Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

How to

It’s a dog eat dog world (philosophies for business survival)

gordon geckoThe economy sucks, people are losing business, spouses are losing jobs, people are hiding their cars from the repo man and others have lost their homes. People are bitter and the Internet is a fast way to lash out at others with a veil of anonymity- this isn’t my theory, it’s based on my studies at the University of Texas that date back to 1999 as sociologists began publishing papers on web behavior.

Put all of these together, and you have a choice as to what business philosophy you want to adopt for your survival, like these:

  1. The common “it’s a dog eat dog world” mentality that keeps you strong and on top of your game.
  2. “People say I am ruthless. I am not ruthless. And if I find the man who is calling me ruthless, I shall destroy him,” Robert Kennedy. I have to admit that during my school days, I was extremely competitive (some would even say mean) as I fought my way to the top. I can certainly relate to this philosophy.
  3. “A real diplomat is one who can cut his neighbor’s throat without having his neighbor notice it,” Trygve Lie. Many negotiators live this out every day- there’s nothing like outwitting someone with a smile on your face, we see it every day in real estate.
  4. “If any of my competitors were drowning, I’d stick a hose in their mouth,” Ray Kroc. Ray was a business genius, so many many people have adopted his business theories, there are even courses in colleges across the nation devoted to his brilliance.

Of the above, which business philosophy do you choose to operate your days with in this tough economy? If none of those, maybe a fifth option fits you best…

The philosophy I go by

A lot has changed in life over the years- we lost a son, a brother and I almost lost my husband to a heart attack. The above quotes all seem so harsh for such a short life. I want to have those attitudes and be tough, but it’s just not me and it hasn’t been since the day I met my husband.

I’m a kinder, gentler, more workhorse type now and only one person has summed it up the way I feel about it… we were watching the final night of Conan O’Brian’s show and he said, “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” This has stuck with me and many of you have heard me tell you that it perfectly captures my personal AND business philosophy which is why I don’t choose to spill blood- that’s a temporary fix… rather, I choose to stay the course and to be kind to people and whether I win the lottery (which I don’t play) or not, good things WILL happen.

When Benn and I were talking about this article, he reminded me of a similar philosophy that he has been living by for several years now from the very wise Jeff Brown who told Benn, “always leave ’em smiling.” In business, the best tactic is to always leave them smiling- there’s no need to overreact, there’s no need to lash out… what you are thinking and emoting is your own personal business.

If you support one of the other philosophies above, I most certainly don’t find fault in that as each person’s life is different and I’m not in any position to judge as at some point in life, I have shared those sentiments. But as life has unfolded for us, I think Conan has the right idea.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Tell us in comments what your favorite quote is that keeps you on your professional path!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Ken Brand

    February 14, 2011 at 9:33 am

    The market for hope is infinite. ~ Hugh MacLeod
    A leader is a dealer in hope ~ Napoleon (The conquer, not Dynamite)

    Thanks Lani.

    • Lani Rosales

      February 14, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Ken, I would have assumed your outlook is sunny as well. 🙂

      I do wonder sometimes if I’d bathe in money if I had a more Trump outlook… probably, but with this personality, I’d come up short on the happiness scale 🙂

  2. Bryan Thompson

    February 14, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Lani, love the Conan quotes. I think he had perhaps one of the classiest “concession” speeches I’ve ever heard on his final Tonight show. I think politicians could learn from him. It’s tough out there, but our outlook is everything!

    • Lani Rosales

      February 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Bryan, I couldn’t agree more!

    • MH for Movoto

      February 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      I definitely agree with you, Bryan. The way Conan handled that whole debacle was an inspiration to civilized people everywhere – our elected officials could stand to learn a thing or two from him.

  3. Bryan Thompson

    February 14, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Oh, my favorite quotes:

    “Ninety percent of all those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.”

    – Paul J. Meyer

    “Who would you rather read an advice book from? A guy who sits behind his desk with no mistakes? Or a guy who has been through some major Michael Jordan vertical bounces?” (I’m kind of paraphrasing)

    – Sinbad

  4. BawldGuy

    February 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Hey Lani, God bless ya, and thanks so much for the kind mention.

    We can all bargain hard, be tough, even walk away from business/private situations in life, without being medieval about it. That very simple truth is what has guided me from Day 1. The cost for any income or other gain is far too costly when its price includes knowing you did wrong. Not liking who you see in the mirror is always to steep a price to pay for any behavior.

    Being intimidating and/or evil as an M.O., in life or business, doesn’t assure success any more than those who’ve mistaken my kindness for weakness have gained an edge on me. What so many have failed to understand is that if your position is strong, and your facts are correct, the demeanor you choose will not alter those two realities. Conan is a great example of that principle.

    He knew his talent was superior, and that the demand for that talent in the market would prevail in his ultimate favor. That’s turned out to be his current reality. The same can be said about Green Bay QB Aaron Rogers. Compare his character and demeanor to his predecessor, Brett Favre. He was mistreated and his career path delayed, yet his incredible talent and rock solid character triumphed in the end.

    It always does. Great stuff, Lani. You rock.

    • Lani Rosales

      February 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      All great points, Jeff. You have no idea how you personally have impacted our careers with your advice. We thank you 🙂

  5. Julie Babcock

    February 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I don’t know who said it, but people buy from (or work with) those that they know, like and trust. I don’t grow my business by being mean or underhanded; those would work against being liked and trusted. Rather I make opportunities to exceed expectations and delight my clients. And I work on the “being known” part by some arms-length marketing (website, brochures), but mostly by face-to-face meeting people. I’d have to say that this business philosophy is working quite well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.