5 Business Perspectives Inspired by the film Dallas Buyers Club

It's Oscar season! With all the awards hoopla floating around I wanted to pick through some of the films in contention to see what kind of business and career advice they may offer...

 "Dallas Buyers Club" Stands Out

No matter what your business may consist of, after watching the Dallas Buyers Club, one of the 9 films nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category, I found, it had valuable tips on how to do business well.

Here's some quick insight from the Oscar web page on the film, just in case you're not familiar with it:

"When Ron Woodroof learns he is HIV-positive, the homophobic Texan finds himself sharing an unexpected bond with gay men also battling the illness. Quickly realizing that their only chance of survival lies in making an end run around government regulations and powerful pharmaceutical companies, Ron organizes an illicit trade in a drug cocktail that shows signs of slowing the virus's progress."

Nominations for an Oscar for original screenplay, best actor, and best supporting actor, elicit some major kudos from any viewer with an open mind. 

Watching this film as an artist developing a relentless business mentality, I found, through the entrepreneurial journey by its protagonist, Ron Woodroof, this film provides insight I highly recommend you take into consideration.

So without further ado, here are the 5 Business Perspectives for the business man, entrepreneur or artist driven with a will to succeed.


Whether motivated by the demands of the big corporation you work for or your small business venture, success begins when you can fulfill a need in your community. 

Now in the case of Ron Woodroof, his need to stay alive drove him to not just think outside the box, but to literally take a leap over the border to find medication for his recent diagnosis. On this journey, he had to choose to help a community of people he used to alienate and suddenly had one deadly thing in common.

Regardless of your platform, whatever you package as your service or business, make sure it brings your customers what they need, which ultimately fulfills what you need.  

2)  outside - this can equal innovation, perhaps even creative revolution.

Alright, so that's a lot of fancy words but now for clarification...

Take Ron's example for goodness sake, his need to survive and lack of conventional support, pushed him to the edge of death. 

I mean, come on! If the system's broken and you can't fix it, then create a new one that works right? Shoot! Suddenly a new market is discovered and you're at the helm of a market revolution… 

...Now you’re riding a bigger bull so you're grip better get stronger, quick...

20 percent discount
20 percent discount

 In other words...

Facing new challenges can only make you better.

Ron's mentality had to shift and yours may have to as well, if you’re going to thrive instead of just survive. 


In your day to day you may find road blocks to your ideas, some internal and others external. Whatever the obstacle, identify it and plow through it or use it.

Power of Will and Brain Might?

Ron, a mere gambling electrician, could've caved in and taken his life due to his diagnosis, but he used his charm, smarts and will to survive to take what he learned about his condition and applied it to a new market.

So the key to overcoming odds involves "smarts" huh? Yup. If you dreaded homework in school, the bad news is, it returns. The good news is, it will involve something you love and something that can potentially help you make a living.


Extend Beyond Comfort Zone...

Ron Woodroof, as I said before, was an electrician, so he knew little to nothing about medicine and medications, especially nothing alternative or non-FDA approved. By fortunate chance, he stumbled upon a doctor working in Mexico, banned from the US for whatever undisclosed reason, using more "natural products."

Ron, made it his business, because his life depended on it, to learn what he could from this doctor and made the doc a business proposition…an offer he could not refuse...

Suddenly he was in business, a drug sale rep, and a much needed product got into the hands of people who needed it. 

...and reinvent yourself...

So consider how this driven approach offers a potent tool to overcome the odds in business. You may have covered new ground and yet the foe of competition remains… 

but is it a foe?

5)    Competition although fierce, at times unjust, can bring about useful knowledge... 

Ron attempted to stand up to the FDA bully with knowledge. Soon the battle became who knew more about the meds that actually worked. Even regulations to pin the little guy down could not keep knowledge at bay, as Ron is seen passing out flyers at an FDA public forum…

Competitive markets...

as described on should have "No information failure"

"It is assumed that the consumer of a private good or service knows what they are getting - they are able to estimate accurately the net benefit they are likely to derive." 

Product knowledge! Information folks! If you inform your client about your service in its entirety, that builds trust and trust means continual consumer participation in your exchange.

Use the knowledge of what your competition is NOT doing and do it, and do it better. Now you can fully inform your customers about what you can offer instead.

These 5 Perspectives are relatively general in principle and seemingly difficult to apply, but you have to start somewhere right?

Overall Best Picture...of what insight Dallas Buyer's Club provokes:

The thought on how sometimes life pushes us into a corner for a reason. Perhaps a greater need in our community requires our attention. Considering these 5 perspectives from the movie Dallas Buyers Club can assist in our crawl out of a hole, or in maintaining a certain flight pattern of success. Remember, success is not in your profit margin but in how many people you serviced with a focus on dignity, keeping their best interest at heart.