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The Mafia and Italy: Changing a Leopard’s Spots

by Dan on November 15, 2011

This is going to sound like a very strange analogy, but I thought I’d use it because it’s really interesting. How can the relationship between Italy and the Mafia help inspire your business strategies? Well, it shows you that positive change is possible regardless of how how overwhelmingly difficult it may seem. If one of your campaigns is not making money at the moment, sit down with a logical and clear head and try to think about how to make it work: can you tweak the variables to make it work? Can you reduce costs, change landing pages, offer a slightly different product? Negotiate a higher return?

The Italian Government’s ongoing fight with crime shows that it can often take years to even begin to make positive change. They haven’t given up, however, as is evidenced by the numerous dead officials willing to stand against the tyrrany of the organised crime bosses. Over time, they have managed to rejuvinate many former Mafia-owned properties and businesses into sometimes profitable enterprises that benefit the Italian public. Though the war is far from won, they are slowly but surely turning the detrimental impact of the Mafia into a positive impact on the community.

It will be a long time until the Italian public are free from the Mafia’s grasp, but  it takes a considerably shorter length of time for you to turn around a loss-making enterprise. You can turn off campaigns, amend them and tweak them until they are successful. Oh, and there’s not the inherent risk of death that comes with battling the mafia! Just remember the courage of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, two magistrates who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the quest for justice. What they did was brave beyond measure and shows the importance of persistence, resilience and an unwavering commitment to the cause. Though the courage required in business cannot be compared to the courage shown by these two magistrates, there are similarities between the two:

  • You need to have courage to spend money when there is a risk. Without spending money, there is no chance to make money.
  • You can’t be dissuaded by loss. Everyone loses money at some point, but you need to be resilient and continue to try to overcome the loss.
  • You need to be committed and be prepared to have sleepless nights for your business! This doens’t mean you will have sleepless nights, but if they are required you’ll get your hands stuck in!

So, remember, keep pushing forward and you’ll see success.


Dan Little

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