Is your business failing? It’s your fault

September 3, 2009


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.


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Interesting approach, it obviously works for some situations. But it’s not clear why it’s ALWAYS an either/or situation. There are plenty of examples of good guys with good values and clear consciences running profitable businesses. There seems to be plenty of room for people to be great guys AND run great businesses.

Posted by David Jones | Report as abusive

George Cloutier is very likely right on target IF the mindless pursuit of profit is all your life is about. If you’re normal though, you’d probably know how empty a life like that is. Perhaps he should embrace a career in politics. Now there’s a use of one’s time which leads to riches with plenty of time off to squander the fruits of other people’s labors. Equally immoral too!

Posted by RH Pyle | Report as abusive

A good start to entepreneurs fault, Mister Coultier is not wrong in his opinion but it is never easy to be your business falter – and there you are scrambling to keep your company afloat.
To save the business you must check dismissals and Financialplan, reduce you costs for unnecessary manpower and keep closer contact with business partner and people have other contacts.
Or inspect yours position in the system named
– Organisated state Financial …cho Mafia – that anyway goes over stop at nothing (Body and so on).
We created the rules when it came to financial systems and we get to change it. If we are Unable to change it.

Posted by Ingeborg Metag | Report as abusive

Be sure to pick up Cloutier’s next book: “Get Rich; Die Alone”

Posted by SilentBoy741 | Report as abusive