“A chef without self-confidence is like a car without wheels.” These words of wisdom from Chef Gordon Ramsay are just one example of the growing amount of business advice being offered by what I call ‘fix my business’ reality TV shows these days. From Bar Rescue (Spike TV) and Tattoo Rescue (Spike TV) to Kitchen Nightmares (FOX) and Tabatha’s Salon Takeover (Bravo), nearly every business on Main Street has its own show.
While these businesses aren’t competing, there’s no glamorous seven figure cash prize and none that I’m aware of are at risk for being voted off an island, they still seem to peak our interest. We want to see businesses be successful and transformed, especially with so much negativity swirling around.
So, I set out to extract a few points that young entrepreneurs can apply to their businesses, in between the omnipresent political ads during the commercials.
1. Be passionate
Whether you are meeting with prospective clients or trying to convince Jon Taffer that your local watering hole is worth saving, the passion for your company must be unmistakable. To become successful you need to love what you’re doing. Otherwise, it won’t keep you going when times get hard.
2. Always act with integrity
These reality shows bring an entire curious nation of viewers into your shop to watch your every move. It’s often said what you do when no one is watching is your true character. Come at every situation as if a TV crew was following you around and a narrator was giving a play-by-play of your decision. Would you still be proud of your work?
3. Don’t be afraid to get dirty
A constant trait in every entrepreneur is the ability to execute. If your business or team is struggling because you’re too lazy to invest the time and energy needed for the situation, you will fail. Don’t approach investors or invite Tabatha Coffey into your salon until you have shown value and the work ethic to get the job done.
4. Create a strong team
Regardless of the company or industry, surrounding yourself with a solid team is critical. Be it a team of staff, clients or investors, their input matters. After we are introduced to the business owner, each of the reality TV shows then take us to meet the team behind the brand. Assemble your team and empower them to innovate. Then surround yourself with external mentors and create an advisory board of knowledgeable and reliable business professionals to keep you on track.
5. Ask for help
The vast majority of businesses don’t get Joey Germinario to come in and transform their tattoo parlor with major renovations and intense scare tactics. It’s up to you to be self-aware of your goals and humble enough to ask for help from your team when you need it.
6. Be able to accept constructive criticism
This is a given when it comes to anything associated with Chef Ramsay. One of the hardest things for an entrepreneur to do after asking for help and letting someone in to see their golden idea is being open to the fresh perspectives being offered. Humility and help are only as good as the sponge – that’s you – which is absorbing those potentially challenging concepts.
What tip would you add to this list?
David K. Jackson is an entrepreneur and marketing leader that has counseled hundreds of individuals, startups, small/medium businesses, non-profits and events as the owner of blueOcean Solutions and Marketing and Resource Development Director for the Madison County Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Jackson is also active on multiple business and civic advisory boards where he advocates proactive and collaborative business evolution to meet changing market conditions.