It’s Time for the Jerry Maguire Business Model

Too many companies make “standardize and scale” their business model. It may be a functional formula, but it is also a recipe for churn. It leaves no room for personal relationships. Can we work with fewer clients, create greater impact in existing relationships, and still generate positive ROI? The Jerry Maguire business model says yes.

In the 1996 movie, a young sports agent starts living by the motto of his mentor, Dicky Fox, who believes “The key to this business is personal relationships.” It’s that simple. And it’s worth a closer look.

  1. Put clients first.

The Jerry Maguire model says, see yourself as directly responsible for your clients’ success. In this model, you have to create genuinely customized solutions. Your best interests call for the opposite: keep costs low and profits high by offering standardized packages and automating service delivery. In this model, you have to create genuinely customized solutions that put the client’s best interest above yours. That’s what Jerry Maguire would do.

Tweet: Too many companies make “standardize and scale” their business model. It may be a functional formula, but it is also a recipe for churn.

2. Recognize how much is enough.

A mentor who coached me in public speaking said, “I knew when I reached my limit, I would know it.” We all know there are only 20 days in a month; five days in each week. He didn’t want to travel more than eight times a month, so he could spend quality time with his family. He calculated that financially, at that scale, his earnings would be enough.

Most of us run into trouble because we lack confidence that if we put clients first, enough will be enough. Instead, we get stuck in a poverty mentality that keeps us in permanent sales mode

If you recognize YOUR “enough,” and respect it, your focus shifts from going after more and bigger business. Instead, you truly focus on making your existing clients successful. You put your strategic relationships first. Do not underestimate the satisfaction of a business based on a manageable number of deep, long-term relationships!

At the end of the movie, Jerry and his clients were really happy. Why? Because he recognized that improving relationships with existing clients would bring him personal and professional success.

Nour Takeaways

  1. The Jerry Maguire business model says, “Put clients first.” Never put growth above creating results for customers.

2. The Jerry Maguire business model says, “Recognize enough is enough.” Respect that limit. The rewards of a balanced life have a value beyond wealth.

3. Build your business around personal relationships with clients for whom you can genuinely create value.


David Nour has spent the past two decades being a student of business relationships. In the process, he has developed Relationship Economics® — the art and science of becoming more intentional and strategic in the relationships one chooses to invest in. In a global economy that is becoming increasingly disconnected, The Nour Group, Inc. has worked with clients such as Hilton, ThyssenKrupp, Disney, KPMG and over 100 other marquee organizations in driving profitable growth through unique return on their strategic relationships. Nour has pioneered the phenomenon that relationships are the greatest off balance sheet asset any organizations possess, large and small, public and private. He is the author of nine books translated into eight languages, including the best selling Relationship Economics — Revised (Wiley), ConnectAbility (McGraw-Hill), The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Capital (Praeger), Return on Impact (ASAE), and the 2016 forthcoming CO-CREATE. (St. Martin’s Press), an essential guide showing C-level leaders how to optimize relationships, create market gravity, and greatly increase revenue. Learn more at