10 Business Lessons to Learn from Itaewon Class

Itaewon Class is a story of a young man whose principles ruled him at a young age. These principles were unbendable even in the face of the most powerful family in the city that eventually caused his life to be turned in a living hell. His rise to power as he pushes his enemies to their limits has caused him a decade of strategic business moves in his goal to put an end to his enemy’s injustice.

Okay, that sounded like a movie, but to be fair, it’s really a good one.

There are also life lessons to be learned in the story, but today I am going to highlight the ones related to business because that is where the story played in most of its episodes.

1. Gain knowledge

Park Saeroyi used his time in prison to read and learn everything he needed to know about business. He did not waste his time in prison. He made his stay there productive by reading books, especially the autobiography of the most successful CEO, even if he was his enemy.

2. Save and invest money

Before even starting his business, he started saving money and has been growing it. He also did not use all his money to start the business, some were still invested in shares and still earning.

Invest money during crisis

Saeroyi bought shares during crisis. For stock watchers, this is the moment when you have to buy stocks because you can buy them low. The value will rise in due time, which is what happened to Saeroyi’s money after many years. He invested his money in a company that was at a great lost, but that was  because he believed the company will rise again in the future.

3. Short-term and long-term plan.

Saeroyi had a 5yr, 10 yr, and 15yr plan. His vision was so clear and his long-term plan helped him rise up every time there were minor setbacks happening along the way.

4. Invest in people

Saeroyi empowered his staff. He mentored them even when they failed. What did he get in return? Loyalty and people were willing to help him achieve his company’s vision. He did not immediately fire people when they failed. He gave them a chance and taught them how to do it right. This way, his employees felt more valued. These employees gave more in return as they embraced mistakes as part of the learning process.

5. Don’t be afraid to hire people who are better than you

Saeroyi was never ashamed to hire people who were better than him in the area he knew nothing about. He embraced their strengths and gave them authority and confidence to make decisions. You may hire people, but not giving them full authority to do what they need to do limits them. Communication on how to implement things is important, but in the end giving the people you hire the confidence and trust makes them more responsible.

6. Give equal opportunity to people

An ex-convixt, a transgender, an enemy’s son, a foreigner, and a woman who never went to college– Saeroyi gave all of them opportunity to work regardless of their backgrounds and he took them all in as people willing to work. That was enough for him to build his team. He started from their desire to work and then he guided them from there. He supported each staff all the way.

7. Start from small to big

Be willing to start from the lowest point until you become a corporation. Every successful business you see around started small until they became a name that is known globally. Achievement is sweeter knowing you’ve worked hard and has overcome every hurdle along the way.

8. Be willing to learn from your competitor

It’s okay to know more about your competitors especially if they have started years before you. Learn from them. You don’t exactly copy their ways. Study their strategies and check how you can improve those strategies then apply them.

9. Celebrate with your team

Saeroyi would have casual night outs with his team as a way of catching up with them and appreciating their hard work. Victories, whether big or small are given great importance and best enjoyed with the people who worked for it.

10. Grow with your team

When Saeroyi became a CEO, every team member who was there with him from the start got promoted along with him. They did not remain as servers. A team that has been mentored well should rise with you as you develop new set of team members. To rise alone is considered a failure in leadership. You have to rise and grow as a team.


Who is this series for?

I recommend this to people who are planning to start a business in the future or who are already starting. Don’t just watch the it and be entertained. Learn from the business moves and how each character’s decision could make or break a business. Itaewon Class will make you want to be a good owner of a company and you the team’s dedication to succeed will motivate you to keep going.


Have you watched the series? What’s the most memorable part for you?

Here’s a video tutorial of the Journal with Me: 10 Business Lessons to Learn from  Itaewon Class:

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