Wisely

 A business partnership is not unlike that of a marriage and choosing wrong will lead to untold misery. You want to seek out partners who share your ideas, drive, mission, and can be relied on in the good and bad times.

Additionally, the strongest businesses are made up of people who are able to contribute their particular expertise to the project. Attracting the right partners is not an easy task, but it is necessary for the long-term success of your operation. The early partnership between Walt and Jesse Pinkman is a good example of this as each played a role vital in the progress of their enterprise; Heisenberg as the genius chemist, and Jesse as the streetwise dealer.

Get Your Family On Board With Your Vision

At the end of the day, family plays an important role in the success of your business. Whenever venturing out on a new endeavor, you are going to be dealing with a great amount of stress and uncertainty. After spending all day out in the middle of the desert in a trailer with nothing on but a pair of tighty whities and a respirator, the last thing you need is to come home to face an unsupportive spouse or kids who don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.

You can see how crazy this made Walt when Skylar actively disapproved of his business. At the end of the day, she did come to support him and around that time his business took off. Coincidence…I think not. The bottom line is that you need a loving family who accepts and supports you in your goals.

Surround Yourself With Talented Advisors

 You need to make sure you have great advisors that can help manage certain areas of your business for you so you can maintain a focus on what you do best. This goes back to Walt’s early partnership with Jesse as the streetwise drug dealer, and later with the money laundering guru Saul Goodman. Nine out of ten businesses fail in the first year, but when you have a company made up of partners that complement each other like Walter did, then you stack the deck in your favor.

So there you have it. You can’t ever say that Breaking Bad didn’t teach you anything. Maybe you’ll even be able to expense the DVD box-set as an educational business expense. Now get out there and BREAK GOOD. See you at the top!

About the author:

Johnnie Loftus is an author and musician based out of New York City. You can see more of his work at or