The James Altucher Show Ep. 255 – Marcus Lemonis: The Way To Gain Confidence in Yourself and Your Business

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How does Marcus do everything that he does? How does he fit it all in?
  • Marcus is the CEO of Camping World, and is also invested in about 109 companies
  • He estimates he has at least 50 active businesses that he’s involved in at this time (on which he helps at least twice a week, for more than two minutes)
  • He also has his TV show – The Profit
  • “It’s very difficult to be a small business owner and have balance” – Marcus says he doesn’t have great balance, but he loves what he does
  • He doesn’t have kids, this obviously helps
People, Process, Product
  • These are the things Marcus looks for
  • Product – people need to be able to understand it, relate to it, and it must be relevant
  • People – everything involves relationships, so you have to be able to connect with people
  • Process – all about implementation
  • Why do businesses typically fail? – people don’t get along, and then the process and product either fall apart or don’t get developed
The Profit
  • Before he goes to the businesses, he has no information (no financials etc., just the company name)
  • “To grow a business, put your personal self out there and connect with people. Put a heart with a face, not a name with a face.”
  • “One of the mistakes people make in business is not connecting with people (vendors, neighbors, stakeholders, employees). Get people to really uncover who they are.”
  • Marcus does the show so he can change people’s minds about why businesses are successful
  • The art of persuasion is very important. You can persuade people to do things by being appealing to people’s senses and inspiring them, or intimidating them
  • He tries to impart a sense of how to think about other people in relation to business
How did Marcus deal with losing his mother?
  • He hasn’t really gotten over it
  • It forces him to be more empathetic
  • Marcus was born in Beirut. He was eventually adopted by two American parents and was an only child.
  • He suffered from many fears of abandonment, he was molested, had an eating disorder, and attempted suicide twice – WE’RE ALL HUMAN
  • Marcus still suffers from depression/anxiety. He stays as busy as he does to help him not fall into these traps.
  • “If you want to gain confidence in yourself, get into business”
  • Little goals and wins can really change a person
What’s a business mistake that’s occurred for Marcus that’s changed his outlook on business?
  • One investment he made in Farrell’s Ice Cream
  • The mistake – he misjudged the character of multiple people
  • He continually makes the mistake of falling in love with people, and then romanticizes them
Why does Marcus think he can fix people?
  • He’s really good at understanding people’s motivations, why they do certain things, and act certain ways
  • He likes pushing people to really see the logic behind their decision making
How did Marcus unlock the skill of self-awareness? How did he learn about himself so he could build these businesses?
  • He used to think he knew all the answers
  • Now, he asks for more opinions and asks more questions
  • If you’re young and single, you can be reckless and make more mistakes
  • As he got older, and was responsible for a family, his decisions had to be more calculated
General Business Advice
  • Think in terms of a consumer when evaluating your business. Would you buy this?
  • Ultimately, we’re all better when we receive help from experts
  • It’s really important to be able to ask for help, no one knows everything
  • Another huge business mistake – not being able to admit you don’t know something.
    • James cause this the ‘smoking crack’ bias
  • Go out and ask questions
An example where Marcus got stuck and asking questions helped him
  • Aug-Sept 2008 when the market crashed
  • Being in the RV business, things weren’t looking too good
  • Marcus started reaching out to lots of people for advice (peers, even employees)
  • “When you take care of your people, as best as you can, when shit goes bad, you’ll find out who’s gonna be there”
  • If you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your customers
Negotiation Tactics
  • Marcus thinks if he doesn’t put enough money in today, he’ll have to put more in later, so it doesn’t make sense to just dribble in a little
    • Solve it now or later
  • He wants the founders/owners to have skin in the game
  • He’s investing for the long game, in the people more so than the business
  • There’s lot’s of cross collaboration between his businesses, they all help each other
Marcus’ Rules
  • Don’t do business with people you don’t like
  • Marcus only does things he gets enjoyment out of, it’s always been this way
  • Cut your losses quick, don’t chase things
  • “I want to leave this world with a legacy. I want to be the guy who changes the way people think about small business.”
  • The handshake does matter
  • You have to have a purpose in business, and it can’t be charitable. Charity can be a side effect.
  • You don’t have to be an asshole to be good at business
  • More people is better than less people. Different people offer different, helpful things to the business.