Lessons from the Fonz for Small Business Owners

Henry Winkler signing books at Glen Allen High School at Henrico Education Foundation fundraiser

Henry Winkler signing books  at Henrico Education Foundation fundraiser.

An estimated crowd of 1,000 people came out to Glen Allen High School last night for “An Evening with Henry Winkler” to benefit the Henrico Education Foundation.  Winkler entertained the audience with inspiring comments and anecdotes from his life and career as an actor, director, and author.  Several of his memorable comments and tips resonate especially well for entrepreneurs and small business owners:

  1.  Set your own goals and persevere to achieve them–Winkler was an undiagnosed dyslexic until his early 30s.  As a result, he struggled at school and ranked among the bottom 3% of his class.  Yet, by age 7, he knew he wanted to be an actor when he grew up.  He overcame many challenges in dogged pursuit of his dream and ultimately achieved fame and fortune in the career he chose as a young boy.  LESSON TO ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS OWNERS:   Dream big, follow your passion, focus on your strengths, and be prepared to work very hard.
  2. Do not be afraid to try new things–Winkler confessed that at this stage of his life, his mantra is “I will try,” as inspiration to step out of his comfort zone and accept new challenges in life–such as fly fishing and writing children’s books.  LESSON TO ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS OWNERS:  You need to constantly try new things and evolve or your business will become stagnant and irrelevant (remember Burger Chef, Blockbuster Video, or Blackberry?).

Thumbs up to the Henrico Education Foundation for a great evening, but more importantly, for the great work it is doing to support public education in Henrico County.

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