My “Early” Years As An Entrepreneur

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My “Early” Years As An Entrepreneur


Brett Wilder CFP®, Entrepreneur and Author

Brett Wilder CFP®, Entrepreneur and Author

I’m sharing the story of my entrepreneurial journey with you starting from my earliest years because I believe that entrepreneurship must be born within someone as part of his or her genetic DNA. Only then can they be bred to achieve entrepreneurial success. Accordingly, not everyone is destined or capable of becoming a business owner.

The Early Years

I was born with entrepreneurship imbedded within, and business ownership was my destiny. I first experienced the rewards of entrepreneurship and hard work as a kid growing up in a small New Jersey town, located a stone’s throw away from Manhattan.

For as early as I can remember, I never expected or asked for money from anyone. Instead I hustled for moneymaking opportunities. When the grass grew I mowed lawns, when the snow fell I shoveled sidewalks, when Christmas season came, I sold cards, and when printed newspapers used to be read, I delivered them to doorsteps.

Furthermore, back then when the world was safe enough for a kid to venture out on his or her own, I commuted during summers by bus and subway to the Eastside of Manhattan to stock shelves, and deliver groceries for a local neighborhood grocery store. I loved having opportunities to make money, and not be beholden to anyone for my spending wants.

I was always running at full speed, and my hyperactivity became overwhelming for my divorced mother of two and others. My grammar school teachers made me stay nearly everyday after school and write out literally thousands of times “I must learn to do, what I am told to do, when I am told to do it!” I didn’t listen well and resisted authoritative structure.

So, when I was twelve, my mother, needing some relief, sent me away to boarding school. I wasn’t a bad kid. Rather, the thinking was I needed some discipline and male role model influence that a fatherless home was not providing. This turned out to be a good decision because I learned that appropriately imposed structure and discipline could produce positive outcomes for me.

I also experienced more about what payoffs could be derived from hand work. In order to afford boarding school, I earned work scholarship money. I worked as the school’s telephone switchboard operator (no cell phones back then), dining room table setter, waiter, dormitory resident proctor, and any other miscellaneous jobs that enabled me to be educated nearly tuition free with food, room and board included.

Next came my attending and paying for college. Once again working was a way for me to become practically as well as academically educated. I’ll spare you all the details, and just say that I had to work a lot more than for just having fun and beer money. I did everything from spraying pesticides to kill mosquitos in the Jersey swamps, to selling cemetery plots, and painting houses inside and out.

From College to the Corporate World

Upon graduating college with a degree in economics and psychology, and fulfilling my naval air reserve commitment, I made a professional career choice, which turned out to be a mistake with respect to what was best suited for me. I erroneously decided to venture away from my inner drive for entrepreneurship, and work instead within the large corporate world of money center banking.

Culturally, creativity was stifled and integrity was suspect in corporate life. Career success and climbing the corporate ladder was closely linked to the expedient talent of brown-nosing superiors and backstabbing peers. How well clients were being served in their best interest was secondary and often irrelevant.

I was an entrepreneur trapped in a self-serving corporate environment. Very quickly I learned first-hand that the financial services industry, whether household name or not, does not tend to operate with pure integrity, clear transparency, and fearless honesty. The client’s best interests too often are subordinated to that of the firm’s and its employed representatives.

Embracing Entrepreneurship…and Thriving

After leaving my banking career in 1989 I was able to finally fulfill my inner drive and dreams for entrepreneurship and business ownership. Moreover, I wanted to provide financial planning and investment management services “my” way, the “right” way.

As a business owner myself, I’ve practiced what I professionally advise. As an advisor. I’m an avid researcher about the unique issues specific for family businesses. I also use much of the informational research for my second Quiet Millionaire® book, which I’m writing specifically for family business owners and their families.

For me, it’s not just about providing awareness and solutions for alleviating family business owner concerns, but also being able to proactively promote proper planning and strategies for them to achieve financial security and personal happiness. I feel gratified knowing that I’ve made their lives better with my advice and guidance than they would have had without it.

By providing information via this website’s content, I strive to educate and alert family business owners with reliable information.

Please CLICK HERE to contact me directly for answers to questions you might have about your specific situation or to set up a confidential,  no obligation telephone assessment of your particular business transition status.

By |2018-10-14T21:24:54-04:00September 30th, 2018|Business Owner, Transitional Stages|0 Comments

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