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5 Business Tips I've Learned From Watching Reality Show "Pawn Stars" (October 2014)

For the uneducated, Pawn Stars is a reality show set in a Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. When I eventually make it to Las Vegas, the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop ( is definitely going to be my first port of call.

It is a family run business, headed by Rick Harrison who works there with his father, his son Corey, and Corey's long time friend Chum Lee.

If you watch the episodes, they have a vast range of articles coming into the shop where hopeful owners pray that they will get as much as they can for their family heir looms.

There is a fair amount of "theatre" that comes with watching all reality shows, but the more I watch the series, the more I realise that there are several excellent business lessons that Rick dispenses each and every time.

Here are my top 5.

1 - Always Get A Second Opinion

Rick is very knowledgeable and has been in the business for many years, but he is never too afraid to call on somebody who has more experience than him on a particular item. Sometimes we can be a bit too proud to ask in business, but if the help is there, make sure you use it.

2 - Don't Let Your Heart Rule Your Head

There has been many times when Rick desperately wants the item that has been brought into the pawn shop, but no matter how much he wants it, he is more than willing to walk away if the price isn't right. Probably the greatest skill is to look at every transaction with a clear mind, and not get emotionally involved. Rick makes every decision of money, no matter how much it tugs at his heart strings.

3 - Have Your Customer In Mind

With every purchase, Rick will be thinking two steps ahead, to who he knows that might want to purchase the item from him. You might have the best item and the cheapest price, but without a buyer it's nothing. With every product in your range, think about who will buy it and how much they will pay.

4 - Surround Yourself With The Right People

Rick doesn't have every expert in Las Vegas working with him in the shop. What he does have is a lot of people with a lot of knowledge and also a very close knit crew. It's very important to have the right mix of people working for you in business, and they don't all have to be industry leaders. Despite the "in-fighting" that is filmed on the show, I get the impression that this is a solid team and they are all working for each other. Trust is key.

5 - Tenacity

Rick spent four years approaching the networks in the hope that one of them would take up the show idea, and in 2008 it eventually happened. If you know you have an idea that works then you need to keep going and never give up.

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