Drug dealers are the real MVPs in Business (Case Study)


I'm a hustler baybaay! *Jay Z voice*


Hustler of the year goes to the drug dealers, they are the real MVPs.

Hold tight, and we’ll review the lessons to be gained from their business model.

Dear DEA,

This information was obtained second hand and writer has no true knowledge of said crime committed. Additional information was obtained from watching the Wire, Power, and documentaries.



Gotta cover all bases, I'm a business woman!


Orange is the new black for who?!? Not me!

I’m living everyday like a hustle. Another drug to juggle. Another day, another struggle.
— Notorious BIG

Meet James. [On the right] Ghost, James' right hand man is on the left. 



James is a kingpin drug dealer. He’s been in the game [business] for years. James has a hard working team that enables him to live an amazing life. At the top, James is almost untouchable. To the naked eye, James is a legit business man, living a life of luxury that he works hard for through his legit ventures.  James has developed legal business from his drug activity. James does not appear to look like the television stereotypical drug dealer. None of the good ones do. James is an entrepreneur and plays all his roles incredibly well.

Entrepreneurship 101: James knows that in order to win, he must have a product that his consumers are willing to pay for.

As in any other business, James is aware of his competition, their services and products. James knows that in order to shine above the competition, his product has to be STELLAR. His customer service needs to stand out.

James and his counterparts understand business basics: imports, exports, budgets, expenses, PROFIT, wholesale, affiliates, pricing and up-selling.

James did not become a kingpin on his own. He saw the power in outsourcing tasks. James evaluated his strengths and his weaknesses. He is the brain behind the organization, so lower level tasks are assigned to others that he can trust and depend on to carry out. Over time James has taught individuals the systems and processes that are necessary for the business to run with minimal risks. As business increased he hired a business manager, Ghost, that may not have necessarily taken on that title. However, every kingpin has levels to their team and someone underneath them that they trust to make important decisions and to carry out the business activities.

James attributes networking to his success. His business is risky, so he has been great at determining genuine collaborations to indulge in. With the drug world, truly being international, James has had to use connections that he has trusted to build his business and connect with others in the same line of business.

There’s no facebook group for kingpin drug dealers...so please don’t let that be your only networking & building tactic. Networking is key to your success!

Often times, in business, people see you doing well and want a part of that. They don’t necessarily want to truly interact and collaborate, but they want a part of your audience. Always evaluate the risks, like James.

James knows his ideal customer very well. In knowing his ideal customer, James is able to provide him with the best product time after time. Quality control is one of the most important things in James’ business. James has figured out how to WOW his consumer.  

Tweet this: Knowing your consumer + quality products +wow'ing your consumer will put you ahead of your competition. Click here to tweet

WOW’ing consumers leads to the glitter effect where all they want to do is tell everyone they know about you and your offers.

James needs this word of mouth marketing aka referrals. James can’t do typical marketing to acquire new consumers.  Google ads, facebook ads and twitter ads just aren’t here for kingpin drug dealers. Take advantage of the resources that you HAVE available to you to reach the masses.

If the quality of his product isn’t consistent, his consumer will go to his competition. Word travels fast in these streets, so consumers share with others when the quality of products are not the greatest.

Your products determine your income.

Your marketing determines your income.

You have to perfect your product or service, since this is what your consumers come to you for.

If you are a coach, you are your product.

Every day you have to strive for excellence.

James isn’t the only drug dealer in his location, no matter how many people he distributes to. You are not the only one in your industry. In order to fulfil your dream and win, you must outwork your competition. This doesn’t mean working 24-7 doing busy work, but taking calculated steps [systems + processes] to grow your business and serve your consumers.

If you want to grow, you have to stop being scared and take risks. You aren’t doing anything illegal and your life is not on the line. So stop being scared to put yourself and products out there for everyone to fall in love with. In order to make your dreams come true, you will have to become fearless and take both calculated and uncalculated risks.

James did not become a kingpin drug dealer by following every other kingpin he was introduced to. Even with inspiration, he took what worked for him and felt comfortable then ran with it. Strategic execution and success are closely related. Overnight successes have been working on their execution for YEARS!

Chic takeaways:

  1. Outsource tasks and create a loyal & dependable team

  2. Create quality products

  3. WOW your consumers with each interaction

  4. Network effectively

  5. Outwork your competition