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  • Brewing Up a Business Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish.

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    内容提示: adventures in entrepreneurshipBREWING UP A BUSINESSfrom the founder of dogfish head craft brewerysam calagioneJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.ffirs.qxd 3/28/05 12:13 PM Page iii ffirs.qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page ii BREWING UP A BUSINESSffirs. qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page i ffirs.qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page ii adventures in entrepreneurshipBREWING UP A BUSINESSfrom the founder of dogfish head craft brewerysam calagioneJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.ffirs.qxd 3/28/05 12:13 PM Page iii Copyright © 2005 by Sam...

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    adventures in entrepreneurshipBREWING UP A BUSINESSfrom the founder of dogfish head craft brewerysam calagioneJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.ffirs.qxd 3/28/05 12:13 PM Page iii ffirs.qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page ii BREWING UP A BUSINESSffirs. qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page i ffirs.qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page ii adventures in entrepreneurshipBREWING UP A BUSINESSfrom the founder of dogfish head craft brewerysam calagioneJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.ffirs.qxd 3/28/05 12:13 PM Page iii Copyright © 2005 by Sam Calagione. All rights reserved.Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.Published simultaneously in Canada.No part ofthis publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in anyform or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise,except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 ofthe 1976 United States Copyright Act, withouteither the prior written permission ofthe Publisher, or authorization through payment oftheappropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive,Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600, or on the web at www.copyright.com. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the PermissionsDepartment, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011,fax (201) 748-6008.Limit ofLiability/Disclaimer ofWarranty: While the publisher and author have used their bestefforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to theaccuracy or completeness ofthe contents ofthis book and specifically disclaim any impliedwarranties ofmerchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created orextended by sales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies containedherein may not be suitable for your situation. The publisher is not engaged in renderingprofessional services, and you should consult a professional where appropriate. Neither thepublisher nor author shall be liable for any loss ofprofit or any other commercial damages,including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.For general information on our other products and services please contact our Customer Care Department within the United States at (800) 762-2974, outside the United States at (317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 572-4002.Wiley also publishes its books in a variety ofelectronic formats. Some content that appears inprint may not be available in electronic books. For more information about Wiley products,visit our web site at www.Wiley.com.Library ofCongress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:Calagione, Sam, 1969–Brewing up a business : adventures in entrepreneurship from the founder ofDogfish Head Craft Brewery / Sam Calagione.p. cm.Includes index.ISBN-13 978-0-471-70868-1 (cloth)ISBN-10 0-471-70868-2 (cloth)1. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.2. Microbreweries—Delaware.Delaware.4. Small business—Delaware.HD9397.D644C35 2005338.7'66342'09751—dc2220050010683. Entrepreneurship—I. Title.Printed in the United States ofAmerica10987654321ffirs. qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page iv For my sweet gal, Mariah. Since I have met you, I have grown to believe there is nothing we can’t do together.ffirs. qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page v ffirs. qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page vi Foreword by Michael JacksonPrefaceAcknowledgmentsixxixvchapter 1.THE UNCONVENTIONAL BEGINNINGS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR1chapter 2.BUSINESS FROM THE INSIDE OUT19chapter 3.KEEPING YOUR BALANCE34chapter 4.CREATING A BUSINESS OFFERING52chapter 5.CRAFTING A BRAND IN A COOKIE-CUTTER WORLD70chapter 6.MARKETING ON A SMALL-BUSINESS BUDGET86chapter 7.PUBLICITY STUNTS (ARE POORLY NAMED)114chapter 8.STALKING THE KILLER APP141chapter 9.SELLING DISTINCTION, SPECIALIZATION, AND VARIETY166chapter 10. CASH IS KING (WELL, SORT OF)182Contentsftoc. qxd 3/28/05 12: 15 PM Page vii chapter 11. LEADERSHIP200chapter 12. EFFECTIVELY MANAGING EMPLOYEES217chapter 13. WORKING TOWARD IRRELEVANCE229chapter 14. TO SMALL-BUSINESS SUCCESS243Index247viiiBREWING UP A BUSINESSftoc. qxd 3/28/05 12: 15 PM Page viii THE PASSION OF THE INDIVIDUALBy Michael Jackson*The cheerful chap on the cover ofthis book has every reason to smile. Themilitary-looking vehicle behind him delivers only the matériel ofsociabil-ity. People love him for it.Sam Calagione does not aspire to sit among the suits at a boardroomtable and be a slave to the miltary metaphors of marketing. He fights hisown battles, on behalf of people with individual tastes and against thetyranny oftimidity, conformity, and the lowest common denominator.When I first took my pen to the same cause, 30 years ago, my col-leagues asked ifI had given up serious journalism. Did I no longer want tochange the world? Almost all of them took beer seriously, but theynonetheless thought that writing about it was a frivolous pursuit. Like Sam Calagione, I can simultaneously have fun in my job but pur-sue it with serious intent. Those ofus who are truly demanding about ourbeer are a minority, but we are by no means insignificant in number, andwe are willing to pay more for a brew we like. For us, good beer is essential to the quality of life. People who lovewine or bread or cheese, for example, would take the same view. These areForeword*Michael Jackson is the world’s best-selling author on beer and whisky. His most recentbooks are The Great Beer Guide (DK Inc, New York) and The Complete Guide to Single MaltScotch (Running Press, Philadelphia)fbetw. qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page ix all perfect products for the entrepreneur, but so are scores ofothers. In myview, a passion for the product is the first essential. If you have a passion,look at that first. Whatever excites your passion, there are surely others whofeel the same way.Passionate beer-lovers are seeking character, with its own individualis-tic interplay offlavors. Big breweries have the technical knowhow to makesuch products but their kettles are too large for our market. Their costaccountants want to produce beers low in raw materials and high in accept-ability. Their marketing men believe they can think small, but they cannot;well, not small enough. To have individualistic beers, we need small brew-eries. If you are not passionate about beer, you may be unaware of therenaissance ofcraft brewing in the United States since the late 1970s.When I began writing about beer, there were fewer than 50 brewingcompanies in the US, almost all ofthem making very similar beers. Today,there are more than 1,500, brewing beers in more than 100 styles. Many ofthose beers are highly individualistic, but none more than Sam’s.Their individuality is suggested by their names. I especially like RaisonD’Etre (both the name and the beer), then he exceeded it with RaisonD’Extra.As his verbal dexterity suggests, Sam was an English major. He studiedfiction and poetry. I’m told he takes Walt Whitman to bed with him,though I learned this from a young woman who has no first-hand knowl-edge ofthat. I think she wished she had. “You are spending the whole daywith Sam Calagione. Tomorrow!? He’s the Robert de Niro of brewers!”He hasn’t made a feature film yet, but he has been a Levi’s model and madea rap record.Sadly for female admirers, he seems to have found the perfect wifewhile still at college. He has the ingenuity to invent new equipment for thebrewhouse, and the muscle to row his beer across the Delaware river.Now it turns out he can write a book, too: brisk, readable, and instruc-tive. A man of such diverse attributes, abilities, and achievements sets anexample that makes us all look deficient. What can we do about this? I can write a foreword, which aggrandizesmyself: I become someone whose blessing he needed. And you? Read thebook and brew up your own business. You don’t have to make beer. Justmake a million . . .xFOREWORDfbetw. qxd 3/28/05 12: 13 PM Page x In my college days I was an English major (fatefully, I minored in beerdrinking . . . one man’s disciplinary probation is another man’s vocationalresearch). I have always enjoyed reading more than studying. When I hadan epiphany to open a brewery, I figured I could learn everything I neededto succeed in business by reading business books. Boy, was I wrong.However, I did learn a lot from reading great books by and about the busi-ness leaders that came before me. I have a shelf full of them. I especiallyenjoy books about entrepreneurs who started little companies with bigvisions. Stories about women mixing up hand lotions in their homeblenders and packing them in ketchup bottles, or guys cooking up the rev-olutionary sole (soul) ofa running shoe in their waffle makers. But nearlyall ofthese books remain only three-quarters read. I earmarked and under-lined hundreds ofinspirational philosophies and schemes that motivated metoward my dream of opening my own company. But I always seemed tolose interest in these stories at about the same point—just after the heroslays the dragon and brings the great idea to market, when the MBAs,bankers, and accountants bum-rush the stage and in the flash ofa momentthe company goes public. When my eyes come across that horrific,inevitable phrase, “maximizing shareholder value,” they pretty much glazeover.Entrepreneurs are fueled by risk and an inherent desire to make theirmark in their world. In growing Dogfish Head I’ve done a lot of thingsright and a lot ofthings wrong. What I am most proud ofis having done somany things. Everybody has dreams and ideas; our imaginations should bePrefacefpref. qxd 3/28/05 12: 14 PM Page xi our most treasured assets. But the self-esteem and courage needed to con-tinually face the Sisyphean task of moving your idea from imaginationtoward reality is what propels an entrepreneur forward. Everyone has greatideas, but successful businesspeople tend to be better at executing great ideas.The sense of accomplishment that comes with this execution gives us thebuzz we seek. This buzz would not be halfas resonant ifthere were no riskinvolved. Executing your idea while fully aware of the risk enhances thenatural buzz. When it comes to brewing up a business, I haven’t alwaysknown exactly what I am doing. The results ofsome ofmy efforts bear thisout. I’m okay with that, and ifyou are in business for yourselfor consider-ing heading in that direction, you need to be okay with that, too. I am con-fident that even if you fall down in business and have to pick yourself upand start afresh every day, the courage that comes with embracing yourstruggle will be well worth it.It’s that feeling ofhanding a cupful ofmoisturizer to the first customer,or watching the athlete take the first turn around the track in Aunt Jemimashoes, that feeling ofOh my God! What am I doing? is the most holy feelingan entrepreneur can experience. In my mind, it speaks to a basic and beau-tiful human condition—the rush ofadrenaline. The fight-or-flight predica-ment. Not knowing ifyou are going to survive, ifyour idea is going to beembraced, is an exciting, daunting, and addictive feeling for an entrepreneur.It is our Raison D’Etre. And you can maintain and amplify that feelingregardless ofwhat stage your business is in—even ifyou are still in the plan-ning stages. It just seems to me that going public is by definition anti-entrepreneurial. You cannot let the tail ofmoney wag the dog ofinspiration.Of course, there are legitimate reasons why a company goes public. Ijust can’t think ofany offthe top ofmy head. (I have promised my cowork-ers that the day Dogfish Head goes public I will dive into our largest fer-menting vessel and tread beer for an entire 8 hour workday.) This book isnot really for the folks faced with the challenge ofbringing their companiespublic. This book is for the rest ofus—the majority ofus. Over 95 percentofthe companies in America are privately owned. Over 80 percent oftheseare considered small companies—companies with revenues ofless than $10million. It is a documented fact that the Number One reason small compa-nies go out ofbusiness is lack ofcapital. Lack ofcapital is pretty much mymiddle name. I’m almost sure we were the only commercial brewery toever accept delivery ofa brewing system from the back ofa UPS truck.xiiPREFACEfpref. qxd 3/28/05 12: 14 PM Page xii When we opened our doors, we had the dubious distinction ofbeingthe smallest brewery in the country. Today Dogfish Head is the fastest-growing brewery in America. We are still tiny, but we are growing strong.And we are still learning from our mistakes. We’ve made more than a few.(Note to self: Do not put peppercorns and lavender buds in a beer andexpect people to beat down your door for a pint ofit.) But the one thingwe have successfully done is establish a small brand that stands for qualityand innovation. We have built this brand through our own beliefand deter-mination in what we are doing and the shared beliefofour coworkers andcustomers. We grew our revenues by over 50 percent last year to $8 million.We built this brand spending less than 1 percent ofour revenue on adver-tising. I will share some ofthe defining moments in the Dogfish Head cor-porate evolution that were monumental learning experiences. I will regaleyou with stories of exploding stainless steel tanks, building and rowing aboat full of beer from Delaware to New Jersey (our first export), selling T-shirts at trucker stops for gas money on the way home from beer festivals,and worse. But mostly I hope to commiserate and celebrate the amazingfeeling ofwhat it means to be an entrepreneur. Say it with me as you bringthis book to the cash register, Oh my God! What am I doing?PREFACExiiifpref.qxd 3/28/05 12:14 PM Page xiii fpref. qxd 3/28/05 12: 14 PM Page xiv In addition to my wife and partner, Mariah, there are a number ofpeople Iam thankful to have worked and lived with. I raise my pint glass to you fora number ofreasons:For my children, Sammy and Grier. Thank you for waiting up for mein the evenings. I have enjoyed our bedtime stories as much as you.For my family, especially my sisters, Christa and Myka, and my parents,Sam and Mary, who bought me the book When Bad to Good People the day I got kicked out of high school. Throughyour limitless support and direction we have learned that goodthings can happen to good people as well. As Dogfish Head hasmutated from a family vacation place to a business that we built, ithas always felt like home.For all ofmy amazing friends, who I’m pretty sure would love me evenifI didn’t own a brewery.For my agent, Clare Pelino, for having the vision for this book beforeany ofus did.For my editors at Wiley, Matt and Shannon. For believing in this bookand encouraging me every step ofthe way.For the artists/entrepreneurs/businesspeople who have inspired me andmotivated me to put my thumbprint, however small, on the world.Especially Andy Warhol, Marcel Dzama, Matthew Barney, BruceWeber, and Dave Eggers.For all the other small breweries fighting to stake their claim in thecompetitive American beer scene. Slow and steady wins the race.Things HappenAcknowledgmentsflast. qxd 3/28/05 12: 14 PM Page xv Last, but foremost in terms of inspiring the creation of this book, arethe people who have worked beside me throughout the creation ofour company. Dogfish Head is where we are today because ofthehard work, dedication, compassion, and creativity ofall the amaz-ing women and men who have built this company alongside me.Keep up the great work, guys. From your father/son/brother tothe rest ofthe Dogfish Head family, I say thank you, and boy do Imean it.xviACKNOWLEDGMENTSflast. qxd 3/28/05 12: 14 PM Page xvi My dad backed our red pickup truck beneath the second-story window ofmy dormitory bedroom. My friends in the next dorm room initiated agrand send-offby blasting Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life” out their windowsas we threw green garbage bags filled with clothes, cassettes, and books intothe back of the truck below. I received this rousing tribute partly inacknowledgment of my proud Italian-American heritage, but mostlybecause I had just been kicked out ofprep school a mere 2 months beforegraduation. My father drove me home in silence. When we reached thedriveway ofour house, he said simply, “Sammy, sometimes you’re a toughkid to love.”I was so disappointed in myselfat that moment. Yes, I was disappointedbecause I had let my father, my biggest supporter in the world, down to acosmic degree. But I was mostly disappointed in myselfbecause I had justlost the connection to the place where I had learned who I was and who Iwanted to be. The place where, I would later realize, I decided to be anentrepreneur. For better or worse, I figured out who I was and who Iwanted to be while I was attending Northfield Mt. Hermon School—thehigh school started by the world-renowned evangelist, D.L. Moody. Theschool I never graduated from.Not that I didn’t deserve to be kicked out. The administrators therefinally sealed my fate under the blurry and all-encompassing “Accumulationof Offenses” section of the student handbook. I can recount a number ofsaid offenses accumulated in my 3 years there, and I think I should recountthem again now. Looking back, I believe these offenses were indicative ofthe entrepreneurial fire I had burning within me.chapter 1THE UNCONVENTIONALBEGINNINGS OF ANENTREPRENEURc01. qxd 3/28/05 12: 06 PM Page 1 I came right out ofthe gate with a willingness to embrace risk. I set therecord for the earliest point in the school year when a student was placedon disciplinary probation. I had grown up in the town next to the school,and I wanted to show my two best friends the beauty ofmy new school aswell as the beauty ofthe girls at my new school.We snuck out my parents’ station wagon in the middle ofthe night andheaded to campus. Just three sophisticated 16-year-olds, smoking cigars andlistening to Journey. We approached the school in a covert fashion that wethought would surely allow us to elude campus security. Instead of usingthe road, we drove up the football field, through the quad, and straight intoa motion-detecting light. Not into the shaft oflight, mind you, but into thepole that was holding the light itself. It detected our motion. We weregreeted by a dorm parent who soon invited campus security to the party,and the rest was history.My next year marked the second phase of my delinquent entrepre-neurial development in which I exhibited ambition and an ability to orga-nize coworkers toward a common objective. Our objective at thisjuncture—not getting kicked out.In my junior year, I was not permitted to attend the prom. So anotherjunior classmate and I designed a foolproofplan. We would act as chaper-ones for a bunch ofsenior friends who would be attending the prom. Wedecided to do this in style: A Winnebago was rented, beers were procured,bow ties were straightened. We headed offto the prom but never reachedour destination as much beer drinking, pool hopping, and roof surfingensued. While going down the highway at 60 miles per hour sitting Indianstyle on top ofa Winnebago seemed like a good idea at the time, I can seenow that it probably was not. The local authorities felt similarly, and wereceived a two-cruiser escort back to campus.They had us now. I believe that was the actual phrase used by the teacherwho the authorities handed us over to. We were all separated into differentrooms so as not to corroborate our stories as we awaited our morning tri-bunal. The Winnebago was locked safely on campus, nearly overflowing withthe various and sundry contraband. But this is where it turns into a story ofuncommon valor and the creation ofa united front committed to reaching ashared goal: beating the man. Walkie-talkies were employed, as were bicycles,and door-opening coat hangers. We even used the sheets-tied-together-to-rappel-out-the-window motifcelebrated in nearly every prison-break movie.2BREWING UP A BUSINESSc01. qxd 3/28/05 12: 06 PM Page 2 The following morning we were called to meet outside theWinnebago. There was a short, self-congratulatory speech by the teacherthat mostly revolved around our foolishness for actually thinking we couldget away with it. The door swung open and revealed . . . nothing but a veryclean and contraband-free recreation vehicle. We were set free for lack ofevidence. In the middle ofthe night we had successfully executed Project-Break-Back-In-and-Throw-It-All-Out. We even made sure there was avase offresh-cut flowers on the dining table in the camper.By senior year my entrepreneurial spirit knew no bounds. After theWinnebago incident, the powers that be decided to keep an eye on me.They said I could come back but only on the grounds that I live on campusin a dormitory. They didn’t realize that my friends had formed a juvenile-delinquent all-star team by signing up to live in the same dorm. We each haddiverse talents but shared a common love ofpartying and rule breaking. Thiswould be the setting ofmy first endeavor into the beer business. I would visitmy parents on the weekends, borrow the car, and cruise liquor stores forsympathetic, western Massachusetts, libertarian hippies willing to buy mebeer as I waited in the shadows. I would return to school and parcel out thebooty. There would always be an extra six-pack in it for me—the business-man. This proceeded throughout the year without a hitch. Yes, our beer-addled behavior sometimes raised suspicion. Like when a faculty memberopened the door to the recreation room only to find us playing two-on-twoPing-Pong wearing nothing but tube socks and ski goggles. But my luckcouldn’t last, and I tempted fate. The businessman got caught and was putout ofbusiness.YOUR CALLING: FINDING YOUR PASSIONThere are a number ofreasons why my time at Northfield Mt. Hermon wasso crucial to my development as a creative person. The most important isthat it was the place where I met and began to date my future wife, Mariah.At that time, aside from reading and writing, being with Mariah was one ofthe only things I was good at. I actually met Mariah’s mom, Rachel, first.She was friends with my favorite teacher, Bill Batty, and was at his housevisiting his family for the weekend. Some friends and I were there thatevening hanging out with Bill and his son John, who was a classmate ofTHE UNCONVENTIONAL BEGINNINGS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR3c01. qxd 3/28/05 12: 06 PM Page 3 ours. Mariah’s mom made brownies for us that I was sure were the best Ihad ever tasted. She told me her daughter had just started her first term atNMH, and I told her that if her daughter could cook anything like hermom I was going to marry her someday. Within a couple ofmonths I wasdating Mariah, and we’ve been together ever since.We began dating when we were all of 16 years old, so we’ve prettymuch grown up together. Our personalities evolved to complement oneanother’s strengths and weaknesses. We attended different colleges in dif-ferent parts of the country, spent separate semesters abroad in Australia,and still worked hard to see each other every chance we got. So much timeand distance apart is not easy on a relationship, but through it all I got myfirst taste ofhow, ifyou want something bad enough and are willing to doanything necessary to make it happen, you can make it happen. This lessonhas served me well in love and in life. Mariah was always the first person Iwent to for support and advice on the challenges we faced in the earlyyears at Dogfish Head. She became my true partner in the company in ourthird year in business, and we’ve worked side by side to grow DogfishHead since then. She is much more focused and practical than I am and hasbeen as equally committed to guiding Dogfish Head toward where we aretoday as I have. There are a million reasons why I love Mariah, one ofwhich is that she is undoubtedly the only person in the world who hashigher expectations of me than I have of myself. She is never surprisedwhen we achieve great things; she would expect nothing less. I sensed thatthe first time I met her at NMH, and even more so after I was kindlyasked to leave the school. In those first few weeks apart, our relationshipbecame more difficult but also more rewarding as I saw she was willing tostand by me.What sounds like a sad ending to a high school career was actually apretty revelatory beginning. As I mentioned, getting kicked out of highschool was one ofthe worst things to happen to me because it was where Ilearned who I was. On the day I got kicked out I also came to recognizethe person I wanted to be. I wanted to create. I wanted to make somethingthat was a reflection ofmyself. At first I wanted to be a writer, and I wentoffto college as an English major with the hopes ofdoing just that. Yes, I’mone of the elite fraternity of people in the country who graduated fromcollege without ever actually receiving a high school degree. . . . We aren’texactly Mensa.4BREWING UP A BUSINESSc01. qxd 3/28/05 12: 06 PM Page 4 RECOGNIZING YOUR STRENGTHSBecause beer has always played an important role in my life, I continued tohone my creativity with and passion for beer while at college. I designed anall-weather, thrift-store reclining chair that actually contained a covertcompartment that held a keg. When security showed up to bust a party,we’d sit on the chair and ask, “Keg, what keg?” I proudly contributedtoward the invention of a drinking game called Biff that involvedsqueegees, milk crates, a Ping-Pong ball, and four contestants dressed onlyin tube socks and ski goggles (ifit ain’t broke, don’t fix it). I graduated fromcollege and realized I was more passionate about beer than a career in writ-ing. So I started making my own beer and decided I wanted to open abrewery.As an entrepreneur—as a person—you have to ask yourselfwhat is yourdefining inmost thought. And then you have to do everything you can toexpress this belief to the people around you. I learned to love to read andwrite and express my creativity at Northfield Mt. Hermon. My inmostthought when I was first enrolled at Northfield Mt. Hermon was: “Rebelagainst authority in order to express yourself.” This is pretty much the samedefining instinct that drives me today, but I’ve been fortunate enough tofind a constructive outlet for this angst. I’ve created a company that subvertsthe definition of beer put forth by the “authorities” at Budweiser andCoors.If you did not earn a business degree or follow a clear and commonpath to create your business, you know there is no prescribed method toensure success. I’m sure that majoring in business or getting an MBA givesyou more tools and familiarity with the mechanics ofbusiness. But tools areuseless unless you are able to use them. You could have the best set oftoolsin the world but if you are not ready and capable of working with themthey are useless to you. Ifyou believe in your idea enough to make it hap-pen, it must be a powerful idea. The way you harness the power ofthat ideais to believe you are the only person capable of making that idea a reality.Once you have this mind-set, you will see that the tools are not what buildsa strong company—it’s the builder.Opening a brewery—opening any business—seems like an impossiblefeat from a distance. But it starts with a faith in yourself—a beliefthat justbecause something hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it shouldn’t beTHE UNCONVENTIONAL BEGINNINGS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR5c01. qxd 3/28/05 12: 06 PM Page 5 done at all. Ifanything, the more impossible your business idea seems to theworld at large, the more opportunity there might be for you to succeed.Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb from scratch, but he was the firstto imagine an entire country illuminated and powered by electricity. He setto work not just to create a durable lightbulb but to create an entire indus-try while naysayers around him predicted his failure. Ifyou are going intobusiness, the core ofyour strength lies in your ability to picture a world inwhich your idea makes a difference. However big or small that differencemay be, however many people’s lives your idea ends up affecting, you needto recognize and celebrate your opportunity to make a difference. Thelightbulb that went off above Edison’s head was not so much an actualphysical lightbulb as it was a vision ofa world in which he could make a dif-ference.TAKING RISKS: BEING A BUSINESS PIONEEROne of my earliest and fondest childhood memories is being shot in theback with a real arrow by my father as I rode a horse. He loaded the carwith me, a camera, a bow, an arrow, and some ridiculous, kiddie Westernclothes he bought on a business trip to Texas. We drove to a farm that didn’tbelong to anyone we knew but had a very old horse that he felt confidentwouldn’t run away if he placed me on its back. He stuffed a flat piece oflumber under my shirt and jammed an arrow through the shirt into thewood. He placed me on a horse and “shot” me as I was doing my bestwounded-cowboy impression. He was putting together a slide show for agroup offellow oral surgeons. He planned to end his lecture about a new,unorthodox tooth-implant system he had created with that picture of meon a horse with an arrow in my back. The message revolved around theperception of risk that comes with trying something new. The pioneerswere the ones who risked their lives in order to create a new community ina new land. All small businesspeople are pioneers, and their companies arethe hearts oftheir communities.Ofcourse there is risk that comes with being a pioneer, but the risk isminimized ifthe community is built on an impressive set ofvalues; impres-sive in that they make an impression on the lives ofthe people who comein contact with them. These values start at home and shouldn’t be separate6BREWING UP A BUSINESSc01. qxd 3/28/05 12: 06 PM Page 6 from your professional values ifyou are going to succeed. I think I sensedthis idea emanating from my father even then, at the moment he was shoot-ing me with an arrow.The only predictable thing in the world of business is that the futurecannot be predicted. Going into business is about embracing the unknown.You recognize very quickly that there is no safety net to catch your fall.While you cannot recover what could be lost by taking those risks, evenmany failed entrepreneurs agree that those risks are well worth taking. Youhave to believe in yourselfand the integrity ofyour idea to really make a goofit. Business integrity is a combination ofyour values and work ethic andthe value of your product or service to potential customers. To connectyour values with your product takes education. First you have to educateyourselfon how to get into business;how to apply your own values to thoseofyour business. Then you have to educate your coworkers and customerson what that business is all about. An unwavering faith and devotion to see-ing your idea through is critical. This faith will come through your valuesand your education. No matter how much the daily unknowns ofbusinesspush and pull you out ofyour comfort zone, you can execute your ideas ifyou are anchored by strong values.VALUESThere are as many different reasons, motivations, methods, and models forstarting a business as there are businesses. The one major characteristic con-sistent in every successful business that survives long past its inception is anadherence to core values.The values around which you choose to focus your business will formthe backbone ofyour company more so than your business plan, manage-ment team, marketing plan, budget, or product line. Your values determinethe quality of your product or service, how you treat your customers, theculture of your business, and how you manage employees. The valuesessential to being a successful entrepreneur are not learned in a classroom orfrom a book. Values are acquired daily by interacting with people. In busi-ness, values are maintained through relationships with employees, col-leagues, and customers. Having good business values starts with a single,all-important idea—you either treat people with love and respect or youTHE UNCONVENTIONAL BEGINNINGS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR7c01. qxd 3/28/05 12: 06 PM Page 7 don’t. It may sound naïve and simplistic, but the execution can be quitecomplex. The manifestation of this respect is reflected in your businessoffering—it either represents a good value or it doesn’t. Before creating avaluable product or service, one must take inventory ofpersonal values. Inbusiness it is easy to be conflicted between making a large profit or consis-tently satisfying customers and coworkers, thereby gaining their trust andloyalty.W...

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