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I am far from a TV junkie. My TV viewing is at best sporadic, my attention generally piqued only by the news, a good football game, the World Series, or a Stanley Cup playoff and even those depend on the teams playing. Reality TV offers me little. Maybe I find it hard to relate. Chances are I will not be stuck on a remote island naked and afraid for a week. I certainly won’t be going out of my way to terrify myself by eating bugs, and anyone that knows me, will attest to the fact that I won’t be an American Idol contestant anytime soon.

Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when one evening my husband, while in charge of the remote, stumbled across a show called The Profit. He tarried on the channel only for a couple of minutes, but during that time, I became intrigued with the storyline and have become a huge fan, most likely because I can relate to this show, not because I am part of a distressed business but because this program depicts business owners in trouble, which is all too-familiar territory.  I love watching the star, Marcus, assist them, most often in spite of themselves. I envy his ability to dish out tough love as gently and tactfully as possible, not to mention the size of the checks he is able to write to fix their problems. It is never easy delivering the truth; most always it is a very bitter pill to swallow.

I don’t know Marcus personally, but I feel we are kindred spirits through love for business and business owners. You can watch this series and think his sole motivation is the profit he can make, and maybe, in reality, it is. I however, see more to it than that. I see the potential loss of the owner’s hard earned wealth, the employees’ futures, jobs in our local communities, the future and prosperity of the business itself, and the ultimate impact on our overall economy. There is a lot at stake in each privately held business, and while Marcus may stand to benefit personally from their success, in my opinion, we all lose if small business loses.

The harsh reality of the show is that some businesses can be saved and some cannot. Since there appears to be no limit to the amount of capital Marcus can invest to fix a business, the determination of whether a business ultimately succeeds or fails depends on so much more than money. Many factors, both internal and external, impact a business but none as dramatically as the owner or owners. In fact, if you asked Marcus, I think he would agree that the toughest part of fixing any business he encounters is not identifying and fixing the problems; it is dealing with the people at the helm, the owners. Their willingness to accept their situation, address it, and change it is the key to the business succeeding or failing.

In this new blog series, I will be following the show and blogging about lessons learned from The Profit.

Stay tuned in!