Marcus Lemonis Reaches Out To Individuals With ‘The Partner’

Marcus Lemonis helps struggling businesses in ‘The Profit’ but his new series ‘The Partner’ isn’t just about finding him help – it’s about helping people.

On his hit CNBC show The Profit, Marcus Lemonis lends his money and expertise to businesses in need. His new series The Partner – which premieres tomorrow – is presented as Marcus searching for a partner to help him maintain all those investments.

While that’s true (he did hire someone from the ten candidates who appear on the show), it’s also oversimplifying it. The Partner is also Marcus’s way of offering his knowledge to the many people in America who are on the job hunt today.

Hidden Remote spoke to Marcus Lemonis at the Television Critics Association press tour to talk about what motivated him to put his partnership search on television and what audiences will be able to take away from it beyond the competition.

“The reason that I made The Profit is I wanted people to believe that anybody that can fix their business and I wanted to give them a road map,” Marcus explained. “Throughout 2015 and some of 2016, I kept hearing about unemployment and I kept saying to myself ,why is everybody expecting somebody else to solve their unemployment issue? Why aren’t they figuring out how to get their own job?

“People say I don’t know how to get my own job. I don’t know how to do my resume. I don’t know how to do this, I don’t know how to do that. People don’t give me a chance. So I wanted to use the format to give people a road map of how to think outside the box`when applying for a job. It was really about job creation.

“I also wanted people to know that the person who ultimately gets hired isn’t who you would think it was,” he continued. “You don’t have to have gone to Harvard, you don’t have to be the smartest person, you dont have to have 50 years of experience. Anybody can get it, because what that company’s looking for could be very different from what you think.

“I wanted to get inside of people’s heads to say look, I know you’ve done X, Y, Z all your life, but that doesn’t make you unqualified to work for me. Most people would think you would hire someone that was super-educated and they’ve owned their own business, and I wanted to buck the trend that that was the person I was looking for. I wanted to totally change that.”

Just as in The Profit, The Partner will feature those little Marcus Lemonis moments where he explains the how and why behind his process – hopefully giving the viewing audience a better education on the job search market and the ways that they can improve their own professional future.

“I’ll give you an example,” he told us. “I’m about to task someone with an exercise that you wouldn’t normally give in a job interview. But what I want to see is to see how people think on their feet, because if you’re working at a company your boss may ask you to do something without a lot of notice. How do you respond to that? People have to start thinking that way. So I’ll use those little interstitials to tell people what you’re about to see or what you just saw has some lesson to it. It really has an educational feel to it.”

The easy comparison to make is to NBC’s The Apprentice franchise but it’s not a valid comparison. Yes, both are business-themed competition shows but The Partner aspires to more than who’s hired and fired. And if you ask Marcus he doesn’t consider this to be an entertainment show.

“I didn’t find the show to be that entertaining,” he revealed. “I feel The Profit is somewhat entertaining, because there’s humor and you beat your head against the wall like why are these people doing this? Sometimes it’s funny for me because I’m like what’s happening here? What are these people thinking?

“There wasn’t a lot of that [on The Partner] and I think part of it was everyone was uniquely qualified. There were a few moments where I had to send people home when you least expect it. It’s not formatted where at the end of every episode somebody goes home. There’s one episode where one person goes home and another episode where two people go home just because I got frustrated.

“It may surprise you who I pick in the end. You may say I would have never expected that and I’ll explain to you why I picked that person,” he added. “The person is actually working today in the company and they’re overseeing a few businesses.”

But Marcus was actually impressed with more than one of the candidates.

“I think the biggest challenge for me is had I thought about it differently, I wouldn’t have made the commitment to only hire one person,” he conceded. “That’s my biggest regret.”

“I was a little embarrassed through the process that I didn’t realize how much help I needed before that moment,” he admitted when we asked what he took away from his Partner experience. “I’m a little embarrassed that I was that naive, that I wasn’t more honest with myself.”

Marcus’s to-do list only keeps growing. In addition to filming new episodes of The Profit, he is working on another NBC project with Tyra Banks (America’s Next Top Model) and Rob Dyrdek (who appeared in an episode of The Profit but is best known as the host of Ridiculousness). And that’s just on TV; he’s still the CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises and continues to help all of the small businesses he’s invested in. It’s quite possible that he’s the busiest human being on the planet.

But it’s hard to think of anyone else who deserves to be that busy. Through multiple seasons of The Profit and now with The Partner, Marcus Lemonis has demonstrated himself to be as much about helping others as he is about expanding his own business. He’s not in TV to become a star; he’s in TV to have a platform to do more and make things better.

And this latest venture is about empowering people to make their own futures better even as he knows it’s not what people might expect from Marcus Lemonis.

“It’s really about job creation, not about entertaining you and if it’s not the right thing for you, don’t watch it. I’m cool with that,” Marcus concluded. “But if you’re unemployed or unhappy in your job or you want more out of life, then it’s a good show for you to be like, how did these five people get a chance? I want a chance.”

The Partner premieres Tuesday, March 7 at 10 p.m. on CNBC. But if you can’t wait the first episode is available on CNBC on Demand now and on the CNBC Prime channel on YouTube.

The Partner airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CNBC.