Thursday, January 18, 2018

What Is Your Favorite TV Show?

Answering the questions people have
asked (or I have asked myself) about
my past, present, or future.
I watch very little television outside of work at the station, which may surprise you. It goes back to wanting a life outside of the business. So I'm not following Game Of Thrones, among other things.

I do have a few shows I'm hooked on. At the top of the list is The Profit on CNBC. Camping World CEO and venture capitalist Marcus Lemonis puts his own money and wisdom into struggling small businesses to turn them around. It's part MBA class, part reality show.

Marcus breaks down a business into three components: people, process and product. From there he can diagnose problems. Usually, the product isn't the problem; it's the process or the people. Marcus will find great workers with inept leadership or lousy work environments. From here, The Profit treads the line between a business-oriented reality show and a soap opera. Sometimes it spends too much time on personal issues and not enough time on business fundamentals, which is what attracted me to it in the first place. I want hear more of Marcus the business coach and less of Marcus the life coach.

Another favorite of mine is Bar Rescue. Each week, Jon Taffer renovates a failing bar while trying to shout some sense into its failing management. Not every rescue is successful, and many rescued bars have closed their doors because their operators didn't learn from their mistakes. It's brutal and profane at times. But Jon keeps coming up with fun concepts and exposing nightmarish owners. According to what I have read about him, he told the Spike network to give him the absolute worst bars they could find, knowing it would make great TV. Seeing how the program has become the biggest hit on Spike (now Paramount Network), he was right.

I've also read Jon's book, Raise The Bar. It's primarily for those in the restaurant, bar and hospitality business, but I gleaned a lot of business insights from reading it. One is that you're not just selling booze -- you're selling an experience. Another is that most job resumes are worthless in the bar industry. Jon says he can teach people how to tend bar; he can't teach people personality. I can think of so many jobs like that, where people who need personality on the job are hired mostly for what's on a piece of paper.

My other favourites include Hell's Kitchen, and American Chopper (which is coming back to TV in 2018).

Do you notice a thread through all these shows, other than they're all reality shows? They all deal with people either fixing or creating things. One of my best friends has told me that I'm a "fixer." Another has told me that I'm an "artist" -- a type of creator. Is it any surprise these shows should suit me so well?

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