Marcus Lemonis: The idea that business isn't personal is 'total BS'

Marcus Lemonis
Paul Morigi | CNBC

"It's not personal; it's business."

Shopworn cliches aside, Marcus Lemonis is one entrepreneur who refuses to believe that business isn't personal.

"This idea that business isn't personal is total BS. Business is personal," Lemonis says in a new episode of "The Profit" that airs on CNBC on Tuesday.

Lemonis, a self-made millionaire who is the CEO of Camping World (a company valued at more than $850 million), works with struggling small business owners on each episode of "The Profit" in an effort to help them turn around their fortunes.

In the show's latest episode, Lemonis is tasked with helping a New Jersey pizza joint that's struggling with aesthetic issues and stagnant sales. While Lemonis offers advise to Dante Alario, the restaurant's owner, on how to improve the look of his business to attract more customers, the host of "The Profit" also tells Alario that sharing his personal backstory with customers could help create lasting connections.

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Alario tells Lemonis that he opened his restaurant with money his father received from the federal government after Alario's mother died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. It's when Lemonis finds out that Alario has been reluctant to share this backstory with anyone — none of his employees or customers are aware — that the millionaire shares his advice on why it's actually completely natural to bring certain aspects of your personal life into your business.

"I'm a big believer that in business, consumers will rally around a cause or a story or some personal connection that they have," Lemonis says on the show. "People like to do business with people. It's OK that you amplify who you are, that's how I make a connection with you [as a consumer]."

For Lemonis, feeling a personal connection to a business is only natural, especially since he started his entrepreneurial career working at his own family's business. Lemonis grew up around his family's Miami-based automotive dealership owned by his grandfather, Anthony Abraham. Working at his family business, Lemonis has said that he learned "positive and prosperous business values," including instilling in him the importance of a strong work ethic.

"I have a special attachment to family businesses, primarily because I started off working in one: the car business," Lemonis says in the new episode of "The Profit."

"It taught me how to navigate working with family, which can be tough. But, also the same business skills I learned there help me run a multi-million dollar company."

CNBC's "The Profit" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET .

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