Tony Montana's Guide to Success


For anyone unfamiliar with Tony Montana let me introduce you, he is a Cuban political immigrant pursuing the “American Dream”. He does this in a slightly less conventional way than most, but there still is a lesson or two to be learned from the meteoric rise of Tony Montana. (I’m sure anyone familiar with Tony, will probably be expecting a reference to his little friend, for those unfamiliar although it sounds like a sexual innuendo, I assure it’s not).

See also: How to Write the Perfect Business Plan

He’s also a fictional character in the 1983 Brian De Palma movie Scarface.

Do Whatever is Necessary to Get your Foot in the Door

Getting noticed is a pretty serious, arduous endeavor when thousands of other people are vying for the same position. Sometimes you have to do something to distinguish yourself, to rise above the listless throngs that precede or seek to succeed you. Sometimes you have to go that extra mile to prove your worth to an organization or company. In Tony’s case, that extra mile was killing a political aide to Fidel Castro for a green-card. Let me just say this, if your potential employer asks you to kill someone, you might want to explore other employment opportunities we are talking about a movie, after all.

Ask for More Responsibility

Once you get noticed, it might take a certain period of time to establish yourself within the ranks of the company or organization. Don’t just sit there and expect it to come to you though, you will need to prove your worth and value to your superiors. When given something small try to ask your supervisor for something more involved. When Tony was tasked with unloading a boat full of marijuana, he asked for something a bit more involved and was given the responsibility of a $25.000 drug transaction.

Risk Assessment

When taking on bigger assignments with more responsibility, the risks are inherently higher. Risks may create damages and mistakes, but higher risks carry greater rewards. When Tony goes to the drug transaction, it becomes clear early on that the seller has no intention of completing the transaction. This becomes explicitly evident when the seller kills his partner with a chainsaw and then threatens Tony with the same fate if he doesn’t give him the money for the purchase of the drugs. Having estimated the inherent risk, Tony leaves two of his crew members behind, telling them to check on the situation after a certain period. They intercept (see shoot to hell) the seller’s partners and then help alleviate the difficult business impasse that Tony was in (see continue shooting everyone else to hell). Because of Tony’s forethought, risk and asset management, not only did he get the drugs he also got the money that he then gave to his boss, who was very pleased.

Caution of a Fast Rising Star

Ambition is one of the most instrumental character attributes that lead to success. But be wary of a few things, first don’t be so cock-sure that you bite off more than you can chew. The higher you are the further you’ll fall. In Tony’s case, the fall was a result of a shotgun blast to the back, and the fall was from a staircase balcony into a pool with the epithet "The World is Yours."

Lastly I’d like to say, don’t do drugs, sell them or distribute them, because all of that is illegal in most of the world. Tony Montana is a fictional character, and the circumstances of his rise and fall are also. Drug dealers in the real world usually only have a life expectancy of a couple of decades on the lucky end and only a few months on the unlucky (more frequent) end.