Critical Doer TV Series Review: CNBC’s “The Profit”

A Critical Doer Attacks Problems And Creates Opportunities From The Inside Out 

For this Critical Doer post, we’ll take a look at a series called “The Profit” that airs Tuesday nights on CNBC.  The series features successful businessman Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Good Sam Enterprises as well as Camping World.  The premise of the series is that Lemonis uses his own money to buy into failing businesses and works with his new partners to turn the businesses around.

Lemonis has two recurring themes that he drives home in every episode.  First, he partners with failing businesses to make money and save jobs.  A critical doer will appreciate his strong statement of purpose and understanding the “why” of his business model.  The second is a simple process he calls “the 3 P’s”:  people, process, product.

The “3 P’s” are on target with the trait of attacking problems and opportunities from the inside out because the process addresses root causes…not superficial symptoms.  With people, Lemonis is looking for attitude, training, and pockets of untapped potential.  With process, he is looking for efficiencies that increase margin, increase capacity, and increase market share.  With product, he is looking for relevancy and potential to give a business a competitive advantage.  Invariably, the process discussion gets to a “how far can you see” moment.  Generally Lemonis has a greater vision of the product than the current business owners and they discover they had far greater potential than previously imagined.

Here are some examples of the issues Lemonis tackles as he attempts to rescue failing businesses:

  • Keyport Creamery: perhaps my favorite episode where he invests in a family run ice cream company that is struggling with generational differences between father and son as well as smart risk taking
  • Michael Sena Pro-Fit: solving issues in a husband/wide fitness enterprise, dealt with including the wife in decision making as her ideas were actually key to the turnaround
  • Skullduggery: failure to listen to customers
  • West End Coffee Company: a good business suffering due to toxic ownership relationship
  • Shuler’s BBQ: another really good episode about thinking big and how to gain efficiencies while still keeping a friendly atmosphere
  • Amazing Grapes Winery: absentee ownership

One of the most redeeming qualities of the show is that every episode doesn’t work out.  We all know that reality shows aren’t all reality, but the element of failure is refreshing in that it does happen in business, but Lemonis’ is always bouncing back with a different venture.  The failure is a learning experience for him but it doesn’t pin him to the carpet.  Everyone should pay close attention to the episodes for the subtle lessons in resiliency and how the road to success is paved with failures.

Overall, I give “The Profit” the coveted “Critical Doer Tested, Critical Doer Approved” stamp and I encourage you to catch a few episodes when you can.  The blend of critical thinking followed up with bold action is right in the wheelhouse of a critical doer.  It’s always good when you can blend entertainment with reinforcement of a philosophy that puts the power of the mind in motion.  It’s what a critical doer would…do!


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Updated: February 2, 2015 — 1:01 am