September 18, 2021

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How to use the Book of the Five Rings as a strategic business guide

How to plan the future of your business

“Let your plans be as dark and impenetrable as the night, and when you move, you fall like lightning.” – Sun Tzu, The art of war

With books like “Prince” and “The Art of War”, business has always been influenced by military strategy.

While these jobs are definitely essential to business, they may be outdated in terms of trade warfare today.

Today’s business includes cell phones, computers, organizations that span multiple geographic locations, and non-traditional marketing techniques like social media.

Miyamoto Musashi’s Five Rings Book is a classic work on samurai sword fighting strategy that can provide valuable insight into modern business strategy.


An interesting concept from the book of the five rings is the composition of the ring.

This refers to how you organize your troops around an enemy castle to attack or defend.

For example, if the goal was to take over a website, a possible ring-composition could be to send out an army of press releases to all media, spread the word on social media, and hire a high-profile blogger to write about yours. activities .

Since the composition of the ring refers to the troops around an enemy castle, entrepreneurs are able to organize their affairs in the same way.

It is important to remember that these troops are always available to enter when needed.

For example, you might have a business consultant for marketing and business development, but your business still needs strategic business planning.

The business consultant is in the marketing and business development ring while the business planning ring is where you will defend your castle.

You can also use this ring-making idea to hire staff members.

For example, I have a lawyer who I can call if I need help with contracts or other legal matters outside my jurisdiction, but I also have someone who manages my daily life.

Attack or retreat?

Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

Another challenge in business is knowing when to attack or retreat.

When you only have five units left but the company in front of you has ten units, it may be time to fight even if you are at a disadvantage.

On the other hand, it might be best to back off so that you can build up your strength before attacking again.

There are no hard and fast rules for corporate strategy.

If you are faced with a company with more resources, it may be best to attack and try to win quickly so they don’t have time to catch up.

On the other hand, if you have more resources than your enemies, patience and cunning could get you even better results in the long run.

Conflict management

The Book of Five Rings also addresses conflict management with trading partners.

This is something that comes into play when doing business with another person or organization want things other than yourself.

The most effective way to deal with this situation is not through negotiation, but by recognizing your differences, developing your business relationship with respect for the other partner, and choosing not to do more business with that person if it is still an issue.

The Book of Five Rings teaches entrepreneurs how to manage conflicts with business partners and keep business relationships separate from personal relationships.

It also teaches entrepreneurs how to stay committed to a project even when they are at a disadvantage.

Take away

I highly recommend business owners to read The Book of Five Rings as a strategic guide because it can be very insightful in business operations.

The Book of the Five Rings can be difficult to understand without an understanding of the historical context in which it was written (Samurai Japan).

However, business ideas such as ring composition, when to attack or retreat, and conflict resolution are all things modern entrepreneurs should consider as they look for ways to improve themselves.