Is there anything better than capitalism? Who doesn’t love free enterprise? And let’s be real. Who among us didn’t love a good field trip to Enterprise Square back in the day? Sometimes I wonder how much that place shaped the current business landscape of Oklahoma. I like to think that all local business owners cut their teeth on the lemonade stand video game.
But it takes more than just the love of commerce to be a successful Oklahoma business owner. It takes a certain flair. It takes a certain spirit. It takes these five traits.
1. In your face Christianity.
Anyone can start a business. But if you want to build a business that people blindly trust, you should stress how Christian your business is. It doesn’t matter if you actually believe it, because you won’t be following any actual Christian teachings. But it is important that you know Jesus, especially as a marketing tool.
2. The desire to rip off customers.
I would argue that while most businesses try to fleece customers, successful Oklahoma businesses do it in a spectacular fashion. Whether your charging some sucker $10,000 to ghostwrite a book that you will never actually market for them, or trying to get people into your car dealership by telling them you have a raffle for an $88 car, Oklahoma businesses really profit by ripping customers off. And hell. When your loan company has the worst default rate in the country, you can eventually run for governor in Oklahoma!
3. Lip service to conservatism in ads.
Sure, you can say you’re a Christian, but that’s not enough. How about showing how American you really are by using Tea Party talking points in your ads? For some reason, Oklahoma customers get the warm fuzzies at the idea of everything being run like a business (which are entities that literally fail all the time and go bankrupt) and they really like it when a business shows their detest for the government (an organization that puts measures in place to prevent these businesses from ruining the lives of consumers).
4. Rumors of shady extracurricular activities.
You’d think that negative things would be bad for a company’s reputation, but that’s not the case! If you have a secret family that you’re paying hush money to, or have every done a ton of cocaine in a hotel with some hookers, you can actually put that on your small business loan application. Seriously. It’s worked for tow of the aforementioned businessmen.
5. Inheriting the business built by parents.
Perhaps the best way to make it in America is to already have made it by the time it’s time for you to make it. And Oklahoma is no exception. The metro is full of small companies that are slowly being destroyed by the second generation of a family to run it, all while ruining the lives of the employees who relied on the company to give them a paycheck. But it’s tough, you know, to be given the keys to the kingdom. One doesn’t just know how to run a business just by taking it over. But it’s still a great way to end up on local thirty under thirty lists.
Marisa didn’t learn much from Enterprise Square, which is why she currently works in the public sector. Follow her on Twitter.