10 Business Tips From Pirates: The Salty Dogs Strike Again

It’s Talk Like A Pirate day! In honour of our seafaring pals, we’ve worked out what you, young entrepreneur/jobhunter/blog-reader, can learn from those grizzled old sea-folk- surprisingly, it’s quite a lot. In time honoured fashion, though, we’re going to present that advice in the form of GIFs, and mostly GIFs of Johnny Depp. Because why not? Heave-to, me hearties- and away we go….

10. Self-Confidence Is Key


Pirates understand everything.

If you don’t believe in yourself, the saying goes, nobody else will. Nobody knows this better than a pirate. A pirate’s piratical nature is all in the swagger; the bravado. You must perfect this self-confidence, in order to be able to lead your motley crew to the treasure- or the venture capitalists.

9. Be Ruthless


Pirates are ruthless.

There will be difficult times. That’s for certain. You may have to fire people. You’ll almost certainly have to criticise people. You’ll definitely, definitely have to be tough with people in all sorts of different ways- and here, you’re best to follow the advice o Captain Barbarossa: feel nothing. Be ruthless. Don’t let emotion cloud your intellectual judgment.

(But be kind, all the same. You may feel nothing, but others probably will.)


8. Pick Your Crew Wisely


Lady pirates, much like ladies in tech, are far too rare. You’ll want a crew worth taking aboard anywhere; a crew you can really rely on it. That crew could be made up of anyone- and it doesn’t do to judge by appearances. Jack Sparrow even hires women, for goodness sake. Women!


7. No Shilly Shallying


Will Turner, DECISIVE PIRATE. Yes.

Make a decision. Stick to it. Understand, and appreciate the consequences. For instance, the consequence of me writing this post is two hours wasted looking at Orlando Bloom’s charming little face, before he became shiny and irritating. Look at him. Look at him being decisive. You, too, could be that decisive.




6. Be Prepared For Doubt


Doubt a pirate? Never.

If you can keep your head, when all about you, people are saying “what an idiot”, and “this literally will never work” and “there is a reason chocolate teapots were abandoned”, you’ll be an entrepreneur. It’s the lot of the visionary to be doubted. But persist- they may be the Will Turner to your Jack Sparrow, and if you can convince them to go along with you in spite of their doubts, they’ll be your strongest supporters.


5. No Regrets


There’s very little point regretting anything. So you sunk your ship. So you were marooned. So you were betrayed. If you hadn’t been, everything would have been very, very different- and you wouldn’t be about to have the most excellent adventure of your entire career. You never know when an adventure’s just round the corner- and you do look good in that hat.




Pirates love to make lists.

4. Prioritise


If you, like Captain Barbarossa, can prioritise one thing (murder) over another (murder),  you’ll be a significantly better business person.

Look at the situation. Assess it. What needs you most? What can wait? Make a list, and stick to it. Pirates love lists.


3. The Only Rules That Really Matter…


and how to break them. The way to break them? Sheer self-confidence, in what you can damn well do. Ask not what your company can do for you, but what you can do for your company.




2. I Want Sometimes Gets


Do you remember the wise advice of our Dear Leader, Rajeeb Dey? The wise advice that went against everything your mum ever told you? Yeah. It’s backed up by pirates, too. State what you want, and state it clearly, to the right people, and you might just get everything you’ve ever wanted.


1. Go Your Own Way


In the immortal words of Fleetwood Mac (my dad’s favourite song, if you’re wondering), go your own way. Follow your own compass. Even if, as in the case of Jack Sparrow, that compass appears a little…broken. It will get you there. It will get you where you want to be.


Follow your own compass, pirates.


Jack Sparrow: My compass… is unique.
Norrington: “Unique” here having the meaning of broken.
Jack Sparrow: True enough, this compass does not point north.
Elizabeth: Where does it point?
Jack Sparrow: It points to the thing you want most in this world.



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