Today’s Show Recap

Thanks for listening to Makin’ It. On this week’s episode, on Show Buzz, Tommy, Todd and Brittany take a look at “Billion Dollar Business.” On The Fix, Tommy and Todd discuss strategies Sears and JCPenney can employ to save their business. Also this week on The Danger Report, they take a look at AT&T’s U-Verse. Finally, on Makin’ It or Breakin’ it, the gang poses the question: Is a paycheck or are benefits more important? Let us know what you think of the show in the comments section at the bottom of the page!

Are you ready to scale up? It’s time to start the show!


Show Buzz:

Billion Dollar BuyerTommy, Todd and Brittany start the show with Show Buzz, and this week they take a look at CNBC’s “Billion Dollar Buyer.” The show centers on Tilman Fertitta, a buyer for companies such as Morton’s The Steakhouse and the Golden Nugget. Fertitta focuses on two small businesses each show and determines if they are ready for their big break and are able to handle the demands of scaling up.

The show documents what it is like to be a small business trying to make it in the big leagues. Differing from shows like “Shark Tank,” Fertitta isn’t trying to invest, but giving businesses a chance to make it instead. Because 90-percent of small businesses focus on B2B (business-to-business sales), they need to be ready to handle the demands of the larger companies to which they are aiming to sell. One of Fertitta’s mottos is scale up, or give up, helping encourage small business owners to stop treating their businesses like hobbies, as they will not be able to handle the demands.

At the end of the show, Fertitta chooses which business can handle getting its big break. However, he doesn’t always choose one. This can be heart-wrenching because many businesses owners have invested their whole savings or their families’ savings in their business—and then they aren’t able to make it. “Billion Dollar Buyer” gives an accurate portrayal of what it takes for a small business to succeed. What do you think of “Billion Dollar Buyer?” Let us know in the comments section.


The Fix:

In the next edition of The Fix, Tommy, Todd and Brittany discuss what Sears and JCPenney can do to salvage their companies. Sears and JCPenney have been in business since the late 1800s and early 1900s and gave people who lived in urban areas the ability to purchase goods they couldn’t ordinarily get using their catalogs. But both companies are examples of businesses that waited too long to turn their giant ships around and didn’t establish a sound e-commerce business.

But both companies’ troubles run deeper than e-commerce. A large part has to do with branding and what consumers identify with the companies. For Sears, it’s appliances and lawnmowers, and for JCPenney, it’s back-to-school shopping. Another problem is that both stores cater to a diminishing middle class, and their sales are being eaten up by Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and Target.

But both companies could turn things around if they hurry, Sears in particular. A trend gaining popularity is smart appliances. No one has cornered the market on them yet, and if Sears steps in, it could revitalize their business. Additionally, what both stores could do to save their business is scale up or down. JCPenney has already attempted this by putting Sephora’s in many of their stores. However, both stores must stop appealing to the middle class, which is the smallest class, in order to survive. What do you think of when you think of Sears or JCPenney? How do you think they could revitalize their businesses? Let us know in the comments section.


The Danger Report:

AT&T U-Verse is the brand of fiber-based, triple-play telecommunications offerings from AT&T that includes broadband internet, telephone and video services. After last year’s acquisition of DIRECTV by AT&T, which is the largest satellite TV provider nationwide, AT&T has been phasing out its U-Verse subscriptions, which had previously been heavily promoted, and are now pushing customers toward DIRECTV. Phasing out the U-verse subscriptions by AT&T is part of a cost-saving effort and an attempt to capitalize on the DIRECTV brand. What do you think of DIRECTV? What do you think of AT&T’s strategy? Let us know in the comments section.


Makin’ It or Breakin’ It:

Finally, Tommy, Todd and Brittany end the show with the Makin’ It or Breakin’ It segment. This week they ask the question: Is a paycheck more important or are benefits?

Taking the Affordable Care Act out of the equation, this question needs to be approached from two perspectives: the employee and the employer.

From the employee perspective, the answer depends on the type of employee, Baby Boomer or Millennial. Most Baby Boomers are more interested in benefits due to pending retirement. Millennials, on the other hand, are after paychecks more than benefits, as they are not known to stay with companies or jobs for very long. For the first 15 years of a Millennial’s career, it has been estimated that he will change jobs 16 to 18 times, many only staying at jobs for six months.

Regardless of Millennial or Baby Boomer, intrapreneurial employees are also more driven for paychecks because they want to succeed and help grow the bottom line of the company rather than stay on auto-pilot for their careers.

From the employer’s perspective, most prefer paychecks to benefits but have to be prepared for both. Most employers prefer to work with the intrapreneurs because of their work ethic; however, they have to be built to work with them. They do have to put up with them experimenting and possibly failing trying to improve the company. Intrapreneurs give more to the company rather than those who just sit back and collect on their 401ks. As an employee, what do you prefer: benefits or a paycheck? As an employer, what do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section.


Thanks for tuning in to Makin’ It. Let us know what you think of the show and if you have questions about your business, send us an email at or leave us a comment below. We love to hear from our listeners and we read comments on the air. We just might choose yours for next week’s show (so don’t forget to tune in!).



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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs:

Order Tommy’s new book, The Way of the Rich at,, and

For more information on “Billion Dollar Buyer,” click here.

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