The best TV shows for entrepreneurs - Adrian Fleming
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Watching TV has become a major pastime for the majority of people in western society but many business gurus say you must stop watching it and start using your time to better effect.

Now while I don’t disagree with the fact hat there’s too much TV with no educational value and a questionable sense of reality, especially when it comes under the category of “Reality TV”, and that news reporting can be very negative, especially in the US, there’s a lot to be learned from TV and how people watch and relate to it, so not watching is a mistake as an entrepreneur.

Personally I’ve never liked soap operas but when I was involved in an investment that required me to understand how story telling and compelling content captured the attention of an audience, learning the “hooks” behind a TV series was extremely beneficial and something I now use in copywriting and marketing campaign strategy almost every day.

The other thing with TV is it’s changing, which is why I fully appreciate why Amazon decided to sign up ex-Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, paying a reported £160 million that Netflix say is “not worth the money”.

When you see how media is changing, you’ll see business opportunities like never before.

But in the short-term there are some TV shows that provide a great inspiration and education, so here are some I suggest you watch (even on YouTube if they’re not available in your country) because there are lessons to be learned form experts in their filed.

And by the way, I’ve avoided suggesting things like Shark Tank, The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den because there are better and less obvious choices out there, especially since these shows have shifted from being innovative, to bordering on unhelpful, and having dealt with some of the experts, candidates and businesses on the UK versions of these shows, I’m not sure they are filling you with the right information either.

So here goes…



If you’ve ever wondered how to negotiate well, strike a fair deal, have people like you, do what you love and work with a team of talented people who turn what some have as a hobby into an extremely successful business, just watch Drew Pritchard at work.



OK I’ll admit it – I love cars and to add to that I know Mike and Edd (in fact my partner Alison actually got Edd to drive to us to the theatre to watch Monty Python’s Spamalot his car made to look like a bed), but this show is a lesson in knowing what you’re good at and sticking to it.

From Mike’s negotiation and sales skills to Edd’s expertise in mechanics and restoration, these two started the show back in 2003 and have become international celebrities in the process.

And just in case you wondered, they “practice what they preach” for a living when not in front of the camera too.

Alex Polizzi The Fixer


There have been several good “trouble shooting” TV shows: from Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares to the Troubleshoter TV series with the late Sir Harvey-Jones and then Sir Gerry Robinson – all are worth watching, but I’ve picked the Fixer because I think it’s easier to see how successful hotelier and businesswoman Alex Polizzi helps struggling businesses see what they need to do and how they need to change.

4 rooms


This Channel 4 show in the UK is all about the deal with experts buying interesting antiques and artefacts but based on a commercial goal – profit. Sellers are often overly optimistic at the value of the item they have, or in some cases just really bad negotiators, so watch for this too.

The dynamic between a buyer, seller and the other dealers is always interesting to watch and you can learn for it as well as trying to put a figure on what an item’s worth and who the best potential buyer is.

Speed With Guy Martin


In both series, the one thing that comes across is determination. As an entrepreneur, you have to look at somebody like Guy Martin and admire his effort and preparation as well as he ability to take calculated risks, which is why he’s been so successful. The other thing that really should resonate with entrepreneurs is the fact he works with experts to make things happen that most people don’t even attempt.



Here’s a bit of a guilty pleasure – infomercials. There is so much you can learn by watching the way a great infomercial is structured, what they say, when they say it, the people in the show, the testimonials and much, much more – heck they made Tony Robbins a household name in the US (and I remember buying his audio tapes back in the early 90s off an infomercial)

These TV segments are highly crafted by experts who invest serious sums of money in order to sell through the TV so next time you’re up early and there’s nothing on the TV or you can’t sleep, look for a well-produced infomercial and you’ll be amazed what you can learn.