The one show every entrepreneur should watch

If you haven’t seen it already, Billions is an American TV drama series based around leading character Bobby Axelrod – aka Axe – an ambitious manager of a hedge fund company named Axe Capital.

Unlike many in the financial world, Axe is beloved by the public for his generous charity donations –  although he is loathed by the District Attorney (more on this later).

Despite being a TV show, there are plenty of business lessons you can take away from the character of Bobby Axelrod, which you can implement in your business immediately.


1 – Take action

If an opportunity arises, act. And act FAST.

Axe Capital grew to become a colossal billion-dollar company due to Axe taking action. Although his actions would be deemed inexcusable to most people due to the circumstances in which he took action (he took action during a time of national crisis), he made billions of dollars in the process.

Technically, he did nothing wrong, and regardless of whether you think he was morally wrong or not, the lesson we can take away here is that Axe took action when an opportunity presented itself.

Next time you are presented with an opportunity, don’t procrastinate, take action.

2 – Surround yourself with people smarter than you.

In order to grow, you need to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and can help elevate your business to that next step.

Axe consistently employs people who are considered the best in their field.

Although a very smart businessman himself, Axe knows that he cannot do everything within his business alone, so he employs staff to take care of those jobs for him. He also takes counsel from these people and values their opinions, weighing up the pros and cons of each situation that arises.

Where are weaknesses in your business? Can you employ someone who knows that particular field better than you to help raise the bar.

3 – Declutter your mind on a regular basis

Axe employs the services of an onsite psychologist named Wendy. Her job it is to fine tune the mental engines of Axe Capital’s staff.

Axe appreciates how important it is to clear out his mind on a regular basis so he can focus on what’s important.

If you can’t afford the services of an onsite psychologist, exercise and meditation can help you achieve mindfulness after a stressful day at the office.

4 – Be relentless

Although considered a bit of a grey area in the show because Axe often lacks a moral compass, he is always relentless in the pursuit of whatever it is he wants.

He is focussed 100% on the task at hand and will not stop until he achieves his goal. This mental clarification prevents Axe from losing concentration and deviating from his chosen path.

What can you be relentless at in your business? Could you be more relentless marketing your company on social media? Or perhaps through blogging?

5 – Have a loyal supporter

In the show, Axe’s wife Lara has his back at every turn. She is his most loyal supporter with great qualities such as being honest, independent and a person to turn to when the walls feel like they are caving in.

So, whether you seek the support of a husband/wife, a business partner, a friend or a mentor, it is important that you have someone fighting your corner and to help guide you in the right direction.

You can’t do it all alone.

6 – Information is key

Axe knows the value of great information. He knows that in his line of business information is power. And he uses the information he receives to take his business to the next step.

If you want to get ahead in business, seek out good information. And use it!

This could be in the form of research, reaching out to a mentor or bringing in a consultant who has achieved the things that you want to achieve.

Which piece of information holds the key to unlocking the potential of your business?

7 – Give back

Although Bobby Axelrod may be viewed in a less than favourable light by many who watch the show, he remembers where he came from and the struggles he’s faced on the way up. He is a charitable guy and likes to use his fortune to help others less fortunate.

Maybe you can’t afford to give away millions yourself, but you can give back in many other ways. You could become a mentor to someone who is just starting out in their career. You could sponsor a local event, donate your product or services to a local charity. Not only will this be greatly beneficial to others, but it will make you feel good about yourself and reinforce that you are in business to help other people.

8 – Be fearless

Axe takes on everyone and anyone and never backs down from a situation. He is always thinking, strategizing and looking to stay one step ahead of the game.

Being fearless allows you to get your voice heard. It allows you to put out a product or service without fear of what others may say, prevents you from failing to pull the trigger when you really should and helps you make decisions that you are proud to stand by.

9 – Be yourself

There is a scene where Axe tries be someone else. He takes on a persona other than his own and he fails because he is not congruent with his true identity.

He doesn’t dwell on this matter, instead he immediately reverts back to himself. Dresses like he dresses, speaks like he speaks and acts like he acts.

The result? Everything falls into place again and things begin to work perfectly.

The moral of this point is to simply be yourself in business. Don’t try to be somebody you are not. Don’t speak to people or send emails in a boring corporate robot-like voice. Be yourself and let your personality shine through. People will instantly be drawn to the real you. People will trust you and warm to you much quicker.

10 – Be passionate

In the show, Axe is being closely watched by the District Attorney who wants to bring his empire crashing down to its knees. While the DA is doing all he can to pin something on his nemesis, Axe is passionate about being one step ahead of his rival and is passionate about crushing him at any chance he gets.

You have to be passionate about what you do. It’s this passion which will motivate you to get up every morning with the right enthusiasm to go about your working day.

Your passion will be visible to others. You must be passionate about your business.