Do You Watch “The Profit”?

I’m hooked on a CNBC show called “The Profit.”

Someone recommended the show to me recently (I’ve searched through my emails and can’t find who it was, so if it was you, please tell me so I can thank you! Over that last week I’ve watched 10 or so episodes, and I’m really enjoying it.

The premise of this reality-style show is that a billionaire named Marcus Lemonis spends an episode helping a struggling small business. At first I thought it was going to be one of those shows where a big personality enters a situation (like those home-makeover shows), takes over, tries to fix a few camera-friendly things,  shares the always-positive results at the end (purely from a financial standpoint), and then washes their hands clean of the business.

Some of that is true–there are a few made-for-TV moments, and almost every episode features an ugly, inefficient space turned into a beautiful space. But there’s so much more to the show that really elevates it:

  • One of the first things Marcus does is to buy a share of the business. He’s not a consultant telling people what to do–he has a financial stake in the company. Unlike Shark Tank, the focus isn’t on the negotiation. Typically it’s 2 minutes of the show at most, ending with a handshake deal. Then the work begins, with Marcus having full authority to make decisions.
  • Despite the name of the show, it’s not all about money. A significant portion of each episode is spent on the people who run and work at the featured business. In the handful of episodes I’ve seen, Marcus has helped to mend a marriage, a sibling feud, a father-son relationship, and a number of business partnerships that weren’t working well. He also spends time listening to the employees. It’s rare that I’ve seen his level of empathy on a show like this, and I’ve learned a lot from watching him.
  • A number of episodes don’t have happy endings. I don’t want to spoil anything here, but there seem to be a number of partnerships that don’t work out. There seems to be a pattern of owners on the show who are huge bullies and outright lie to Marcus and their employees. I’ve seen Marcus fire some of them, and other times he just walks away. And there are even a few where the owners come to terms with their shortcomings and trust the process–those are some of the best stories.

I’m only a week into watching the show, and I already feel like I’ve benefited significantly by watching it. If you’re an entrepreneur or if you’re interested in interpersonal dynamics, I think you may really enjoy it. Here’s a sample episode to give you a taste of the process. Let me know what you think!


7 Responses to “Do You Watch “The Profit”?”

  1. Candy Mercer says:

    Not surprised you love Marcus! He is a solid businessman and hard worker. He protects labor, I feel he is keeping it classy as well. There is drama, but he does not inculcate it, and in facts deals with it very sensitively. His concern with quality and process, seems to jell well with what you are doing. You are doing so well, but I would love to see Marcus come in and throw some consult your way. It is not the perfect fit for what he looks like but your premium games, and the depth of customer involvement would impress him, as would your platform and you good guy ethos. To try to take it to the next level….Just a thought. He cares and he is ethical and low drama. I hate shows that put people on just to embarrass them, Marcus does not do that.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I’ve been asking myself, “What would Marcus say about Stonemaier Games?” I have some pretty good guesses–I might be exploring that in a Stonemaier blog post in the future. 🙂

  2. Erin H. says:

    Looks like one to check out. Queer Eye and Undercover Boss are in the same vein with trying to improve people’s lives (and good entertainment). Definitely some tear jerker episodes.

    • Candy Mercer says:

      I have seen Undercover Boss and it does not feel good to me. There is a hint of nobless oblige. But I have not seen more than a few episodes. My take is pay all your people more, do more for them, this should not be a thing, all heads of companies should be seeing things from the POV of their workers. I know, utopian and all. There is just something creepy about it to me, and suing peoples stories for gain.

      While Lemonis also uses stories for gain, there does not seem to be a feeling of exploitation. It is his sincerity I guess, and honest business practice. I just do not get anything unethical off of him.

      Stonemaier on its own might not be big enough for Marcus? But I am wondering what ideas he could bring to the table? I know he likes emerging concepts and gaming certainly is that. He also likes retail experiences which might not align w Stonemaier. It would be an interesting combination from my POV though, Jamey and Marcus. I also love how he tries to partner and synergize his businesses, like he gets a sign company, and then uses it for all his other businesses, so maybe there is a way he would see to leverage Stonemaier to support one of his retail businesses….like a chain of game cafes or stores? Just spitballin’

      • Candy Mercer says:

        using people’s stories not suing.

      • Erin H. says:

        It’s impossible for a huge company’s CEO to really know what goes on in the trenches because (s)he has to usually rely on a many layers of management. Granted, I’ve only seen a dozen episodes or so.

        Queer Eye, I think, is way better.

  3. […] No, dear reader, I have not taken a lover. Rather, this topic was inspired by several episodes of The Profit that I recently watched. (See original article on this show here.) […]

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