● Give first, don't take
● Help others before ourselves.
● Make friends and partnerships. Don't play zero-sum games.
● Do at least one thing each day to enrich another's life.
● Every business can be phenomenally successful, add value to the world, and enrich the lives of all stakeholders.
● We succeed only after our clients excel.
● Practice honesty, openness, and the free exchange of information
● We are inclusive and practice diversity, everyone is welcome, has something to contribute, and has an important role to play.
● Challenge and disrupt the status quo, think differently,
● Hold ourselves and our clients accountable and responsible.
● Dare to think differently, find solutions, challenge everything, disrupt the status quo.
Give first, don't take. Help others before ourselves. Make friends and partnerships; don't play zero-sum games. Be real and be you. Do at least one thing that enriches another life each day. This is a life well lived.
"You are absolutely insane", was the G-rated version of my colleague's response to me when I told him that I quit my job to help a friend turn-around and grow his small concrete subcontracting company. "You are a "scientist and engineer", "you know absolutely nothing about business", "why would you make such a move", he asked.
Easy I said, the pain of me remaining the same is far greater than my fear of the change. Why continue to be miserable every day of my life? I wanted a lot more, an opportunity to use both sides of my brain, create, build, and grow things.
Long story short, we took this small concrete subcontracting company doing less than $800K in revenue (15 employees) and turned it into an $80 MM regional construction management organization (250 employees) in eight years.
It was an incredible ride. I found my passion. There is no greater professional and personal joy than starting and building successful companies and helping others do the same.
Since then, I have founded or been part of the founding team of six ventures and have helped more than two dozen others to achieve their definition of success.
This is where I choose to focus my time, talent, and resources. Help people find huge problems, create great and lasting solutions, avoid some of the stupid human mistakes I made to move them to the success they envision and they choose to define it.
360 Venture Management Group is built around this philosophy and drives my work as director of the Columbia, mid-Maryland Chapter of Startup Grind, the largest global community of entrepreneurs.
By the way, I learned the art and science of building businesses by the seat of my pants (University of Hard Knocks). Trying, failing, screwing up, learning, and retrying until we succeeded. After a decade of doing this, I figured that it was time to put some formal education behind my experience so I got my MBA.
Thank you Purdue University, Loyola University-Maryland, and the University of Hard Knocks for laying the foundation for me to have the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment to do what I do each day.