As we stated in last week’s article, We have all heard the tales of success from such names as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and others, but there are many successful entrepreneurs who remain virtually unknown. Some of these men and women have struggled to make diamonds out of the dust, and create a business which thrives under their leadership. Let’s take a look into the lives of a couple more of these entrepreneurs.
The Unlikely Success of Wayne Huizenga
Like Steve Jobs, Wayne Huizenga’s tale is the unlikely success story of a college dropout. The business tycoon created several companies which grew to be worth several million dollars each. Wayne started off with just a trash truck back in 1968 but had soon built Waste Management into a Fortune 500 company. He began by purposely buying small trash hauling companies, an had taken over 133 of them when he went public in 1972. By 1983, it was the biggest trash disposal company in the US.
In 1987, Wayne took his business success and experience, and opened a small number of video stores, turning them into the nation’s largest movie-rental chain, Blockbuster Video. His next venture was to buy out a number of auto dealerships and do the same thing, turning them into AutoNation, the biggest automotive dealer in the country.
At the age of 80, Wayne was sadly struck down by cancer. He was worth almost 3 billion dollars at the time of his death. And it all started with a $5000 loan from his father and a trash truck.
Last But Not Least, Steve Blank
Steve Blank was born in 1953 to immigrant parents who had never even been to college. Like Steve Jobs’ birth parents, Blank’s mom and dad badly wanted him to graduate. Also, like Jobs, Steve Blank had other dreams and dropped out of college after just one semester. He hitchhiked to Miami, Florida and began to work at the Miami International Airport, where he soon became interested in avionics. This lead to his joining the Air Force in the early 1970s, where he ended up in Thailand during the Vietnam War.
While in Thailand, at the age of 20, Blank managed a team of fifteen electronics technicians. Upon leaving the military in 1978, he moved to Silicon Valley, then known as Palo Alto, where his career in startups began. He describes his entrepreneurial career as, “Two large craters, one dot-bubble home run, and several base hits.” (Forbes) Quite a simple way to describe such successes as Ardent Computers and Rocket Science Games. He also founded E.piphany, which later sold for $329 million. These are just a few of his many successes.
As we shared last week, one of the keys to becoming a successful entrepreneur is in knowing where to cut costs and save money when starting out. For those small business owners who need an office space, but are not yet ready to invest in a commercial office building, shared office space may be right for you. Offix offers coworking space in Wellington and shared office spaces to rent in Wellington for a fraction of what a traditional commercial space for lease would be.