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The Profit: A Lack of Passion Sinks Family Business

70% of second generation business fail. Why? Because the children who inherit the businesses often lack the passion and skills to keep it going. Marcus Lemonis found that out first hand when he visited a Pasadena flower shop in this week's episode of The Profit.

70% of second generation business fail. Why? Because the children who inherit the businesses often lack the passion and skills to keep it going. Marcus Lemonis found that out first hand when he visited a Pasadena flower shop in this week’s episode of The Profit.

(Photo by: CNBC / c NBC Universal, Inc. )

When Jacob Maarse opened his florist shop in the 1950’s, he poured his heart and soul into the business making it one of the most successful shops in all of Pasadena. He supplied flowers for inaugurations, celebrity galas and the famous Rose Bowl Parade. But now, Jacob is gone and under his son Hank’s leadership the business has accumulated $300,000 in debt and is losing money every year.

Enter entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis with a deal. He’ll put $100,000 into the business in return for 25% of the profits going forward. In order to seal the deal though, Hank has to allow Marcus to run the business for a week.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Hank is reluctant but knowing that his mother is now spending her life savings to keep the company a float, he has no choice but to agree. They seal the deal with a handshake – but  it’s the start of nothing but trouble.

Right away Marcus spots several ways to make the flower shop more shopable. He removes the clutter, creates a clearance section in the back to reduce the inventory (some of which has been in the store for five years) and makes it easy for the customers to see the floral designers – the real show stoppers of the shop.

Marcus also installs an inventory control system, new lighting, security cameras, GPS systems in the delivery vans, repaints the walls, lays new tiles on the floor and shows Hank how to save money on quality flowers.

The changes are a nice boost for the workers and the customers but there’s a bigger problem  – Hank. And as Marcus says, “people can be the hardest thing to fix.”

Hank’s idea of leadership is to let everyone struggle through the day. The driver’s deliver flowers in un-air conditioned vans with old school maps to find their way. The warehouse workers track inventory by hand in a notebook. The store’s general manager Marina doesn’t know what things cost or how much money they’re making and she allows the workers to wander in late.

Marcus demotes her to retail manager but her lack of skills aren’t really her fault. It all trickles down from Hank who is sleep walking through the day.

Hank defends his behavior by saying he’s not comfortable with confrontations. The truth is, Hank didn’t choose this business, he inherited it and the stress of living up to his father’s memory has caused him to shut down.

Running a small business is hard. When you lack the passion, it’s impossible so Marcus pushes hard to see if there’s even a spark left in Hank. But as the shop returns to its former glory, the old employees who started under Jacob Maarse are excited and inspired. Even Marina, who was demoted and had every right to be upset, put her anger aside in order to save the business.

Reopening day was a huge success. Sales increased. Customers loved the new look of the store and employee morale was at an all time high.

But Hank was on his way home. He told Marcus that he figured the day was almost over, so why not?

Why not? “A successful business owner shows up early and leaves last,” says Marcus. And to run out on reopening day just proves that Hank isn’t interested in being a leader.

On most make-over shows, the episode would end with Hank seeing the error of his ways. He apologizes and the company thrives.  Not on The Profit. In what has to be one of the crazier moments in biz make-over history, Hank tells Marcus that he’s no longer interested in the partnership deal because Marcus didn’t make good on his promises.

Even though we heard Hank acknowledge the $150,000 spent on improvements earlier in the show, he claims Marcus didn’t spend more than a few thousand on lights and “graffiti” on the wall. Then he claims that Marcus promised a 200% increase in sales in one week. No one would make such an insane claim. Still Hank used that as grounds for canceling their contract.

In the end, Marcus left without a partnership agreement or his $150,000. He says he plans to take legal action but he better hurry. With the way Hank is handling the shop and his employees, Jacob Maarse Florist will be bankrupt by the end of the year.

What Do You Think?

What do you do when your passion for your job starts to fade? Are their ways to get it back or is it best to move on? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

More From Payscale

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Is Following Your Passion Leaving You Broke?

Family Businesses Shine During Difficult Times

 


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72 Comments on "The Profit: A Lack of Passion Sinks Family Business"

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Ilene
Guest

It’s the second time I watched this episode, reveling in Marcus’ class and strength of character, and wondering how Hank could be that uninspired and selfish. I do hope that Hanks’s real customers have seen this show and stopped patronizing it. The bright, creative team of floral designers, and Marina, will all find much better jobs (surely, they did already) and not need to spend time with an unethical, weak boss. I wonder, if he’ll need a job, what will Hank include in his resume in terms of solid accomplishments?

Robert
Guest

Hank is a “momas boy” and Marcus was right to call him a punk. I hope Hanks mother saw this episode to see what a jerk her son really is.

Bryan
Guest
I just finished watching this episode for the second time. Hank is such a fool. I’m surprised the business is still afloat, it is not because of him by any means. Hank is just another example of a spoiled kid, getting a family business and never really having to work for anything. If I was his mother I would be ashamed and would have sold the business. On national television, hank made himself out to be a liar and their, again forcing his mother to throw away her hard earned money. When is enough, enough? Enabling a failure, will bankrupt… Read more »
G. Glenn
Guest
I watched the episode for the 2nd time tonight and I’m just is disbelief that Hank Marsh could not only not honor his handshake deal with Marcus Leomonis by making such aneemic excuses, but to claim Lemonis’s stunning upgrades to the business and th business model. I hate it fof the employees who wete obviously enjoying the direction and are enthusiastic with the effiient and appealing layout of the renovated store. Very seldom do you see people snatch defeat from the jaw’s of victory that way Hank did. Way to disrespect your dad’s legacy Hank and put your mom in… Read more »
G. Glenn
Guest
I watched the episode for the 2nd time tonight and I’m just is disbelief that Hank Marsh could not only not honor his handshake deal with Marcus Leomonis by making such aneemic excuses, but to claim Lemonis’s stunning upgrades to the business and th business model. I hate it fof the employees who wete obviously enjoying the direction and are enthusiastic with the effiient and appealing layout of the renovated store. Very seldom do you see people snatch defeat from the jaw’s of victory that way Hank did. Way to disrespect your dad’s legacy Hank and put your mom in… Read more »
Carol
Guest

I was enchanted with Jacob Maarse florist, but did notice how employees came in late and some old dusty inventory remained untended. One fabulous old-timer personally called me when he realized my funeral flower arrangement just was not right. And he made it right. The “business” people did not have a clue. The creative employees were having to “sneak” to do quality work.

So so sad. I mourn the loss of Jacob Maarse.

Susan Sanders
Guest

It completely boggles the mind to see what Hank did to Marcus. His stupidity was a shining light for everyone to see. Notice how every comment is negative towards Hank. Such unity in the public outcry is proof positive that Hank is an idiot. Let the future reward him according to what he has done to Marcus.

Marina
Guest

Hank is a LOW LIFE . He is a cocaine addict and everyone who works for him knows this. The people he hires are not professional and their customer service sucks. I have been to the store many times only to get ideas for arrangements and his workers told me I can’t walk in the store to browse if I don’t shop and spend at least fifty dollars! Lol I never went back again. My guess is they will be bankrupt soon!

Sammy
Guest

Hank Maarse is an unethical cheater, a horrible leader or business owner, not to mention a punk with no balls. He’s pathetic. What a sissy! Marcus is a great guy and obviously a genius at business. Even though Marcus didn’t maintain 25% ownership in the business thanks to Hank’s complete lack of character or decency, the fact is Marcus still made changes and improvements to the business that Hank NEVER would have done or even had the slightest clue how to do. And frankly those changes from Marcus saved the business. Lucky you Hank, you pathetic loser!

yogy
Guest

What the hell – who in their right mind would turn down this sweet deal? These ops only come along once in a life time what a missed op. I would have stuck with Mr. Marcus for a better future. We should pray that Hank sees the errors of his ways and changes. He’s not a loser, just lost.

Marcus Clenney
Guest
Marcus Lemonis just announced on Twitter that he got his money back from the mom. I just cannot believe I actually saw that behavior in a 49-year-old adult. So basically he grew up a rich kid, lived his adult as an entitled know-nothing, never really matured at all beyond about the age of 14….. I just couldn’t believe it. Their Facebook page gets riddled with negative comments over, and over, and over. I wish or hope that the mom tells Hank to go home, don’t come back to the shop ever again, and she hires a general manager to run… Read more »
Bernard Gilliam
Guest

I really don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said already. I hope the mother sees her son (Hank) for what he is and does something about it. He’s a loser and a punk, and he will eventually cost about 30 people their jobs.

Markus is awesome!

Bill Martinez
Guest

MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY WHA WHA WHA HANKIE WENT POOPIE MOMMY MOMMY I POOPIE WHA WAH WAH MOMMY MOMMY

Ms, Moore
Guest

I was hoping to look up this business and it was out of business…

Carrie M
Guest

The show was re-broadcast tonight and since I live in the L.A. area, I will make sure I do not order from them and that my friends know about the owner as well.

What a shame for the mother, who enjoyed success with her husband and utter failure with her son, who is not only a poor businessman but an unethical liar.

Kraig P.
Guest

I’ve worked with several business where the second generation takes over. I all cases the business was left to the kids in a positive and healthy cash flow position. In almost all cases I’ve noticed the children feel entitled and don’t understand or care the amount of work and hours the parents put into the business. ..my observation goes as follows
THE FIRST GENERATION BUILDS IT. THE SECOND GENERATION KILLS IT.

Kelly Smith
Guest

O my GOD. Hank is such a ittle bitch. How embarrassing.

paintingrl
Guest

Hank is a total loser. Marcus is awesome, he has vision and integrity. I hope he did get his money back. I love the show!

Jacob Jones
Guest

I sure hope that Marcus gets his money back. As he said going in he knew people were the hardest to ‘fix’ in business so he should have not agreed to a hand shake deal. Hank is taking the business down along with jobs and careers of many of his staff.

Mike
Guest

Hank, snort another line and then call your mama. You are on your way out, so put your head between your legs and kiss your A– good bye! What are you thinking, Marcus was about to turn this around and make everyone a lot of money, but you just cost your mom, your dead father and 33 employees and yourself their lively hood. What a PUNK!

Donna
Guest
Ashes not sparks fall from the flame of founder of this family business. Hank has no spark at all! The dedicated employees should go into business with other experienced professionals and Marcus for job security. Hank is just looking for a payday to sell the business. I’m sure Hank’s father knew Hank was a loser but it appears he did not have other children to help maintain the business God bless his Mom for trying to believe in Hank but he is not his Dad. Hank used Marcus to prepare the business for sale in my opinion. Buy it Marcus… Read more »
Donna
Guest
Ashes not sparks fall from the flame of founder of this family business. Hank has no spark at all! The dedicated employees should go into business with other experienced professionals and Marcus for job security. Hank is just looking for a payday to sell the business. I’m sure Hank’s father knew Hank was a loser but it appears he did not have other children to help maintain the business God bless his Mom for trying to believe in Hank but he is not his Dad. Hank used Marcus to prepare the business for sale in my opinion. Buy it Marcus… Read more »
Beagle
Guest
When a business is in such dire need of help, tough love is always the best medicine. Marina took a demotion but worked through it and earned trust and proved she belonged. Hank intentionally was disruptive so he could renege on the deal and steal 150K in upgrades on his shop. He knew what he was doing. He had no intention of honoring the deal. Hank is no different than a lot of business owners I have dealt with. That is why it is so important to get contracts and deals in writing. Specifically because of people like Hank who… Read more »
gino
Guest

Marcus must have suspected that things would go sideways. I felt something was wrong with Hank when they made the deal. He seemed untrustworthy, and i don’t have a fraction of Marcus experience.

Ben jammin
Guest

Penis. That is all.

Lance
Guest

2 comments. Hank is a punk and Marcus is a class act. Keep up the good work Marcus.

Jt
Guest

Reguardless if it wasn’t written down, THE ENTIRE THING IS ON CAMERA/TELEVISION. Marcus I’m sure has one of the best lawyers there is.. I’m
Sure he’ll get his money back. And to Chris it DEFINITELY looks like he does coke

Juan De La Cruz
Guest

Marcus is a multi-millionaire and must know a lot more about Law than I do. Only question is : Handshakes may only be good up to a certain amount. When a contract involves something like $100,000, is there not a law that requires the Contract to be in writing and also registered with a Notary to be acceptable in court ?

Linda
Guest

Can’t believe Hank is such an ASS. He is definitely a liar, cheat and a scammer. Marcus put up the cash and used his expertise to make his business a success. It only takes one idiot to to take his family business down big time.

anne
Guest

I wish he could spend just a couple days at my flower business, just to share knowledge after 20+ years I’m burned out. Show me how to find workers who can work, not have a felony record an could pass a drug test.
Knowledge , I am trained I have knowledge what can I do better,

Stanley
Guest
Yes, Marcus is covered. Some old school business technechs, such as a hand shake still does take place in this world. If you are a scum bag, go ahead and see we’re it gets you. When you try to screw an investor, take the cash and run. I’m sure more then a lien has been placed for $100,000.00 +. I’m sure that it was a felony and Mr. Flower shop man and/or mom will spend a little time in jail, bail out yes spend a life time to pay back yes… Follow their story you will see. It may take… Read more »
Chris Rocque
Guest
I thought that this was a very revealing episode. It was relatively obvious that Hank lacked the passion, the leadership,and the business skills to run the family flower operation,but the real insight for me was the exposure of his lack of character. It is a common theme in the presentation of ” The Profit ” that a key element of business success is the critical value of a person’s word. Marcus is far too shrew to be out maneuvered by a clod like Hank. It is my thought that Marcus purposely exposed himself to a sizable business risk as a… Read more »
Nick
Guest

Btw Charlie you don’t need any form off evidence on paper to put a Lein on someone’s property its acually a very simple procees.

charlie
Guest
Marcus is smart guy, BUT I can’t help but feel that he knows exactly what he is dealing with and what will happen BUT goes ahead with it anyway since it makes for GOOD TELEVISION and DRAMA. Are we to believe that smart Marcus does a deal on a hand shake ?? Nothing is documented ?? Give me a break !!!! And then he says he’s going to put a lien on the property with no contractual arrangement ?? IS he going to use the Video tape as evidence ?? Maybe.
Dan Swan
Guest

Hank is a coward, thief, and liar. You lost my business!
Marina is a hottie! Find work elsewhere babe you deserve better.

sw
Guest

They deserve every loss they’re gonna suffer. Hope the building has equity! I also
wonder if the bank knew about the loan from mom before granting $100,000 loan?
I bet he’s a criminal. The mom also seemed to support the son. This is the other side of
the banking crisis.

Ian
Guest

Best lines in the episode:

“Hank you know what? You’re a punk”

“Hank you better call your mama, I want my money back”

“Hank, are you 49 or 14?”

Pete New York
Guest

You can’t teach someone to be a passionate leader. Either you are passionate or you are not. The technical part of the business can be installed however if the business leader could care less about the business and the employees winning and being successful then the business will fail. Sorry the business will have a closed sign shortly.

Michele
Guest

I hope Marcus gets every dime back and more.

Justin N
Guest

Hank is a big fat bum! I can’t believe how he lied to Marcus by making all those false accusations. We have everything on tape buddy! He is going to go down in a hurry with all that debt. F*** Hank!

Anonymous
Guest

Though this post was started a year ago, I just watched the episode in re-runs and was stunned at the fraudulent behavior of Hank. He was an entitled petulant fraud that shouldn’t be running anything, let alone a marquis business that provided for floats of, arguably, the most prominent parade in the country. His mother’s dependency, and therefore enabling, is probably even worse. They should both be ashamed and fined.

JSCHULTZ
Guest

It was painful to watch Hank display that level of immaturity at 49 years old. Almost unbelievable. Guy gets handed a multi million dollar business and just squander it. Sad.

Grant
Guest
I love this show and recommend it to anyone- especially teachers.  If we had more people running our country more efficiently, we would not be in the situation we are in.  Hank was completely dishonest with Marcus- what completely disrespectful person to Marcus, but mostly to his employees and their families.  He is responsible for their work environment and the fact that his business will only shrink and not expand.  They will probably all lose their jobs because of his utter lack of leadership and disregard for anyone, including himself.  There are few things worse than wasted potential- Hank has… Read more »
Buckeye163
Guest

I just watched the show the other night and I couldn’t believe how Hank treated Marcus. I hope that the word gets out about the “unethical business practices” that the owner uses and I deeply hope that Marcus not only gets his money back but he also needs to charge Jacob Maarse for his time as a consult. I hope Marcus takes them to the cleaners. I really want to know how this all turns out.

Mike Esquivel
Guest

As a business  owner I learned a long time ago,as the owner you are the first one to get there and last last one to leave and the last to get pay!Hank is no business owner, has no clue how to run that business ,it was served to him on a silver platter.He should man up and make his father proud!!!

Dave Weatherby
Guest

Would love to know what happened and if he gave the money back.  Also what consequences happened due to the cop out of the owner. Did the Law intervene or legal action made?  Will the show have a follow-up on this?

Brian
Guest

Hank Maarse is a low class jerk. I think Marcus did his best and he is entitled to his money back or the contract. However, I now hope the Jacob Maarse store goes out of business and I would tell my friends in Pasedena to start a petition to not use Jacob Maarse for the Rose Bowl.

Richard Feasel
Guest

I have been in the hotel hospitality during my career, having worked for major full service hotel chains, Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton and Helmsley. Hank has not passion and did react as a small boy not a business leader. He will eventually loose the business and his Mother’s money. He should have been man enough to realize his situation and work with Marcus to hire a confident manager to run the business. I lived in Beveraly Hill in the 70’s and 80’s and met his Father who was old school and active in his store.

 

ListentoME
Guest

I would open a new store and hire Marina to run it. In 3 months, Hank would be selling Jacob Maarse to me.

Princess Mac Grij
Guest

Marcus is such

an amazing, talented all best character of a successful businessman.  Hank on the other hand is such a dumb, childish, and no integrity. All I heard from him most of the time ” I do not know”. Marcus was so right Hank does not even want to be there, not even trying to save his father’s legacy. There is no gratefulness whatsoever.

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