Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

My Video Interview with Paul Streitz, the Blue-Collar Buddha

January 3, 2012


I had the pleasure of working with entrepreneur Paul Streitz on his new book, Blue-Collar Buddha. I hope you enjoy our three-part video interview.

You can read a sample chapter from Blue-Collar Buddha at the end of this blog post.

Click here to order your copy of Blue-Collar Buddha.

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As founder and CEO of Advanced Lighting Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of LED and fiber optics used in entertainment and architectural lighting, Paul Streitz established himself as an industry visionary and the go-to-source for high-tech, high-touch creative lighting solutions for everything from the Grammy (more…)

Becky Sturm: Sinking Is Not an Option

April 19, 2011

Becky Sturm

As William Arthur Ward noted, “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” Like hundreds of thousands of others, Becky Sturm’s career was bodyslammed by the recession. But she not only got up off the mat, she fought back. I love never-say-die stories like this, in which an entrepreneur does whatever it takes to reinvent herself. Bravo, Becky!

During an interview with Becky, she told me her story:

Getting a loan to improve the cash flow of StormSister Spatique, my three-year-old St. Paul boutique, should have been a slam dunk. I had borrowed $20,000 from Cherokee Bank two years earlier and paid it back in eleven months. So when my banker called and told me my loan request had been denied, I laughed and said, “You (more…)

Jim Dolan: Childhood Wheeler Dealer!

June 23, 2010

Jim Dolan

Entrepreneurs inspire me. I am so impressed by their willingness—strike that, their need—to risk their all in service to an idea, a calling, a vision of a better life and a better world. While the vast majority of people opt for a safe, secure work life (as if such a thing existed anymore), entrepreneurs know that if they do not risk everything, they risk even more.

It was my pleasure to write profiles of four Twin Cities businessmen who will soon be inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. One of those men is Jim Dolan. His story, from the July issue of Twin Cities Business magazine, is below. But I first wanted to present a few anecdotes Jim told me that I was unable to shoehorn into the final piece. Jim offered these stories when I asked him how he came to appreciate entrepreneurship.

I was in a parks and recreation program in Jackson, Tennessee, when I was seven years old. We made arts-and-craft objects like lanyards and little swords out of gimp and straight pins and beads. At the end of the day, a lot of kids didn’t want theirs so I took them and tried to sell them to people around the neighborhood. I sold some but it took me a while to figure things out. I had two younger sisters who were cute, and I wasn’t, so I made them my sales force. They were going door to door and were selling things at a nice mark-up. I was able to get the other kids in the parks program to make things for me for a penny each and I was selling them for a dime each. So I had a sales force, I had low-cost production and I had a little business going. I called it Cardinal Industries. I had a sign made, which I propped in front of my house against a tree, that said we made high-quality jewelry. But my business topped out because (more…)