The Profit Recipe

Liz Mershon

Liz Mershon: Why I Became an E-Volution Activator with The Profit Recipe

Three decades of growing startups into stable and successful companies help me assist South Florida business owners 

Some people are accidental entrepreneurs, business owners by circumstance. Others view it as an irresistible calling, and they spin the E-Volution Flywheel again and again. I’d certainly put myself in the second category. Over three decades, I’ve been both a business-owning Visionary and an Integrator—but almost always in a startup role, getting new and uncertain ventures off the ground.

I guess you could say that it’s part of my professional DNA, as is my latest role as a coach. My experience building businesses helps others do the same, I’m passionate about the entrepreneurial journey, and I love watching founders succeed. 

The Profit Recipe’s purpose is “to empower entrepreneurs to evolve so that we can all change the world one company at a time.” And doing my part to fulfill that mission is some of the most satisfying work of my career.

Traveling the long, winding road of entrepreneurship, right out of the gate

I started my first business just after college, even though my parents thought I was nuts. “Where are you going to get the money?!” was their first reaction … and they had a point. 

So, I sold my car for capital and recruited a partner to open Shimmy’s, a high-end beauty store on Española Way in South Beach. We were the first South Florida retailer to score exclusive rights to Kiehl’s skincare products, which attracted many celebrities, fashion models, and other wealthy clientele who populated South Beach in the ‘90s. 

The store took off—but I soon got bored. Back in those days, retail was mostly a “build it, and they will come” project. You got some brand exposure, put a few ads out, and waited for the customers. And I don’t like to wait. Fortunately, I’d met many customers in the fashion, TV, and event production industries, which led to volunteering at a charity event. The next thing I knew, I was producing the event and all its broadcast public service announcements with major celebrities, and a new career was born.

I sold my share of the store and spent the next 15 years in TV and film production, first working my way up to a position at a big post-production house out of New York. Eventually, I met someone interested in starting the first independent studio in south Florida. So, I took a leap of faith, left that cushy job, and helped found Miami Broadcast Center, which would become the largest independent studio in the Southeast US. 

We did everything from feature films to music videos and television shows, and it was exhilarating work. My partner took care of the technical side of things. At the same time, I gained invaluable experience managing operations and negotiating contracts, many with clients like Discovery Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, Columbia Pictures, and more. It was hard, though I loved it. But eventually, I left the studio in good hands to focus on an even bigger job: motherhood.

Stepping back into business—and a new industry 

A few years later, my career took another sharp turn after deciding it was time to get back to work. A former colleague from the production industry was starting a treatment center for women’s disorders in Miami, Florida. She asked me to consult part-time to help get it off the ground. But what was initially a 10-hour-per-week commitment quickly turned into a 24/7 leap into the startup lion’s cage. 

Thankfully, it was another amazing experience. My partner was the Visionary, while I was the Integrator. We built the Oliver-Pyatt Center from the ground up into something big and helpful to the community. The center started with one location, soon opened one more per year, and we were eventually bought out by private equity, becoming Monte Nido and Affiliates, a national leader in the field.

As a serial entrepreneur, this successful sale was validating and awesome—but also my cue to leave for new challenges and career pivots. First, I started consulting with and coaching other businesses, leveraging my experience with operations, contract negotiations, and scaling startups. Second, my husband and I opened a cake shop, a Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise in Boca Raton. 

There are many other twists and turns in my journey—we’re talking decades, here! But all of them provided unique experiences and lessons, simple and complicated, that make me a better entrepreneur and coach to other entrepreneurs.

Discovering the Entrepreneurial Operating System®

While I was at the Oliver-Pyatt Center, an industry colleague evangelized EOS®, showing me many of the materials and aspects she used in her business. It was a game-changer. 

Many of the concepts were things I’d learned the hard way or iterated over my career, along with a few others I hadn’t considered. It was all there in one straightforward system. I began using many of these tools—at least, my versions of them—to improve our processes, accountabilities, and more.

Later, as I got deeper into the system and applied it in my coaching career, I realized: Why reinvent the wheel? EOS is comprehensive and clear, and it’s a proven system with a long and successful track record. So, I resolved to use EOS comprehensively and become an Implementer, joining The Profit Recipe to help South Florida businesses and leaders E-Volve.

Lessons learned in the startup and scaling world

I encountered common challenges starting several businesses and made some pretty routine mistakes. All were part of the E-Volution that entrepreneurs experience. But, in retrospect, many of them could have been avoided or solved faster with a great business operating system—and perhaps a little guidance.

For example, building a new studio from scratch involved different people working at cross-purposes, not communicating, and lacking defined roles and accountabilities. As a result, members of our small team would often go to the wrong person for the wrong thing, and everyone would get frustrated with wasted time and effort. An EOS Accountability Chart™ would have been invaluable.

Then, there was the avoidable problem of staying reactive instead of proactive. Projects would come in, and it was usually a scramble to find production crews. If we’d leveraged EOS’s focus on processes, we’d have created smoother, consistent procedures involving far less stress. And identifying key data—in that case, leveraging industry information—would have allowed us to plan a proactive schedule.

Some of these issues carried over to my work at the healthcare clinic. Its early days were a ‘flying by the seat of the pants’ affair, and it took us time to improve the admissions process. Potential patients wound up on a waitlist as we ran into a shortage of clinicians, and we had few insights into whether those clinicians’ hours were applied efficiently. 

In addition, there was often miscommunication among the leadership team, along with hazy responsibilities lacking support in critical areas—especially in the division of clinical and administrative functions. Discovering EOS and eventually using some of its strategies for data, processes, and accountability helped immensely, enabling stability, faster growth, and ROI. 

Nevertheless, we’d have been rocking much earlier if we’d had these tools from the start. And we’d have been far happier and more comfortable scaling into what we became. 

Helping South Florida entrepreneurs spin the E-Volution Flywheel faster

Decades of taking new ventures from infancy to maturity taught me about the stages of the E-Volution Flywheel before I could put a name to them. And getting unstuck from each step and exposure to EOS taught me that the process doesn’t have to be that difficult.

Every entrepreneur will face challenges requiring initiative, creativity, hard work, and maybe a little luck to push through them. But many of these tests can be avoided or quickly solved with the right knowledge and tools. And a little help from coaches, mentors, and colleagues who have already encountered those issues goes a long way. 

I love coaching. I love facilitating. And doing this with The Profit Recipe gives me my own team—a group of supportive, experienced colleagues dedicated to helping each other and our clients succeed. I’m exactly where I want to be, working with the right people.

Entrepreneurs who commit to creating a better version of their business inspire me, and I use my experience and problem-solving skills to help all my clients. But the best part about being a coach is that it’s not really about me solving anyone’s problems. EOS and some guidance empower entrepreneurs to take control of their own journey.

I’m ready, willing, able, and excited to walk this path with them.

Empower your Leadership Team and improve efficiency, increase value, and foster collaboration to get better results. A professional Facilitator can ensure that all of your members are on the same page, so you can kick your business up a notch. Connect with The Profit Recipe to Achieve Traction.

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