Last month, I drank from the fire hydrant of entrepreneurial knowledge.
I am part of an organization called EO, a place for us manic entrepreneurs to learn, grow and bond with other kindred spirits of the same elk.
EO puts on a program called the MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program, formerly called the Birthing of Giants program.
With four days of intense learning from great speakers, EO brought in top business consultants like Verne Harnish – one of the founders of EO and now the top dog of Gazelles, Inc. – other business book authors, entrepreneurs…and my new friend George.
George is George Naddaff, a legend. They call him “The Franchise Guru.” You may have heard of some of his businesses: Boston Chicken, Sylvan Learning Centers, Mulberry Child Care Centers/Living, Kindercare and many more.
George is now taking on the obesity problem in the United States.
He started a new franchise called KnowFat!, soon to be renamed Ufood Grill. It’s a healthy lifestyle grill aimed at providing good food that Americans are now used to, but in a healthy way. For instance, instead of deep frying their French fries, they "air cook" them with hot air.
George had more energy than all 60 of us combined in that classroom. I loved the guy!
(And by the way, George is 77 years old.)
I felt so inspired by his presentation that I called him an hour afterward. He works in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, so I figured he would be back in his office by then. I really wanted to meet him, and I did. I flew back to Boston two weeks later, and we met for more than three hours. I learned more from George in three hours than most learn in a two-year MBA program.
I turned on my recorder and just listened. He gave me such great energy and inspiration— energy that I needed. You see, I am actually getting restless with the day-to-day operations of Next Step. I don’t want to sell, but I don’t want to continue on my current course, either. I need some drugs, and my drug of choice is building business ideas.
But back to George.
I have made a new friend. I gave George a big hug when I left and felt like I met a soul whom I once knew in a past life. We will keep in touch, and hopefully I will continue to learn from the master.
My question to you is: Where do you go to learn and get energy? Do you have a George?
To read more from David, visit his blog.
What I Learned From George
- There is no substitute for persistence.
- No matter how emotionally tied you are to your business, you have the responsibility to make money for your employees and investors.
- Be on the lookout for trends, and ride the tide. Be ready to get out when the tide starts to subside.
- Opportunities are everywhere. You just have to look and see what nobody else sees.