Running Your Life is Like Running a Drug Cartel

Disclaimer: No spoilers on the series included, and take this article in jest. In other words, please don’t try and run your own cartel.

With Narcos Season 3 out a few weeks ago, this one has been the best yet. The plethora of Spanish tunes, egos, money, women, and cartel leader’s names make this series just plain slick. But as you can imagine, it’s no joke that running an organized crime syndicate (a cartel in the drug world) is tough. Running your life is no joke, either. And so, if you put two and two together, running your life is like running a drug cartel.

A cartel is no different from a legitimate business (aside from the fact its an illegitimate business), there’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of people, and there’s a lot of violence. Pepper in the fact that you’ve got just about everyone after you, from those within your own organization to the government authorities outside it.

And they all share one thing in common: they want you either out of power, or dead.

Now, as you can see, having a Narcos style life is a bit over the top for most people. No one can fault you on that one.

How can you even compare a cartel to your life? Read on, mi amigo.

It’s Hard Work

At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to make a living. The two components that make it sweeter are a) loving what you do, and b) making good money doing it.

A number of us turn to entrepreneurship to shoot for the stars in the hopes of making it big, or we work our way up within an organization until we’re a C-level exec calling the shots. Either way, nothing worth anything in life comes easy. Making a lot of money and having a solid professional career takes a solid work ethic if you want to make a mark.

In a cartel, you’re the CEO or a high-ranking officer of a business basically. But let’s not forget it’s an illegal one – your national government wants to arrest you for your hard work over the years, because you make them look bad. It gets worse: if you’re in any place besides the United States, you’ll probably be wanted by the U.S. authorities and likely extradited here because your product reached stateside, and you bet your ass the U.S. government wants a piece of you.

Sounds fun right? When there’s a lot of money involved, it’s not hard to see why people from poor backgrounds work their way up from a young age, especially when they know nothing else. Plus, being in such a powerful position strokes your ego. Hey! Look at that…

You Have a Big Ego

We all have one, we all flex it, and we all spend varying degrees of time trying to either get it in check or letting it run wild. In the course of your life, you’ll get crossed, ditched, talked down to, cut out, blamed, harassed, heartbroken, attacked, and dumped. Every time, your ego goes absolutely wild. People generally respond in one of two ways: get super angry with the person and let them know, or you get super upset and bottle it in.

In a cartel, you generally kill the other person. Lucky for us, we live in a more sane society where rules apply. Egos in a cartel are on steroids for two reasons: your power is in question at all times, and your life is, too. Once someone sniffs a bit of weakness or gets a group together to decide they don’t like you or don’t want you where you are, you’re in trouble.

So you’re constantly paranoid, making sure your ego gets a proper petting on a regular basis, while having a side eye for even those closest to you. In other words…

You’re Worried About What Others Think

We worry too much about what everyone thinks, even those who we barely know because we don’t want our feelings hurt.

In a cartel, it’s your life on the line. You worry about what other people think because they could be scheming against you in an effort to overthrow you or because they just don’t like you. A lovely existence I might add.

Narcos Cali cartel actors
I wouldn’t fuck with any of these people.

In real life, the consequences aren’t so dire, but we’re still so anxious about it. Sure, people will still talk shit behind your back, but they probably won’t put a bounty on your head over it. But unfortunately, a reality of life is that…

There’s Backstabbing 

They’ll also likely stab you in the back or walk away when the chips are down. Everyone’s had experience with that. But unlike a cartel, you’ll be coming out ahead. You’ll have a chance to see who the people you don’t need in your life are, and you can walk away from it. In a cartel, you’re pretty much toast if you’re stabbed in the back. If you’re lucky, you might have to start over with nothing but the clothes on your back when you’re expelled from the organization. If you’re lucky.

But why do we get involved with the wrong people sometimes? We think they can provide some value in our life, and a lot of times it revolves around money. Because…

At The End Of The Day It’s About The Money

None of us want to worry about securing our financial future, and you shouldn’t have to. Pursuing your passions or securing a job you love should also be weighed against your ability to live the kind of life you want. Why would you want to do what you love but be absolutely broke doing it? You don’t need to be a millionaire, but you also want to afford nice things. So the desire for money still stands as a heavy deciding factor in what people do in their life. Unfortunately, a lot choose the money over exploring any kind of enjoyment in their professional careers.

In a cartel, the desire to make money is taken to the extreme. Once it starts rolling in, you’re neck deep and won’t ever walk away from it because, well, it’s just that much. You can buy anything you want, including people (we all know how many government officials are bribed). Even if you hate it, all you have to do is sniff the stacks of money stuffed in shoeboxes all over your house.

Oh, and… 

They All Have Cool Names

This actually isn’t like real life at all, but most of the dudes in cartels have some of the coolest names. Don Miguel, Gilberto Rodriguez, Pablo Escobar, Pacho, Chepe, Jorge Salcedo, Enrique, La Quica, Limon. The list goes on.

Did I mention my name is Adam? Doesn’t quite have that same cartel “ring” to it.

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