Is your business failing? It’s your fault
Brace yourself, because George Cloutier has some unsettling news: your failing business is your fault.
Cloutier is the no-nonsense CEO of American Management Services and author of Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re the Only Thing, a literary slap in the face to small- and medium-size business owners who wonder why sales are slipping and cash is tight.
Like the gruff boss he urges small business leaders to be, Cloutier doesn’t waste any time trying to get you to like him — he wants your respect, and his book fires off rules without apology: “Love your business more than your family”, “End your denial” and, perhaps most startling, “Give up golf – it’s a waste of time!”
Profits Aren’t Everything is peppered with real-life examples of businesses teetering on the brink of disaster because they invariably failed to put profits first. Of the hundreds of maxims Cloutier imparts, the profit rule trumps all others: “In the game of business, pure profits are the only prize,” he writes. The message is clear: fire your family members, skip your kids’ recitals. Do whatever it takes to bring your business to profitability.
The book offers a few surprises, too. When Cloutier’s not scolding readers for taking weekends off or phoning their spouse from work (both definite no-nos), he insists they stop underpaying themselves and take a big, fat raise. His logic? A salary demonstrates who’s boss and if you can’t pay yourself like one, there’s something wrong with your business. (So fix it!)
The endless barrage of rules would all seem like a bit much if it weren’t for Cloutier’s impressive track record. The so-called “Turnaround Ace” has made a successful career out of digging hapless businesses out of debt and mismanagement by demanding his clients fire dead weight, own up to their laziness and stop making excuses. And it works.
Cloutier’s unrelenting “business-above-all-else” mentality is likely both his biggest asset as a CEO and his most damning fault as a husband, friend and boss. But if you learn anything from Profits Aren’t Everything, it’s that being a success isn’t easy and it certainly has nothing to do with being a nice guy.