How to Take Action in Business: 4 Pearls of Wisdom from Sly Stallone

At QLP, we love to mine whatever relevant information we can from the likes of our favorite films and television shows. Why? Because the entertainment industry is insightful, inspirational, and valuable—that’s why.

And trust me on this: there’s nothing more insightful or inspirational than the Italian Stallion himself, Sylvester Stallone!

With that in mind, I’d like to take a quick look at a few lines of dialogue I believe to be criminally under-appreciated, as they offer a great deal of insight on how to run a successful business. Maybe you’ve heard a few of these before. Maybe you haven’t. Either way, pay attention, because the following pearls of wisdom are directly applicable to your business strategy.

Pearl #1 – Switch It Up

Are you not generating the kind of brand awareness you’ve been hoping for? Listen up:

Think your brand image is starting to look a bit stale in the eyes of consumers? Are you ready to “turn it around”? Well, if the seminal action-classic Over the Top has taught us anything (other than that truck driving and professional arm-wrestling make for award-worthy cinema), it’s that you’ve got to switch things up from time to time. What is your company’s content strategy? Is it generating exposure for your brand? If not, it may be time to try a different approach—set up a company blog; start a podcast offering valuable tips for consumers; get proactive about social media engagement. A fresh approach to conveying your brand image is at least worth a shot.

Pearl #2 – Get Confident

Don’t be afraid to let the competition know that you’re number one:

No one is above the law (least of all, Judge Dredd), but it doesn’t hurt to have that attitude. You’ve got to put your game face on when it’s time to compete. This goes double for the cutthroat arena of modern business. Get serious, get motivated, and get ready to bring your A-game. Let your guard down for even a moment and your industry competitors will turn the situation to their advantage. Are you following through on your promises in a timely fashion? You’d better be! Is your customer service up to snuff? Make sure it is, or you’ll lose valued clients to the enemy.

Pearl #3 – Show A Little Personality

Be real with your customers:

I can’t be certain of what Sly is telling us here, but I’m sure it has something to do with social media. The goal in business is to stay relevant to both current and potential customers, and the best way to do that is with personality. Professionalism is fine and dandy, but you’ve got to be approachable too. Once in a while, you have to show consumers that your business can relate to them in a real way—the way Rocky would have: with humor, heart, and empathy. Social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) come in handy in this regard, as they allow you to engage directly and consistently with your customer base. Stay accessible and stay real—otherwise you’ll just grow stagnant.

Pearl #4 – Don’t Back Down

No matter what your profession is, take the following to heart:

That’s right, dammit! No backing down! Rambo knows it, and so should you. You started a business, and you better see to it that it becomes every bit as successful as you originally planned. Keep in mind that whether your company is relatively young or you’ve been in the game for quite some time, growing pains are natural. Some quarters will be less profitable than others, and some days will seem endless. Whatever you do, don’t despair.

There’s obviously a lot we can learn from Stallone (when we can understand what the hell he’s saying), but you’ll have to put his words of wisdom into action yourself if you’re going to gain anything from them. And if all else fails, remember: stick to your guns—they’re what got you this far in the first place. Hey, if it worked for Sly, it can work for you!

Any more Sly pearls of wisdom you’d like to add? Are you feeling inspired enough to take action?

Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.


  1. Jana Quinn

    1) I have an overwhelming urge to get in a bar fight or eat beef jerky.

    2) Does wearing my Snuggie backwards (or a robe correctly) count as a “switch”?

    3) My favorite bit was showing personality. The value of putting a face on a company – humanizing content to use the latest buzzword – is skyrocketing. With scamming getting much easier online, this strategy is more important than ever. The ability to incorporate personality and emotion into your business (without being too self-centered) makes a stunning difference in winning clients away from competitors who are able to price their products and services lower than yours.

    4) Fact: Bruce Willis/Die Hard are way better (and more insightful and inspirational) than anything Stallone has ever or will ever do. FACT.

    • That Guy At Work

      Who would win in a beef jerky eating contest? Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone?

    • Joseph Giorgi

      1) Go for it—the beef jerky, I mean.

      2) Of course!

      3) I agree 132%. It’s tough to develop a relationship with a brand if it comes across as nothing more than a faceless entity.

      4) While “Die Hard” is easily a better action film than most of what Stallone has done, you have to admit that Stallone has had his fair share of inspirational moments. He’s an accomplished screenwriter, after all, and he did win an Oscar for “Rocky”—not for the acting, but for the writing.

  2. Mandy Kilinskis

    Hmmm, it’s not so much a line, but I think that we really should look at the actions of John Spartan in Demolition Man. Be resourceful! Don’t have toilet paper in the future? Swear like mad until you have a fistful of paper tickets to use. Don’t have the slightest idea how to set up a company blog? Google it!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I have to say: it’s AWESOME that you remember Stallone’s character’s name in Demolition Man. I completely forgot about “John Spartan.” If I do a sequel post, I’ll be sure to include him.

      • Mandy Kilinskis

        Demolition Man is one of my favorite Stallone movies, hands down. I could probably write an entire blog of Demolition Man takeaways – but I’ll just let you mention him in a sequel post. 🙂

  3. cyberneticSAM

    Ohhhhhh jeeeeeez! Well I think this would be a more effective blog if could see the video content, so I am only half convinced Stallone is the man. Ha! Very clever, Joseph, very clever. But what I know about Stallone is you can’t understand a damn word he says, he basically pushes all words together and talks like “waddayamean ucanaundastan me, uneemedatalkslowa?” (Translation: What do you mean you can’t understand me, do you need me to talk slower? 🙂 Nice post!

    • cyberneticSAM

      P.S. Just so everyone knows, I think that Joe secretly wishes he were “Sly” Stallone, go ahead and ask him about it! 🙂

      • Joseph Giorgi

        I’m already an “Italian Stallion,” and I’ve got the t-shirt to prove it! 😉

        • Scooby DOO!

          Good thing you put that in quotes!

  4. Jenna

    These are all great tips! (And now I know where my dad gets 90% of his material. I can’t even tell you how many times he’s screamed, “I AM the law!”)

    # 3 is my favorite, mainly because I can’t get enough of social media. There are so many companies that I’ve seen on Facebook that don’t offer any real HUMAN interaction. Any social media account set up for a business should serve as more than just a constant stream of advertisements.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Exactly. A Facebook account doesn’t do a company any good if they’re not using it to connect with their customers. Companies have definitely caught on to the fact that social media presence is a necessity, but it seems like they’re still unaware of how to use it properly. It’s all about engaging in a more direct and personal manner.

  5. amy

    Great post Joe!! I particularly like “Get serious, get motivated, and get ready to bring your A-game”. I think that can easily be applied to real life as well as the business world. Instead of sitting around crying, do something about it and get moving!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Thanks, Amy! Yeah, a big part of success is maintaining a winning attitude and a sense of determination. Naturally, that goes double for business owners! 🙂

  6. Jill Tooley

    Joe, I love this post! Even though I’m not a Stallone fan by any means (I can’t even think of any of his movies I’ve actually seen) there are more than enough clips like the ones you’ve featured to give me the basic idea of what he and his characters stand for – KICKING ASS.

    My favorite is #1 – switch it up. After all, how are you going to beat the competition if you always rely on the same move? Ha. By the way, can you actually understand Sly when he talks? It seems like quite a gift to be able to hear him…maybe that’s why I’ve avoided his films.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Thanks, Jill!

      For your information, it actually takes years of training before you can properly decipher Stallone’s dialogue. I recommend that you start training NOW — by purchasing the Rocky box set on Bu-ray and watching it in its entirety, this weekend, instead of Lord of the Rings. 😉

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