The Essential Life Lessons of Drug Lord Gus Fring

Gustavio Fring is a popular character on AMC’s on the crime drama “Breaking Bad” and its prequel “Better Call Saul”. Giancarlo Espisito plays the character of Gus Fring perfectly, creating a likable yet amazingly sinister villain. Gus is from Chile and emigrated to Mexico in the 1980s. That is about all we know about his past. He finds his way to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he builds a business empire. Gus and his partner Max Arciniega start a successful fast food chain, Los Pollos Hermanos as well as an industrial laundry facility, Lavandria Brilliante. Of course, these businesses are a front for his real career, a drug lord.

Gus Fring was written as a guest part on “Breaking Bad”, but Espisito helped create a dynamic character that was made into a major role on the television show. Fring’s personality and business wisdom make him a complex, inspiring antagonist. Unfortunately, Fring is killed in “Breaking Bad”, but his character resurfaces in the prequel to “Breaking Bad”, “Better Call Saul”.

Here are 5 life lessons Gus Fring teaches us.

Keep a calm

Gus is a calm, calculating, mysterious character. Despite the fact that he is really a ruthless drug lord and murderer, Gus knows that appearances are important. On the outside, Gus is a professional, compassionate human being. He is an upstanding and likable businessman in the Albuquerque community. He is charitable and donates money to help his community, even to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Even in his drug business, Gus always remains calm. He is calculating and knows who to befriend and when that friendship or connection is no longer necessary. A large part of Gus’ success in both businesses is his ability to retain a calm, professional and likable exterior.

The customer is always right

In business and in life, it is important to take care of other’s needs. Gus makes a point of making his customers happy in his Los Pollos Hermanos business. Despite the fact that he owns and operates 15 fast food stores and each is well staffed, Gus makes a point to meet with his customers personally and get their feedback on the food and service. Gus knows that connecting personally with his customers is vital to growing his business.

Even in his “drug” world, Gus shows compassion for his customers. The reason he hires Walter White to make the meth that he will sell, he does so because Walter’s recipe creates high-quality meth. Even if his motives are a bit stilted, Gus genuinely believes that keeping treating the customers well is the key to any successful business.

Have some mystery

There is nothing wrong with keeping an air of mystery in your life. Gus Fring has a mysterious past. Nothing is known about his life before he emigrated to Mexico. He maintains that he is a family man and has a wife and raised his children despite the fact that we never see his family. The air of mystery keeps people in wondering and that is better than being transparent. Of course in Gus’ line of business, he has to keep secrets, but overall, Gus’ privacy helps to maintain his professional and charitable manner which attracts people to him and helps him maintain an air of power.

Use self discipline and listen

Gus Fring teaches us that self discipline is a key to success in life. He doesn’t become frustrated and is able to calculate his moves and make the best decisions. Fring also makes the conscious effort to listen. He listens to his customers so he can learn how to make his business better. Effective communication is the key to getting along with others in business and in your personal life. Gus Fring is self-disciplined and has clear goals. He plans ahead so he doesn’t become frustrated.

The bad guy is never all bad

It’s easy to believe that there is simply good and evil, but life is much more complex than that. Nothing is clearly black and white, but there is a lot of gray area. Gus Fring has a side to him that is good and loyal. He has a family who clearly means a lot to him. The murder of his best friend and business partner, Max, seems to have led him down the path of revenge, but that is because he cared about Max. Even his relationship with Walter and Jesse on “Breaking Bad” has blurred lines. He helps them and has an alliance with them, even if it is to make and sell drugs. Walter cares for the likeable and respectable Gus and is torn when he has to kill him. Gus teaches us that there is humanity even in the people who seem to have lost it.


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