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Getting to Know Marcus Lemonis, Also Known as
  • 23 February 2017
  • Eric Michaels

Getting to Know Marcus Lemonis, Also Known as "The Profit"

Many people refer to Marcus Lemonis as the "business turnaround king." As the star of the CNBC show The Profit, Lemonis uses his expertise to help struggling companies return to profitability—and he backs up every plan with his own money. However, the Florida-bred entrepreneur is much more than a self-made millionaire who became a reality TV star. Lemonis is a philanthropist, an acclaimed public speaker, and the CEO of two large businesses. Here are five things you need to know about him.

1. His business journey started at an early age

While some business leaders find their calling during college, Lemonis started his first entrepreneurial adventure at age 12. Before he even went to high school, Lemonis launched a lawn-mowing service and used the profits to start a candy business. Though Lemonis was not born in Florida, he spent his formative years in the Sunshine State. Immediately after graduating from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, the entrepreneur returned to Miami to run for a seat in the state's House of Representatives. Though Lemonis lost the campaign, his efforts proved that he wanted to accomplish major goals at an early age.

2. His business school was the real world

During his political campaign, Lemonis met a lobbyist for Wayne Huizenga, a billionaire entrepreneur, as Inc. reports. As a result of this introduction, Lemonis received a job at Huizenga's AutoNation. He later left AutoNation to take over the struggling Holiday RV Superstores. When Lemonis was able to turn the company's fortunes around, he had the clout to attract investors and begin what later became Camping World. The rush that Lemonis felt during this turnaround became a lifelong passion. In 2008, Ernst & Young named him the "Entrepreneur of the Year" for his accomplishments.

3. He is not a fairy godmother

Since The Profit is now in its fifth season, many people turn to Lemonis for advice. However, he is the first one to tell you that he is neither a consultant nor a "fairy godmother." In fact, Lemonis only gets involved in a project when he plans to commit money and energy to the cause.

4. Philanthropy is a big part of his life

Lemonis is laser-focused on his work, but he also takes philanthropy very seriously. His passion for giving back has been there since his Marquette days, when he organized clothing drives for the Milwaukee homeless population. Since then, he has continued to contribute to causes that are close to his heart. Recently, he offered to donate up to $1 million of his own money if a University of Miami fundraising drive met its goals, as Hurricane Sports reports.

5. He is extremely honest

When Lemonis does interviews with the press, his honesty can be somewhat surprising. In the same way he shares personal details about his life, he does not hold back when offering criticism to small business owners. In a piece for Fortune, he explained why so many businesses fail. For one, he expressed amazement over the fact that many business owners do not understand the importance of their staff. Unless the entire operation is run by one person, employees are often the face of a company. Unfortunately, business owners often do not know how the operation runs when they are not around, and the results can be catastrophic. Furthermore, Lemonis stressed the importance of having a full, fleshed-out business plan.

While Marcus Lemonis has invested millions of dollars into reviving failing companies on The Profit, the highest value comes from his business advice. Last fall, The UPS Store launched the Elevator Pitch content series featuring Lemonis dispensing business advice to small business owners, in an actual elevator! Business owners who watch this three part webisode series can learn tips they can apply to their daily operations, marketing and merchandising. After all, it is always a good idea to evaluate your business model on a regular basis to see where you have room for improvement. Be on the lookout for more tips and advice from Marcus Lemonis coming to The UPS Store social media channels soon.

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