We’re definitely starting to see Marcus’s growth strategy evolve this second season. I refer to Marcus carving out a part of the original concept for an escape pod in event the main project fails or is simply a pass. This time around the escape pod is Tina’s protein treats.

Lets take a look at Sena’s Pro-fit gym. The owner, Michael, is a perfect example of someone who thinks that he has a business when in reality he only has a job. This truth usually sinks in when someone tries sell their business and discovers that no one wants to buy it. One of the primary tests to distinguish between a real business and a job is to ask the question: Does the owner have to be there all the time? 24/7? If he or she has to play a role in producing and delivering the service or product then it’s a job. With a real business the owner can be on the beach because trained staff and management are able to run the thing for extended periods.

Think of it this way, it doesn’t make economic sense to accept both a low income and the responsibility for fixed overhead. If you are willing to accept low income then get a job and let your employer fret over covering the overhead.

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How Rupert Murdoch Built His Empire

My past consists of a series of interlocking wars.  – Rupert Murdoch

Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that Rupert is one of the great disruptors and newspaper magnates of the past 65 years.

How did Murdoch get started? It’s an interesting story as all tycoon stories are.

Murdoch inherited a small newspaper after his newspaperman father died in 1952. Rupert was only 21 years old.  The newspaper served as his grubstake and he took to building it with a great passion which in turn inspired his staff to give him their best. Within a few short years Murdoch was engaged in an aggressive acquisition campaign to control additional newspapers across Australia. This period included his war with the Packer family for dominance in newspapers. In 1968, he started acquiring British newspapers and in 1973 American ones. According to the book All the Money in the World:

Then he maneuvered his way around the world with a fistful of loans and a remarkable ability to seize opportunities and build major media properties from scratch. Every acquisition Murdoch made was financed by mortgaging his properties to buy new ones.

Here’s a one hour BBC documentary on his life.

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Warning: Spoilers ahead. Watch first.

A. Stein Meat Products

Most tycoons develop a business growth strategy for a particular industry and then stick to it. Not our hero Marcus Lemonis. Cars, cleaning products, popcorn, flowers, dog kennels, etc. he’s open to them all. The reason for this is that Marcus has developed expertise that’s transferable across industries. Specifically, he has a solid grasp of both finance and marketing. He knows enough about finance to be able to figure out the appropriate financial fix for a business. (If he needs to, he brings in a specialist as we have seen at least a couple of times now.) He also understand the basics of developing national brands. (Once again, he brings in specialists to design the logos and other details that constitute a brand.) If you watch a similar show called Hotel Impossible you will see the expert also relying on specialists to handle the details. No one needs to be an expert at everything. You just need to be able to pull together the right team in most cases. In some ways these guys are like a really good concierge in that they put you in touch with the right specialists.

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