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Article written by Boris Bozic on the 06 Oct 2011 in Current Events,Personal

It’s day one of the World Business Forum, and it’s been a busy day.  The first session began at 7:30 am, a panel discussion, and it set the tone for the rest of the day.  The panelists were Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks & Chairman of HDNet, Kathleen King, Founder & President Tate’s Bake Shop, and Barbara Corcoran, Founder of Corcoran Group. They talked about their careers and what made them successful.  Three very diverse people with diverse backgrounds. 

Mmark cuban wbf 2011ark Cuban is an interesting man and a lesson not to judge a book by its cover.  He was sitting on the panel wearing jeans, a shirt about two sizes too big , and sneakers.  He looks like a frat boy, a very wealthy frat boy.  His team, the Dallas Mavericks, just won the NBA championship, and the estimated value of the franchise is $850 million.  He’s bought and sold a number of companies, and could have retired by the time he was 29 years old.  But he’s not wired to do that. It’s about the next conquest and opportunity.  This is a man who does his homework, and when he’s involved in a business it’s all-consuming.  He kept saying how lucky he was but I think you can define his luck by saying….”it’s when preparation meets opportunity”.  What’s the best advice he’s ever received? And I quote, “I was 12 years old when I asked my old man for a new pair of sneakers.  He said there was nothing wrong with the one’s I had on.  I started to complain and he said, shut up a stop being such a pussy.  When you can pay for them yourself you can by as many pairs as you want”.  The next day Cuban started selling boxes of garbage bags door to door.  The path to riches was paved by the slightly intoxicated comments of his father. 

Kathleen King had a very interesting story. kathleen king tates bake shop world business forum 2011 She started her company at 20, making cookies.  Her company expanded, bigger location, all was good.  After 20 years of success,  she didn’t want to do it alone anymore and took on partners.    It was worst mistake she ever made.  Her partners took her for everything, the company, her name and reputation.  She actually faced jail time because her “partners” sicked the IRS on her.  To make a long story short, she was cleared of any wrong doing, and she scraped up enough money to start all over again.  Today her business is a thriving success.  What I found interesting was how she categorized her first and second business.  She said her first business was her “baby”, and her second company was her business.  She much prefers the later because there’s no emotional attachment, and thus decisions she has to make are crystal clear. Emotions no longer blur good judgement.

howard schultz starbucks wbf 2011There were so many other fabulous speakers today.  Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.  He came back to take over Starbucks just prior to the credit crisis in 2008.  How’s that for timing?  Well, today Starbucks is stronger than it’s ever been.  Mark my words that this man is destined for a career in politics, denials to the contrary.  Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry.  Now there’s a company that’s embraced social media. Burberry has a clear understanding that today’s consumer is radically different from just a few years ago.  There’s significant changes in consumer habits, and they get it.

Old reliable, Bill Clinton ended the day.bill clinton world business forum 2011  I have to admit the man is smooth, and there’s no denying the man’s intellect.  Me thinks his country would be in better shape today if he or his wife were at the helm.  I think most Democrats and Republicans would agree to that.

Until next time,



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Jan O'Brien @ Reply

You live in such a different world Boris. Thanks for the insights into life at the top. I really enjoy your posts.
From a dedicated reader in the BC Kootenay mountains.

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