3 Things I Learned About Success From The Blacklist

It’s taking everything in me not to make this a fan raving post about NBC’s The Blacklist. I love this show so much, I think it’s real. I feel guilty about loving the criminals [who are also the main characters] in the show that I question my own character and sanity at times. If you aren’t familiar with this show, let me give you a quick overview. Before I explain what this show is about and who the main characters are, what they do and why, I ask that you don’t judge me. The drooling will be seriously ridiculous.

3 Things I Learned About Success From The Blacklist

The Blacklist is about a criminal, Raymond Reddington [whom we call Red or Reddington], who turns himself into the FBI on the first day of Elizabeth [Liz] Keen’s career and role as a FBI agent. Don’t ask me who he is to her. Many of us still don’t know their relationship status. You’ll have to watch along with everyone else. Anyway, Red is a notorious criminal who’s been MIA for years. He knows about professional criminals from all over the world and reports them to the FBI for his benefit and for the protection of himself, Liz, and the people closest in his circle. Throughout the season, both him and Liz are fighting a massive criminal battle with a group of world leaders and subordinates called the Cabal. Each case brings them closer to the answers that they need to protect themselves.

Now, I skipped a whole lot of details like her husband was inserted in her life by Red but then turned on Red after he fell in love with her, because as I’ve said, this will not be a raving fan post. However, I urge you to look at the series for yourself. At this time, The Blacklist is on Netflix and Amazon. You’ll be hooked from the first episode! Promise.

If you’re thinking, “how in the world did this criminal show teach you about success?”. I am glad you asked. In the show, there is a pattern that occurs in each episode. Red’s reactions, interactions, and solutions inspire me in business as I can apply some of these strategies to solve a problem to my business. Here are three things that this show does on every episode with the main character Reddington, that teaches me about success.


Use the element of surprise

Almost every episode presents a case for the FBI to solve with a new criminal to find. Some of the episodes continue on to conclude a story, but the basic rotation is: new case, new reveal for each episode that allowed Reddington to get closer to solving a problem or protecting Liz and himself.

Each episode creates an element of surprise. Red is usually the main character to create that surprise when he gets involved. He is completely unpredictable. After watching all 60-something episodes, I realized that the element of surprise is great for business and marketing! It keeps an audience craving for more content. It keeps an audience excited about what’s to come in the future. As businesses build their brands, they’ll evolve with innovative marketing ideas. They will build relationships and will keep their audience coming back for more! The Blacklist has mastered the element of surprise with all their episodes. Business owners should take notes and implement it in their marketing strategies.

3 Things I Learned About Success From The Blacklist



Be strategic

Along with the element of surprise, The Blacklist is strategic about how much they allow their audience to know. They reveal little by little about Red and Liz. This builds anticipation with the audience. When a business launches or it launches a new product or service, it has to be strategic about announcing those things to it’s audience. Being strategic builds momentum and excitement. It primes the audience for the big reveal.


The Blacklist reveals a tiny part of their “big reveal” with every episode. Although many of us only speculate Red and Liz’s relationship, we all return to see the truth. Like any other TV show, each episode ends with a preview of the next episode. This teaches me to announce small snippets of my next launch or the direction of my business before actually making official announcements. Again, this will inform my audience that I am working on something great. It will also prepare them for what’s to come. When I release my content, products or services, it won’t be a surprise, but people will be curious enough to look further into it.

Other business owners can use this tactic as well. Be strategic by thinking of ways that you can introduce your business or parts of your business through innovative marketing that builds anticipation, creates curiosity, and creates excitement!


Collaborate wisely

Collaborating with other business owners is an amazing marketing strategy. It has benefits that help expand brands and reach bigger audiences. It helps entertain, inform, educate, and entice an audience. The Blacklist has effectively collaborated with several actors and actresses. The characters who specifically play associates of Reddington in the show are the best people to collaborate with.

In script, these associates are able to use their expertise and skill to help the agenda of Reddington and the FBI. Each party benefits from the expertise and skill of another. Well, I take that back. Each party on Red’s team benefits because sometimes those associates don’t make it out alive.

To tie this to business, it’s important to build relationships with people who have strengths where we have weaknesses. It’s important to build relationships with people who have specific expertise, knowledge and skill in areas that we don’t. When we collaborate with others, all audiences and brand’s expand. Collaborating is important for business. It builds relationships and reaches larger audiences.

BusinessNatalie GreagorComment