Interview with Alejandro Russo of Candela Mamajuana Spiced Rum

What was the first business you started?

I’ve been hustling and selling things since I was a kid! I’d be slinging chocolate bars outside of Publix at age six and doing odd jobs throughout high school.

In college, I would organize parties. I did pretty well until I had a massive failure. That’s when I started my first company, together with a close friend. It was called SoyGourmet, and it was Chile’s version of Yelp. It blew up and topped app store charts many times. It was a lot of fun.

What is your background, and did it help you get where you are today?

I come from a very entrepreneurial family. My mom, especially, always encouraged me to apply myself and make my own way. 

Also, I studied finance and economics, which are definitely related to running a business, but in practice, have less of an impact than the actual work I’ve had to do over the years. You can study all you want and fill your wall with diplomas, but nothing beats real-world experience.

How did the idea for your current business come about?

I was on vacation in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, having drinks at the glorious swim-up bar at the resort I was staying at. That’s where I had my first shot of mamajuana, and boom, I was hooked. I guess you could call it ‘the shot that changed my life!’

What was your key driving force in becoming an entrepreneur?

I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs; some became incredibly successful, others not so much. Growing up watching the highs and lows of building your own business was incredibly inspiring and humbling. From a very young age, I realized I wanted to create something otherworldly, even if it meant going through some difficult moments. I guess when you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t have a choice; building your own reality is something that you simply have to do.

Did you raise funding for your business or bootstrap it?

Initially, Candela Mamajuana was all bootstrapped between my mother and me. We barely had money to do anything, but we made it work. Once the business was in a better place and ready to scale, we raised money from a couple of VCs.

How did you build a successful customer base?

In our case, it was about having an excellent product, getting as many people as possible to taste it, and spread the word organically. We couldn’t just be a little bit better than the other mamajuana rums out there. We decided we had to be at least 10x better to make this work. 

Which marketing tactics have been the most successful for you?

We’re a pretty small brand, so we don’t have the budgets that our competitors do! That means we have to excel in ways they can’t. Our strategy consists of getting liquid to lips – making tastings as accessible as they can be is what it’s all about. For now, it’s mostly been the product speaking for itself and then spreading through word of mouth.

Our product is unique in the sense that it provides a much smoother rum that stands apart from any other bottle on the shelf. We’re big on getting the product in front of new audiences through tastings and also through our hotels in the Dominican Republic, where thousands of people try Candela every day!

What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?

We’re a small team but very driven and hungry. We dream big, set ambitious goals, and then work very hard to accomplish them. Our culture is open and transparent; there’s no room for BS. If you screw up, you recognize it immediately and solve it as fast as possible. We don’t waste time thinking about the should’ve or would’ve. We’re focused on moving forward at a fast pace and with no distractions. We’re also very lean and efficient. We try to get a lot done with very little.

Can you describe/outline your typical day?

I usually get up around 6 am and then go to the gym. After that, I love waking up my baby and playing with her for a bit! Then, I’ll start working around 8 am. I’ll spend the morning working on pure execution and not too much planning or high-level thinking. After a quick lunch, I’ll dedicate a bit more time to meetings, ideas, and thoughts. At around 8 pm, my wife and I will cook dinner and spend some family time.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

How do you generate new ideas?

The best ideas come after you’ve been exposed to different stimuli, then your brain magically blends these things into a new idea. It’s important to get out, experience different things, and always be receptive to new ideas, concepts, and ways of doing things. The brain can get used to the same things very quickly! So make sure you’re always challenging your mind.

How do you define success?

Success to me goes beyond money, fame, or status. To me, success means reaching your full potential, in whatever you decide to do. If you decide to be a full-time mom, then you’re a success if you’ve been the best mom you can be. If you’re starting a business, you’re a success if you’ve developed that concept to its full potential. 

When you’re old, and you look back, you want to say “I gave it my all. I really squeezed every drop out of that lemon”.

Do you believe there is a pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

I’m not sure if there’s a pattern about what makes a successful entrepreneur. What I can say with confidence is that if you don’t work hard, you will fail 100% guaranteed.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

The freedom to develop ideas into reality. I love owning my success and also owning my failures. It’s frustrating when you fail because your boss or colleague screwed things up, not you. Being an entrepreneur means you are ultimately responsible for the success of your business. It doesn’t matter what happens; it’s all you in the end.

What is a favorite quote from an entrepreneur that has inspired you?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.

“I shall find a way or make one.”

“Who dares, wins.”

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Just jump in. Find an opportunity you like and dive in head first. Don’t do things half way. Don’t overthink things either. You probably won’t know many of the answers and you will certainly make a bunch of mistakes. The earlier you start, the faster you will get to success.

What is next? Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?

It doesn’t matter if it’s next year or ten years from now: I’ll be working non-stop, taking my business to the next level, developing generating ideas into reality, and having fun.

Christian Seale

Meet Christian Seale of Life/Health Transformation Program Vitruvia

What is your background and did it help you get where you are today?

Prior to discovering my purpose to transform health and lives at Vitruvia, I began my entrepreneurial journey in Colombia and Ecuador building the world’s first certification system for responsible energy production. Leveraging my learnings (read mistakes!) from being an entrepreneur I cut my investing teeth angel investing and then working with Howard Schultz’ VC fund Maveron and being an early member of NextGen Venture Partners.

Three distinct and avoidable events catalyzed my desire to devote my life to transforming healthcare. First, my grandmother passed away due to a misdiagnosis of ovarian cancer. Second, my dad lost sight in one eye after a transcription error post cataract surgery wrongly sent him home without solving the infection. Third, I received a $17,300 bill after an ER visit in NYC for a dislocated pinky which was a stark contrast to the $53 bill I received in Barranquilla, Colombia for a 24 ER stay.

How did the idea for your current business come about?

Prior to Vitruvia, I spent my time searching for the best entrepreneurs who were transforming our healthcare system. My vision when I started in 2015 was that Miami represented such an amazing petri dish to test and build healthcare products and services for what the US will look like in 2050. I’m grateful to have invested in over thirty healthtech businesses and to have met my co-founder and dear friend, Dr. Abhinav Gautam, in Vitruvia during the process.

He was one of the first people I met when I moved to Miami. We quickly bonded over being born on the same day, we did some business together and one day he told me about this treatment he had developed to repair tissue from the inside out.

I had recently sprained my wrist falling off a trampoline, so I went to see a doctor and they immobilized my wrist. I was extremely frustrated because I’m an active guy and I couldn’t even do a pushup.

Then I met up with Dr. Abhinav Gautam to tell him about my pain, and I have to admit I was nervous because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Long story short, he healed my wrist by remodeling my scar tissue and two days later I could do push ups. That’s when we both had this ‘aha’ moment that led to our RELIEF® treatment.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

During my sophomore and junior year at college I interned at Goldman Sachs. I quickly learned I was a terrible employee. I also learned I truly love the process of creating something from nothing. My dad is a business owner and my mom had her own personal training practice so perhaps subconsciously this was already ingrained in me.

My operating principle has always been to leave the world a better place than I came into it. With entrepreneurship I feel a deep passion for solving unmet needs and helping others live better.

Can you describe/outline your typical day?

My morning starts with meditation and priming. I spend time journaling by mainly focusing on gratitude and listing ten things I am grateful for that day. I regularly tell myself: “things are always working out for me,” especially if that avocado pit of stress seems to come up.

I do my best to keep my phone on airplane mode throughout the morning to get deep work done before responding to text messages or emails. This helps me take control of my day vs. reacting to it. I’ll sweat, whether that’s through a workout or in the sauna, and once the phone is off airplane mode I respond to whatever the business needs may be that day.

I love taking my in-person meetings or phone calls while walking – something about movement gets my ideas generating more.

Everyday, I try to watch the sunset – it reminds me how magnificent our existence is. I typically work late, even though I am striving to find more balance and step away from work.

What motivates you?

With Vitruvia we restore our clients’ quality of life so they can get back to doing the things that truly light them up — play golf, dance or simply pick up their kids or grandkids without pain.
On a macro level, I would like Vitruvia to help drive a transition towards promoting wellbeing, improved quality of life and prevention over sickness across our healthcare ecosystem. In my opinion, too much of our human capital, monetary resources and overall mindshare is focused on treating sickness vs. promoting well-being.

On a micro level, we would like Vitruvia to be a positive force for change in the lives of our clients and their families: transforming negative energy that may be coming from pain, lack of mobility or other issues into positive energy and helping them live their lives to the fullest.

How do you generate new ideas?

I listen to my initial instinct and jot that to paper. After I can articulate at least part of an idea outside of my mind I know I can begin to prime my idea into actualization. It’s all about turning inner feelings into concise steps and trusting your instincts. Even my loftier ideas have turned into elaborate plans after I’ve sat with it for a minute, trusted my process and slowly pieced together actionable steps. Then I share the vision and rally the people around it.

Do you believe there is a pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

It’s hard for me to sum it up to one pattern as it’s more of an equation for me. There’s a couple of practices that influence my productivity, the first being my morning ritual made up of meditation, gratitude and journaling sequences. In addition to starting off the day on a high note, I use priming which is the practice of altering your subconscious into a positive state of being. It’s really important to take your practices to heart and incorporate them into your daily routine. I’ve seen that although I may not consider myself a creature of habit, that these practices have really helped me level up as an entrepreneur.

Are there any books you suggest other entrepreneurs add to their “must read” list?

Ask and It’s Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. No matter who you are or what your goals are, this book serves as a roadmap to achieve your goals. There are countless processes from this reading that have stuck with me and have served me well during my personal and professional endeavors.

What is a favorite quote from an entrepreneur that has inspired you?

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. This quote derives from the practice of positive psychology which is intertwined with the idea that we are the masters of our own destiny. The questions we ask ourselves especially in a time of need or darkness really influence our lives and if you’re taking the time to spin curiosity into positivity then you’ll be filling up your cup with pure goodness.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Passion breeds purpose. Passions enable you to take action from a place of inspiration. Passion helps you go the extra mile. Passion helps you discover who you truly are. There are many late nights, failures, incessant repeat of “no’s” where doubt creeps in. Passion helps you breakthrough those moments and reorient you to your north star, your higher purpose.

Interview with Scott Frith Lawn Doctor CEO and Chairman of Happinest Brands

What is your background, and did it help you get where you are today?

I got my first exposure to franchising when I was 6 years old. My father would sell Lawn Doctor franchises from a home office. He was good at it and constantly refined his craft, seeking advice from others and educating himself. I learned the value of hard work as I watched him work day and night. He was an incredible role model. As a young man, I worked in our manufacturing plant, learning how our equipment and vehicle outfitting was built. To this day, I am amazed by how our team turns raw metal into state-of-the-art machines that are an essential part of our models and generate a lot of revenue for our franchisees. When I graduated from college, I had an opportunity to join the marketing team at Lawn Doctor as an entry-level assistant. I have had many interesting roles in the Company in marketing, development, and management over the span of 25 years. The various experiences enabled me to move into CEO and Chairman’s role, having first-hand knowledge of many of the important business drivers from the vantage point of those seats.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

Candidly, seeing my father create something special was truly inspiring to me. I loved seeing everyone roll up their sleeves in a smoke-filled conference room to solve problems and create strategies. I got a front-row seat and learned what it was like to collaborate with a group of people you really admired. I was hooked.

What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?

Our culture is all about positivity, collaboration, and fun. Life is too short, so you need to have a team that exudes positive vibes and wants to have fun. The work happens almost organically when you have all the right team members in the right environment.

What motivates you?

I’m motivated by creating something truly unique in the world of business and franchising. I want to create a win for everyone involved in our businesses; customers, franchisees, employees, and shareholders. We have been fortunate to create a winning formula that allows us to do just that.

How do you generate new ideas?

Ideas come in all shapes, sizes, and directions. In some cases, our franchisees or team members who are close to the action have the best ideas on how we can do things better. Sometimes I may be inspired by something I see in an aspect of my daily life that creates a “what if” moment. Often ideas flow out of sessions we have together. It is really incredible what you can accomplish when people openly share and build off one another’s ideas to continuously improve.

Do you believe there is a pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

I don’t think there is anyone way or template to become a successful entrepreneur. I do think certain attributes are necessary, such as passion, vision, and resilience.

If you want people to join your quest and follow you, you need to really believe in your where you are going.

While the path to get there may change, you need to have a very clear picture in your head as to what you want to build and be able to clearly share it with others.

As with anything worthwhile in life, there will be failures along the way. Lots of them. You need to have the ability to get up, dust yourself off, and get back in the game. It is OK to fall; you just can’t stay there for very long.

What are some of the mistakes you wished you could’ve avoided?

I have made a lot of mistakes in my career. I try to learn from the ones I make and not repeat them.

In a franchise business, you always have this tension between the need to innovate to stay completely relevant to the customer and the need for good franchisees who are executing the model to have stability in their day-to-day operations. I have tried to strike a balance but don’t know that I have always been successful in keeping us fully aligned as we drive necessary change.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Pursue something you love (or think you could love if you have no idea yet). Things seem to come together when you are doing just that. Never be intimidated by hiring smarter than you and having skill sets you don’t possess. This has been said by many people many times, but often those who have not been there yet hesitate out of a sense of understandable pride.

What is next? Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?

Lawn Doctor has evolved from an almost bankrupt start-up to become one of the most respected brands in our category with over 600 locations. More recently, we have embarked on a journey to be a catalyst for young entrepreneurs who want to move their emerging franchise brands to iconic in the right way. Under our new Happinest brand, we have partnered with Mosquito Hunters and Ecomaids on our way to become a world-class home service platform with cool franchise brands in every major home service category. I’d like to be able to look back and see how many lives we have changed through the power of franchising.

Rocco Fiorentino

Interview with Rocco Fiorentino of Benetrends Financial

What was the first business you started?

My first business was a mechanical contracting business which I started with my partner in 1976. I was still very young and had a lot to learn.

What is your background, and did it help you get where you are today?

During the early years of my first business, most of our customers were franchise brands like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and many more. This was my opportunity to learn about franchising.

How did the idea for your current business come about?

The current businesses I am currently involved in have all stemmed from my early days as an entrepreneur. I am always wondering what else we can do to serve our customers better and what other products we may provide to them that would fit our current model, and we would be able to execute with “Best in Class” service.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

Since my first job at the early age of 14, I wondered what we could do better, whether it was the restaurant that I worked in as a busboy or any of the jobs after that. When I could start a service business since I was already in the business working for someone else, I knew I wanted to do it, and I knew I had the passion for doing it better than anyone I have worked for in the past. Since then, I have always enjoyed entrepreneurship, and I truly enjoy going from one mistake to the next… Very enthusiastically!
I enjoy taking risks, and I try to take a calculated risk, and I enjoy the opportunity to see some of my vision come to reality in whatever I do.

Did you raise funding for your business or bootstrap it?

As a young man, I always was interested in engineering, and I wanted to go to trade school. My dad thought I was just wasting time, and we made a deal. I would pay for the engineering school while I was attending by working nights and weekends. If I did graduate, he would have the money waiting for me and re-inverse to my tuition. I graduated at the top of my class, and my graduation present was my full tuition returned to me by my dad. I used that tuition money to start my first business, buy my first service truck, and purchase the parts I needed to get started in my business.

How did you build a successful customer base?

I always pride myself on building personal relationships, especially with the initial customer base for any of the businesses I have been involved in.

Customers are just simply people who need a product or service. Any of us in business has a unique opportunity to serve and provide that product or service better than anyone else.  Customer service and customer relations are what I love best about business in general.  Regardless Of the product or service, you will always know what Is best for your customers and your employees if you have passion.

Which marketing tactics have been the most successful for you?

Marketing tactics continue to change and evolve and are certainly different in the many businesses that I have been involved in. Technology has allowed us to step up our game and be much more effective and efficient in our marketing efforts. I always try to focus on the messaging as I believe it is very important in any marketing type. My philosophy is “keep it simple” No need to overstate or over-engineer your message to a consumer who may not be aware of your product or service.

My rule of thumb in marketing is “always state the obvious.”  How many times have we all seen a commercial or an advertisement and have no idea what the company does or what the product is?

This is a simple rule that everyone should follow in whatever you are marketing or advertising can certainly be done in the simplest format.

What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?

Culture is a very tricky word. All entrepreneurs aspire to develop an amazing culture within their organizations. That is certainly a tall order. Culture typically comes from the top but not always. How many times have we seen mission statements that are so long that no one can remember them? I’ve been a trans financial, and our mission statement is simple.

“We make every client a champion.”

All of the staff members at Benetrends Financial can certainly remember that line and can certainly practice our simple policy and mission to make every client a champion. Culture also requires the senior leadership team to live the culture and mission statement in the most obvious ways. That allows The entire organization to be aware of their actions at all times. It is not prudent to allow the culture to get in the way of building a solid profitable organization that is dedicated to the customers and the employees and is an organization that everyone is proud to be part of.

Can you describe your typical day?

My day starts at 5:30 AM. I usually do not set the alarm, but my body clock wakes me at 5:30, whether I like it or not. I typically take 20 to 30 minutes in the morning to get my thoughts together, walk on the treadmill a little bit, make my coffee and get my day started.

Time management is something that many entrepreneurs struggle with. I’ve taken several time management courses over my years, and humbly enough, I have learned how to better manage my time and have become better at managing my time and schedule with my direct reports.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Family life and work is always a balancing act for every entrepreneur. Today, it is even harder to separate ourselves as we carry our mobile phones and devices with us everywhere we go, whether it’s the office, the car, or our homes. We have access to everyone in our personal and professional lives, making it even more difficult to balance. There are times when my personal life and my family Are certainly my priority, and there are times when my professional life is my priority. That doesn’t mean that you have can’t do both. When I am on vacation, which is not often, I will always take time every day to view my emails, make a few calls and take care of business. Conversely, if I am in the office for long periods of time, I will always check in on my personal life and take care of anything I may need to do. I think the secret Have a good balance has been for me to prioritize and manage my time as best I can.

What motivates you?

I am a servant leader, and I am very philanthropic. What motivates me is when I can help others become more successful and help those that may be less fortunate than others.

How do you generate new ideas?

New ideas are easy for me. I have an amazing vision and see beyond what may be visible. That allows me to expand on whatever I am thinking of or working on. It is hard to describe, but it is so clear in my mind. My theory is that every good business today was just a crazy idea yesterday. If you believe in that and are willing to take some risk, great things can happen.

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Truthfully, my greatest fear is my health and the health of my family. That is something none of us can control. We take good care of our bodies and hope that we are healthy for as long as we can be. None of us have any idea how much time we have left, and none of us can make enough money to buy one more minute when our time is up. We must always consider that as we live our lives To the fullest. When my time is up, I know that there is nothing I can do, and I do not fear death. If I fear death, I will for your life, and I do not want to do that. I want to live my life to the fullest.

How do you define success?

Jimmy, success is the ability to achieve your goals. They will always continue to change and evolve. I also believe that no one can have success unless they also have a failure. There are two words that some up success for me… Health and happiness for me, my family, and the many people in my life.

Do you believe there is a pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

As I share with many of my friends and colleagues, I believe that I became successful the day I lost my ego. I guess everyone has an ego at some point in their life; I certainly did. It seemed to get in my way a lot and prevent me from really being successful in terms of what was really important to me instead of when I perceived what is important to me through my ego’s lens. Having an ego was fun, but I hope I never get one again 🙂

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur is very rewarding on a personal level and professional level. My favorite aspects of entrepreneurism are that I can be creative, be independent, help others be successful, and build an organization that all of us could be proud of. Being a successful entrepreneur, he’s not easy for anyone. Every morning when I get up, I know there will be obstacles in my way; however, I just don’t know at what time they will surface or what types of obstacles they will be. I do know, with certainty, but I will overcome those obstacles and get where I need to go at that moment.

That being said, the way you address obstacles defined you as a person and an entrepreneur. At all times, I try to consider what is best, not just for me but also for the organization and the people involved in the decision. All decisions are multi-dimensional, and without multi-dimensional thought, you may make decisions that may be shortsighted in the long run.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

What is most satisfying to me is to see a dream become a reality. That has happened several times in my career and knowing you are capable of building something that is in your mind and making it really is most rewarding.

What are some of the mistakes you wished you could’ve avoided?

The very costly ones!

Truthfully, I have probably made mistakes with people, and I have probably hurt feelings along the way, not knowing that I have done so. Those of the mistakes I wish I would’ve avoided the most. People are the most important thing to me now in my life, and I am very conscious Of treating everyone with dignity and respect regardless of their status.

How did you handle adversity and doubt?

To be honest, I never struggled with doubt. Probably to a fault, I was always able to make decisions and live with the decisions I’ve made. I’ve never procrastinated and doubted myself at times where decisions needed to be made.

Adversity has never been an issue for me. I have a 25-year-old son who was born blind, and his twin brother died at birth. I’ve never considered that a difficulty or a hardship, and instead, I have embraced it. My son is very independent and lives alone in Nashville with his guide dog, and is a very successful music producer. Together, we started a foundation to help blind and visually impaired children adapt and Live a very normal life. I never felt victimized and always looked at an opportunity to see if we can make it better or who we can help with our knowledge.

Are there any books you suggest other entrepreneurs add to their “must-read” list?

My latest read that I enjoyed is a book titled “Thank You For Being Late” by Thomas L Friedman, who is also the author of “The World is Flat” It is an optimist guide to thriving in the age of accelerations.

What is a favorite quote from an entrepreneur that has inspired you?

“ try to be interested… Not interesting“

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Welcome to the wonderful world of entrepreneurism. Try to get rid of your ego as quickly as possible and treat everyone around you with dignity and respect.

Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?

I am currently working on a few new projects that are very exciting, and I am very excited about technology and where it is taking us. Stay tuned…

Interview with Andy Cagnetta of Transworld Business Advisors

What was the first business you started?

Does selling coffee and coffee cake jr’s on the 1970’s gas lines count? My first official one was East Coast Cellular selling car phones we installed in cars.

What is your background, and did it help you get where you are today?

I am a serial entrepreneur. My degree is in marketing from Lehigh University, so I always have that hat on as well.

How did the idea for your current business come about?

I moved to Florida and was looking to buy a business. I went to Transworld as a customer. They hired me as a salesperson, and 2 years later, I bought the company.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

I wanted to make money, not a salary. I found a steady paycheck boring.

Did you raise funding for your business or bootstrap it?

It’s been a journey. I have borrowed money from my parents in my early businesses. And for Transworld, I borrowed money from my inlaws Susan and Joel Martin (thank you!). I did raise 3M worth of capital in 1999 from Newtek, which helped us expand.

How did you build a successful customer base?

Do the right thing! Be nice! Answer the phone!

Which marketing tactics have been the most successful for you?

All of them! I always say that there is no such this as bad marketing. Just some more effective than others. In the end, everything works. You have to keep at it.

What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?

Entrepreneurial and collaborative. Lead by example. I do the right thing, live up to my promises, admit when I am wrong, apologize and like to build consensus.

Can you describe/outline your typical day?

Meetings, emails.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

It’s been both tough and gratifying for my family. I work hard and long hours but always made time for my girls.

What motivates you?

The people that choose to work with me. It’s an honor and an obligation. I feel responsible for helping them be successful.

How do you generate new ideas?

Strategic planning and brainstorming. Thinking outside the box, watching other companies, reading.

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

I worry about finances and how economic downturns affect our company. I am conservative in our cash management. It helps me sleep at night.

How do you define success?

Tough question. I try to celebrate exceeding goals, but I always like to keep striving. So it sometimes feels like you never declare success.

Do you believe there is a pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

You have to do a lot of things right. And even then, sometimes things don’t go your way. Therefore, no, I do not believe there is a set formula.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Being in charge of my destiny.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Making it through the economic downturn of 2009-2010.

What are some of the mistakes you wished you could’ve avoided?

I have learned from all my mistakes. I have very few regrets.

How did you handle adversity and doubt?

Head on. Build a team and collaborative company, and you can overcome anything.

Are there any books you suggest other entrepreneurs add to their “must-read” list?

Never Split the Difference. Chris Voss.

What is a favorite quote from an entrepreneur that has inspired you?

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams – Arthur O’Shaughnessy, also used in Willie Wonka. Not quite an entrepreneur. But I guess Willie Wonka was.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Start early. Work hard.

What is next? Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?

I am getting more creative as I age. Have a few fun music projects working. In ten years, the next generation of Transworld owners will hopefully be at the helm, continuing our great legacy in the industry. I hope to be there, helping.

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