Last night I had my first Letters to a Young Entrepreneur book discussion! Several topics became the focus of the conversation. This is an intimate group of friends that have been meeting for years to discuss books, and last night’s choice was Letters. One of the participants, prompted by the “Introduction” section in my book, questioned the role of family influence in shaping entrepreneurs. For me, my father’s explicit attitude that difficulties were always viewed as challenges became a key to my approach to the vicissitudes of growing a business. One of the other participants, a very successful advertising entrepreneur, had a similar experience. Throughout her business career she remembered her father’s words: “while others stand and watch, you act.” The bumps on the road, far from causing her to slow down or even desisting, became the opportunities to do better and to get ahead. In my book I have many examples of how this attitude was important for me. In fact I consider seeing the glass half full to be a hallmark of the entrepreneur. I welcome hearing of your own experiences in this regard.
Published by ricardolevy
RICARDO B. LEVY is an executive and entrepreneur whose career spans more than three decades of founding and building successful businesses. Born and raised in South America to a European immigrant family, he completed engineering studies in the United States at Stanford and Princeton before returning to South America to run a family business. In 1969 he sold the business and returned to the United States to complete his PhD at Stanford in the field of catalytic chemistry. In 1974, after a number of years in the petroleum and petrochemical industry, he cofounded his first entrepreneurial venture, Catalytica, a research and development firm serving the chemical, pharmaceutical, and clean energy industries. The firm’s discoveries resulted in more than one hundred patents and led to the formation of three companies, one of which became, under Levy’s leadership, the largest supplier to the pharmaceutical industry in North America. Dr. Levy currently serves on public and private corporate boards of directors and the advisory board of the Santa Clara University Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, a global incubator of social entrepreneurs. He is a lecturer at the Stanford University Chemical Engineering Department, where he teaches a course on entrepreneurship and new venture creation. Throughout his life, Dr. Levy has pursued a keen interest in spirituality and personal growth and has continually applied his diverse studies to his roles as a business leader, mentor and teacher. View all posts by ricardolevy