When Ray Kroc was a milkshake-machine salesman, he noticed that one restaurant, in California, was buying more machines than anyone else, so he went to visit his best customer — McDonald’s. The rest is entrepreneurship history.
When Howard Schultz was an espresso-machine salesman, he noticed that a company in Seattle was buying more machines than anyone else, so he went to visit his best customer — Starbucks. What followed there is also entrepreneurship history.
They could have simply built the customer relationships, returned to their jobs, and enjoyed their growing commissions. Who knows? They might have reached $100,000 or more in annual commissions and lived comfortably ever after. Instead, their intellectual curiosity, their willingness to think outside the box, and their passionate belief that their vision was the right vision enabled them to forsake the comfort and security of their jobs and earn wealth beyond any imagination — except for entrepreneurial imagination.
Lloyd E. Shefsky
Founder and Co-Director
Center for Family Enterprises
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.