The Risk Takers: 16 Top Entrepreneurs Share Their Strategies for Success
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Don and Renee Martin personally interviewed these men and women whose stories demonstrate that it has never been easy to start your own business and steer it to ultimate success--in any economy, in any era. Offering an insider's look, The Risk Takers highlights the common traits and business strategies that helped propel these men and women to the heights of success. Their experiences are heartening, uplifting, and inspiring. Their strategies can be applied to nearly any new or existing enterprise.
technology services to a much broader range of customers, including the telecommunications industry and federal government agencies. With the advent of the World Wide Web, David again reshaped his business model. He’s constantly reinventing World Wide Technology (WWT) so that its services and products reflect advances in technology and shifts in customer needs. That’s why today WWT is a $3 billion business. Build-A-Bear Workshops constantly reinvents itself by introducing new stuffed animal
from them. Using her research and personal experience, she wanted to be sure to reinforce the relationship between the owner and stuffed animal. That connection is a big part of the reason for the company’s success because the customers themselves build their own stuffed animals. She had defied the conventional wisdom wherein most of today’s toys are high-tech and “hard-touch.” Maxine explains, “We are soft-touch. Our concept is based on entertainment and personalization.” When Maxine talks
expensive,” J. P. says. “We thought, ‘Oh, let’s go for it.’ So I ordered 1,000 cases—that’s 12,000 bottles—with the idea in mind that if it didn’t make it, well, everybody we knew would be getting tequila for their birthday and holidays for the next ten years.” J. P. and Crowley were confident their idea would work because there was no superpremium brand in the tequila product category in the United States. They had discovered an underserved niche. They didn’t expect, however, how quickly
sixth largest franchise company of any kind, according to Entrepreneur magazine. “We never borrowed money to build Curves,” Gary says. “It’s a debt-free company. Nor did we take on any investors. What that meant was we were free to ‘do the right thing’ as we made decisions. We didn’t have to worry about quarterly profit reports or stockholders.” Learning from Past Mistakes Gary’s entrepreneurial story shows how far a dream can soar with the right combination of innovation, calculated
applications?” “Hugely relieved,” he said with a look of real interest. I knew we could eliminate the paper application process, which no one looked at anyway, thereby sharply reducing the insurance company’s processing costs and premiums. I found an insurance company that agreed with my premise and created this exclusive new program for my company. I also convinced other prospective life insurance company clients to collect money directly from their own agents and to try this new concept