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Learning from “reality TV”!

For the first time, I watched The Profit, a business-reality tv show featuring Marcus Lemonis as an investor/business coach to small businesses. He went to a coffee company in South Carolina to help. The business was owned by two partners who hated each other. Watching the show was like watching a train wreck in slow motion, especially as a small business owner.  Very painful to watch, but I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

After watching it, here are my take-aways.

  1. Do what is best for the company. Company first. The company is the vehicle that every employee sits in.
  2. Take care of customers. Customers have this thing called money. When they spend it with you, it is like gasoline for the engine of the car. Without gasoline, the car goes nowhere; without customers, the business goes nowhere.
  3. Having a winning strategy and executing effectively cannot be separated from each other.
  4. The business will not manage itself.  It requires systems, monitoring, and correcting.
  5. Problems rarely go away on their own.  If a process is broken, more mistakes will occur.  If a problem is a person, he/she will create more problems.  Fix them when you first see them.
  6. Be nice, even when there are problems.  Attack the problem, not the person.
  7. There is no room for egos in a small business. Get over yourself. Running a business is a constant lesson in humility.
  8. Habits are hard/almost impossible to break. Simply having more information is not enough for you to change them. Something else has to happen in your heart first.  The two owners could not get along with each other.  They did not want the other partner to succeed, even if it would benefit them.  They simply could not break this cycle.

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