10 Quotes From ‘House of Cards’ for Entrepreneurs

In the newly released Season 3 of the Netflix hit “House of Cards”, we once again dive deep into the manipulative world of politics propagated by Francis Underwood and his close allies. Watching the show, you can’t help but think that to get ahead you must engage in very questionable activities. Whether or not you agree with Underwood’s politics, you have to admit that some of his advice can be useful lessons for entrepreneurs.

Here are 10 of Underwood and his posse’s best quotes to inspire startup founders. Don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers. Just be sure to be inspired by what he says, not as he does:

1. “From this moment on you are a rock. You absorb nothing, you say nothing, and nothing breaks you,” Frank Underwood. (h/t ThinkApps)

Keeping calm during the ups and downs of building a startup is challenging. As leader of a company, you have to stay strong for your team and those counting on your success.

2. “Don’t let a little dirt stop you” Doug Stamper. 

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Remember why you started your business. There will by naysayers, but you can’t let them change your course of action. Believe in your self and your team.

3. “There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain. The sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things” Frank Underwood. 

When growing a company, you will encounter various setbacks. It’s up to you to know how you deal with challenges, and what kind of effect it will have on your team and product.

4. “I have no patience for useless things” Frank Underwood. 

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Entrepreneurs need to keep their focus on what’s important for the company’s growth. From customer acquisition to product development, whatever stage you’re startup is in, spend energy there. Don’t waste time.

5. “Imagination is its own form of courage” Frank Underwood. 

Entrepreneurs have the confidence and determination to build a product out of an idea. That’s what the “entrepreneurial spirit” is all about. Giving up everything to follow that idea takes courage.

6. “I like irons, but I love fire” Claire Underwood. 

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When you set out to build a startup, you better be up for the fight. From competitors to raising funds, remember why you started this journey in the first place. You were up for the challenge.

7. “You can’t turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ without a ‘maybe’ first” Frank Underwood. 

It takes a lot of tenacity and patience when you’re raising funding for your startup. Pitching to VCs and investors is not easy, especially when you hear a lot of no. Remember that your business is a risk to investors, so it takes a lot of convincing. Even when you do get those investments, you need to continuously prove yourself and negotiate most of decisions.

8. “This country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. And if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something” Frank Underwood. 

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At some point, most entrepreneurs come to the conclusion that they’re startup needs to pivot. This often happens when something within their business fails. Successful  startups fail quickly and move forward.

9. “If You don’t like how the table is set, turn it over” Frank Underwood. 

Many entrepreneurs set out to solve a problem with their business ideas. Always remember why you started your company in the first place: because you wanted to make a change.

10. “I’ve always said that power is more important than money, but when it comes to elections, money gives power, well, a run for its  money” Frank Underwood. 

As an entrepreneur, you should understand that power comes with users. Even if your startup raises a lot of funding, without the users, your business is worthless. Money is powerful in politics, but not in the startup world.

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Written by:
Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.
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