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Why I'm Copying Every Move from Marcus Lemonis

Posted Wednesday January 04th, 2017 Why I'm Copying Every Move from Marcus Lemonis

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For those of you who don't know (SHAME!), Marcus Lemonis is The Profit on CNBC. In his show, he runs around the country (I'm sorry, flies around the country on his private jet), meets with entrepreneurs of struggling businesses and attempts to turn those businesses around with both his money and his management.

That's not why he's one of my favorite entrepreneurs to follow, although the private jet certainly doesn't lose him any points. The reason I've chosen to emulate Marcus in my own entrepreneurial career is because of his trajectory, his values and his vision. Allow me to explain each of these with a few key lessons I've learned from studying his career:

Trajectory

  • Marcus rose from being a Lebanese immigrant to being an American business powerhouse with the Midas Touch. Lesson: Appreciate the opportunities we have here in this country and work your ass off.
  • He had help along the way, including mentors like Lee Iacocca of Ford and Chrysler executive fame. Lesson: Find mentors. More specifically, find brilliant, powerful mentors who can give you a big hand up to the top. Marcus: I'm available to be mentored, and I'll expect your phone call shortly.

Values

  • "People, process, product" is Marcus' mantra. He repeats it until both his entrepreneur partners and the wantrepreneurs at home are blue in the face, and then he says it some more. But, his simple system works. Lesson: Find a simple business system that works for you and keep it simple (simplicity is 70% of the reason why it works in the first place!).
  • The guy could be sunning himself on the beaches of Tahiti right about now if he wanted to. (Marcus, if you're reading this AND you actually ARE on a beach in Tahiti right now, then super brownie points for you, and I'm sorry my invite got lost in the mail.) Instead, he spends his own money chasing down sometimes moronic "entrepreneurs" (and I use that term lightly and with heavy quotes) to convince them to adopt his system and thrive (in other words, shut the hell up, abandon your ego and go along with the program, dude). Seriously, watch the show and you can't help but feel badly for him sometimes at the idiocy he faces. Hopefully it's a goading of the producers that engenders such television-worthy drama. Sorry, I'm ranting now. Lesson: Whether you've reached the top yet or not, there is great honor in giving back to those who need your time, expertise and - of course - money.

Vision

  • What Marcus and I share most - besides his simple system of people, process, product - is the ability to look at a small or midsize business and see true greatness. Where others see a run-down lollipop store, Marcus sees a national candy chain (it turns out he has a sweet tooth - I know your Kryptonite now, Marcus!). Lesson: Think big and don't stop halfway to your grandest goals.
  • Did he plan his PR trajectory, from humble CEO to still-humble demigod of the business world? At this point, he has the touch of a Shark like Mark Cuban - whom I describe as one who could totally squander a deal and still make millions of dollars. Marcus' PR machine is just too big now to fail. Lesson: Envision where your tipping point is and do everything in your power to get there (because once you're there, it'll taste sweeter than the sweets at Marcus' stores).

It is this trajectory from business man to business authority that most fascinates me. His ascent from entrepreneur to investor to television host to author and speaker and beyond makes him the prime model for my own career. Who knows, perhaps I'll meet him one day and be able to thank him for the inspiration. Having studied him from afar, I have a feeling he'd just shake my hand and then tell me to go work harder - you know, the only piece of business advice that will always contribute to success.

After all, they don't call him The Profit for nothing.

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