Over the years I have had many adventures as an entrepreneur, and they have taught me valuable lessons spanning seven decades. Here are a few of these lessons in no particular order.
One is that every business venture has been exciting for me because I was able to perceive opportunities for profit that were not immediately apparent to the outside world. Such situations are always present in the marketplace, and the hunt for them is part of the fun. Obviously, research is vital but so is developing friendships. These, in turn, create an arena of trust and understanding, which enable major deals to be consummated.
My second lesson is really a confession. These days, my motivation is no longer fame or money but an overwhelming desire to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the kind of knowledge and drive that get results. The greatest compensation for me now is passing on the torch to the next generation of entrepreneurs. I have personally witnessed the growth of wealth in areas where I have operated. I am convinced that prosperity for all is the end product of hard work, continuous research, and close cooperation. My goal is to create a pathway which budding entrepreneurs can travel that will lead them to wealth and satisfaction. Some basic concepts must be learned in advance of making commitments, and once learned, they should be followed with strict discipline.
My third lesson takes me back 68 years. After I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corps, I chose an entrepreneurial career. Military training had instilled in me the importance of keeping up with technological changes. As a member of a flight crew, I soon learned there was no room for error or a lack of preparation. From the beginning of my time in business, I understood that staying up to date was also the key to marketplace success. Trying to answer today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions inevitably yields frustration and eventual failure.
A fourth lesson came from a close familiarity with the problems now being endured by today’s veterans. I know firsthand what it’s like to deal with PTSD, overcome it, and become a productive member of the community. I want to help the young people who have served their country with great valor and now deserve every bit of help they can get in returning to the civilian world. To many of them, the greatest opportunity is the ability to become entrepreneurs. They can take advantage of all the discipline and training that they have received and apply it to a civilian endeavor. For interested veterans, I’ve made my award-winning book, The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, available through my Veteran Gifting Program, to help them have access to vital tips from someone who has literally, “been there, done that.” I believe my most recent book will help these veterans enormously since I have traveled the same road, felt similar trauma, and was able to reach the other side to enjoy peace and prosperity.
At the ripe old age of 90, I do not feel my entrepreneurial journey is complete. This can only happen if I share the business insights I’ve gained with as many people as possible so that others don’t have to start from scratch. The global marketplace for new products and services is a dynamic environment, and what’s important is that those in my position encourage, mentor, and evolve the next generation of entrepreneurs. As they find new opportunities and flourish, so will we all.