Nov 12, 2014

Hall of Fame basketball player/coach and Seattle Supersonic, Lenny Wilkens famously said, “The American dream to me means having the opportunity to achieve, because I don’t think you should be guaranteed anything other than opportunity.”

This quote applies to athletics, employment, and entrepreneurship. As a business broker specializing in the sale of privately held companies & family owned businesses I have a unique perspective on the opportunity available in the United States to individuals wishing to pursue the American dream of owning a business. I am pleased to report the ladder to economic prosperity and personal fulfillment provided by entrepreneurship in America is readily available to all individuals willing to pursue a dream, execute a plan, and take the risk. I have had the pleasure to work with business owners in the sale of their companies from virtually every demographic group and it has confirmed to me that success in business is blind to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation in the Pacific Northwest. I thought I would take this opportunity to briefly share some of the wonderful success stories I have learned working with clients.

This spring I had the honor of representing two entrepreneurs from Poland that were electricians along with Lech Walesa in the shipyards of Gdansk. These individuals immigrated to America initially working as electricians in the shipyards in Seattle. Destiny did not favor them in terms of employment security and the positions disappeared. The individuals with little more than knowledge and a superior work ethic decided to start their own business. This simple seed of entrepreneurship grew into a company with an international reputation in the fishing & cargo shipping industries. Today, these individuals are retired and happily watching their children achieve in America a level of success likely unavailable in Poland.

Another client of mine, a practicing Islamic individual who came to America with a French education and little else in the way of resources, recognized that individuals & businesses needed support services for repairing the hardware & software of their desktops & laptops. He decided to open a shop to provide that support, and working along with his wife built an excellent reputation for quality, timely service. The individual successfully grew from this one location to own & operate a total of five similar businesses in different locations. The individual successfully transitioned out of ownership of his business and today is focusing his energy on entrepreneurial projects in the worlds of applications & online services. As the saying goes, entrepreneurs are not made, they are born. This individual fits that description and enthusiastically conveys to family & friends all the opportunities that exist in America in terms of entrepreneurship.

The final client, I will share information about today is a gay gentleman from an entrepreneurial family. Members of the gay & lesbian community are frequent visitors to IBA and it has been conveyed to me numerous times by individuals from this demographic group that entrepreneurship is very attractive to them because they can create their own corporate culture. This gentleman shared those sentiments and along with his partner successfully built two different companies, one in the floral industry and one in the food service industry.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses. IBA welcomes the opportunity to work with business owners & entrepreneurs from all demographic groups. We are also available to speak on entrepreneurship to business associations & trade organizations supporting any demographic group.