5 Reasons Tiger King Failed In Business
It's all the buzz right now. I am sure you have watched it, or at least have heard of it by now.
The Tiger King on Netflix.
It's a sort of train wreck reality show that is both entertaining and sad, but from a business perspective, I could tell from the start the zoo was destined for failure. Sadly, many business close within their first few years, either because of lack of profits or a slew of other problems that ultimately lead to lack of profits.
Let's talk about where Joe Exotic went wrong.
He was a one trick pony
While I assume there was an admission fee to enter the zoo, Joe Exotic's primary income came from Tiger cub petting. He would take them to malls and show them at the zoo, inviting people to come pet the baby tigers. Tiger cubs obviously only stay cubs for so long before they grow to large to handled and once that happened, they were no longer profitable. For this business strategy to work, Joe would have needed a steady flow of Tiger cubs, which is both inhumane and illegal. Multiple streams of revenue would be have been a better business strategy for Joe. If you watched the show, you know that he lost his trucks in the lawsuit to Carole and therefore had no way of transporting the subs to mall showings, but we will get to that mess in a minute.
Joe did not seem to have any business strategy at all
Where his main focus should have been the zoo and his employees, Joe Exotic's focus was seemingly always his stardom and Carole Baskin. Allowing anyone else to have such control over you is simply toxic for everyone around and this sadly played out just so in this series.
Instead of focusing on the animals, Joe ran for governor.
Instead of focusing on the animals, Joe bashed Carole on his TV broadcasts.
Instead of focusing on the animals, Joe ran for President.
Instead of focusing on the animals, Joe led protests in front of Carole's sanctuary.
Joe took his obsession with Carole Baskin so far that he impersonated her business costing him $1 million dollars in a lawsuit. In an effort to pay her, he relinquished his truck and trailer, losing his means to transport cubs to showings which Carole was trying to shut down anyway.
He failed to invest
Perhaps it was just the portrayal on TV, but the last thing the Tiger King seemed to be interested investing in was his business and that is a recipe for failure. He invested loads of zoo money into his campaign runs. He tried to con other people into investing in the business under the guise of hiding assets from Carole, not business growth. Joe always seemed 'on the balls of his ass' in the show, the zoo looked run down, the homes were in need of repair so without some investments back in, a business cannot grow.
He didn't value his staff
According to the employees of the zoo, Joe Exotic was tough to work for. The pay was low ($136/week?!) and the conditions volatile. Simply put, it is cheaper to keep your current staff than to hire new staff so if Joe had valued the people who were working hard for him everyday, he would have ultimately had more support and likely gotten more work done. He also would have had people in his corner, which is important when you are on trial for murder for hire.
He had no mentor
Having someone in your our lives to bounce ideas off of, to talk through plans and goals and to check us when we are out of our minds is invaluable in life and in business. Joe Exotic had no one in his life he would take advice from, no sounding board, no wise mentor with the experience he lacked. Because he refused to listen to words of reason, he lost the zoo, tried to hire a man to murder is nemesis, Carole Baskin, was convicted and currently sits in jail.
Not only did Joe not have a mentor, he really didn't have many friends either. He certainly made enemies with Carole Baskin.
Friends will get you a lot further than enemies will, which is sure something Joe thinks a lot about these days.
In the end, I think justice was served and I feel for the tigers who have suffer in cages all across the United States. It is no way for them to live and while I appreciate captive breeding programs, I wish they could all just run free.
I am in no way affiliated with Netflix, Tiger King, or Carole Baskin and the opinions stated herein are my own.