If you grew up watching, Martin you know that he is chill deficient. The fictional Martin Payne navigated his late 20’s/early 30’s with absolutely no sense whatsoever. The silly antics, relationship drama, radio shenanigans and foolish friends made for a perfect 90’s sitcom. Even in it’s rerun glory, you won’t find an ounce of educational value. Actually, I take that back. There are a few lessons to take note from Martin’s insane adventures in Detroit. One episode in particular is a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs.
Martin had just been fired from his job as on-air host at WZUP. And, unfortunately his local celebrity wasn’t enough to get him back into the workforce. As he hunts for the next opportunity, Martin takes a brief stab in season three at becoming an entrepreneur. He recruits “Brotherman” (or Bruh-man, for short) to be his business partner in a get rich quick scheme on the night of Whitney Houston’s concert. The ultimate goal in Martin’s own words was to “get paid”.
Martin left home confident and returned with defeat.
"Babe that's Bruh Man in a bad wig" pic.twitter.com/9fUkr43J9j
— GirlTyler (@sheistyler) January 26, 2016
Ah yes, the “Whitty Huton Wuld Toor”. I had forgotten about this infamous scene. It will totally go down as one of the best (right next to the Jodeci and Varnell Hill moment). I hadn’t put much though into Martin’s job loss until I viewed this episode again recently. The scene, purely for entertainment value is actually familiar for just about any entrepreneur. What seemed like a great idea, didn’t exactly go as planned. It happens each and every day. Trust and believe every eager innovator has some form of a “Whitty Huton” shirt. Business deals turned sour. Products that flopped. Poor partnerships. Low sales. It’s not that the idea was bad per se, more about the fact that unforeseen circumstances will arise.
Let’s study scene. Martin is out of work and desperate for cash. In his despair, he needs a quick way to make money. His idea of compensation is far from fool proof. Selling t-shirts seemed easy enough. Print, sell, cash in hand. A simple money machine is often too good to be true. He did not research the market, oversee production or fully utilize his resources. Gina warned him that distributing goods at a public place required a permit. Out of his eagerness, Martin did not consider any associated risks. One of the biggest risks he took was Brotherman.
Why go into business with someone who claims to live on the fifth floor using four fingers to describe the location of his residence?
Fortunately, Martin returned without getting caught, leaving his business partner in the wind. However, he lost two valuable components of entrepreneurship: money and time. If only he had spent time thoroughly creating a business plan, he would have likely had more success. The t-shirts didn’t work in his favor, but one fiasco didn’t diminish his talent. In the midst of this low moment in his life, Martin couldn’t see what was on the horizon. A bigger opportunity. That being, a television host gig. He went back to the drawing board, submitting a pilot for his own talk show. His circumstance quickly turned around in a way he hadn’t imagined for himself.
The same goes for your ideas. Some will work. Others won’t. What matters is how you advance yourself to what will work in your favor. Every idea seems good in theory, only execute them in good faith and not out of impulse. Be intentional and never allow a lack of resources (or inadequate business partners) impede your projects. Once you print a few “Whitty Huton” shirts, you’ll immediately realize which strategies work best for you. Mistakes and time are the greatest teachers.
Get paid by being thorough.
Check out the full scene.