‘The Profit’ star Marcus Lemonis reveals his most embarrassing money mistakes
No one is immune to poor spending decisions — not even self-made millionaire and entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis.
Lemonis is the chairman and CEO of Camping World, a company with a market value of over $2.2 billion. And, as the star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” Lemonis tries to impart some of the wisdom behind his own business success onto small business owners looking to turn around their company’s fortunes.
But even Lemonis has financial regrets. He sat down with CNBC Make It to discuss his most embarassing mistakes, learning lessons and other money confessions.
CNBC Make It: What is your first money memory?
Marcus Lemonis: Stealing a jar of coins out of my mom’s closet, because I wanted to go to the candy store, and finding out after that they were all actual silver quarters, nickels and dimes worth thousands of dollars, not $87.
How much did the Tooth Fairy leave you?
Nothing. My mother thought, “You cut the grass, you get paid. You lose a tooth, too bad for you.”
How much was your first allowance?
I had no allowance. “You work, you get paid. You don’t work, you don’t get paid. This isn’t a charity.”
Who taught you about money?
I would say I taught myself.
What was your first job and how much was your paycheck?
I had a lawn business, and I used to make about $700 a week. I think I was 12 or 13 years old.
What was your first investment? Was it worth it?
I bought stock in Whole Foods when I was, probably, 20. I think I bought, like, $500 worth and I doubled my money. Yeah, it was worth it, because I gave it back to them 10 times in my grocery bills.
What’s your most embarrassing purchase?
Back in 2007, I was doing well financially and I bought a Rolls-Royce. It didn’t last very long. I felt like a giant a– driving the car. I’m surprised I even told you that.
What was your biggest money mistake?
My biggest money mistake? Do you want me to just rattle off a few episodes? Because, that’s about what I’ve got.
What was your most expensive meal and was it worth it?
I went on a date at one of these places where they have, like, 11 courses and it takes six hours and it cost about $1,000. And, no, it wasn’t worth it. In fact, I went out for a hot dog after. No, it was terrible.
What’s the most fun you’ve had spending money?
My wife convinced me to go on a bike trip, like an expensive bike trip. It was, like, $3,500 a person. It was supposed to be a five-day bike trip — I lasted a day, because I thought it sucked that I had to pay money to ride my bike. And then we went to Paris and I got the biggest suite at the [Four Seasons Hotel] George V and went to the French Open, and I had the greatest time of my life.
What is the cheapest thing that brings you the most joy?
The cheapest item? The cheapest actual thing that brings me the most joy? I don’t know. I don’t like expensive things. I like candy. That’s cheap, right?
Money is ________.
Money is… not that important to me. That’s it.
CNBC’s “The Profit” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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