Category Archives: Lesson From Successful People

Lessons from successful people

The Blue Jean Millionaire – Levi Strauss

My business attire consists almost entirely of blue jeans.   I consider jeans part of my branding  because it makes a statement about me not being part of the establishment docker business casual community. But the story of how blue jeans became a statement in American society is much more interesting. Levi Strauss was born in Germany in 1829 and was [...]

Read more »

America’s First Multi-Millionaire – John Jacob Astor

Recently I watched the movie “The Revenant” with Leonardo DiCaprio about the fur trade in North America and was reminded of how John Jacob Astor's part in created the industry and the takeaways for every entrepreneur. John Jacob Astor was born in Germany and was one of nine children. Growing up, his father could barely keep his family fed. To relieve [...]

Read more »

Bleach Your Business

In 1913, five investors each contributed $100 in cash to a new enterprise. Each also brought a special skill to the enterprise. There was a salesman, accountant, miner, banker, and lawyer. After forming the company, they raised $75,000, which is just shy of $2 million in today's money. The founders hoped to create a super-concentrated bleach that had industrial [...]

Read more »

Lessons from Pierre Omidyar

The year was 1995 and Pierre Omidyar wanted to help his girlfriend trade Pez candy dispensers. He was working as an engineer for General Magic Inc. in the San Francisco Bay Area. In his personal time, he created “Auction Web,” a site that served as a neighborhood community for sellers and buyers to meet. At first, he charged [...]

Read more »

What Sales People Can Learn from Donald Trump

Every day I see a poll number showing Donald Trump with a substantial lead in the GOP polls. In spite of the many gaffes that would destroy any other candidate's political aspirations, Trump continues to be immune. This fact caused me to question why some people would continue to support him in spite of his many obviously inflammatory sound bites. [...]

Read more »

Lessons from the First Black Woman Millionaire, Madame C.J. Walker

As the Director of Entrepreneurship at a local community college, we offer a student success course base on the eight life lessons passed on to Clifton Taulbert from his uncle Cleve Morman from the book “Who Owns The Ice House, Eight Lesson from An Unlikely Entrepreneur.” An equally impressive story comes from Madame C.J. Walker (a.k.a. Sarah Breedlove), the first [...]

Read more »

Lessons from Sea-Land’s Malcom McLean

After graduating high school, Malcom McLean bought a used truck and started a small trucking company with his sister and brother. Two years later in 1937, Malcom found himself sitting in a long line of trucks on the Hoboken, NJ docks. He was awaiting his turn for the stevedores and longshoreman to unload his cargo of cotton and place the [...]

Read more »

Barbie, Seeing Things Others Do Not

Izzy (later change to Elliot) and Ruth Handler were husband and wife that complemented each other's skills when it came to business. Elliot was the dreamer, who I have often referred to in business as the Oracle or someone who can see things that others can not. Ruth, by contrast, had a business mind and is [...]

Read more »

Samuel Colt, American Inventor

As a hunter and gun enthusiast, I admire the inventor of the revolver, Samuel Colt. Prior to the revolver, the American armed forces used the muzzleloader. While the muzzleloader was a powerful weapon that could extend the lethal range of a soldier, it was a single shot weapon and took time to reload. In the time it took to reload [...]

Read more »

Connecting With Your Audience

A business associate of mine, Ken Jaray, is an Angel investor and earned his personal fortune as a very successful trial lawyer. When I asked him what was the most significant factor that contributed to his phenomenal success in the courtroom, he replied that it was his ability to connect to the jury on a personal and emotional level. As [...]

Read more »