Yoda cartoon

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I am excited to begin my monthly column for ExitEvent! I am one of the founding members of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) in 1998, a serial entrepreneur since 1991 with multiple exits, and a leadership junkie. That comes from time spent as a Navy Submarine Officer in the 1980s and a 13+ year member of the Shelton Leadership Center Advisory Board at NC State University. 

I am a lifelong learner, having attended entrepreneurial programs at MIT and London Business School, in addition to being a member of EO and and the global CEO peer group Vistage since 2004. Leadership and Entrepreneurship are my passion. Translation: I have hung out and learned with entrepreneurs like you for the past 25 years. 

But what’s this Yoda stuff? Well that is my nickname given to me by my peers for the wisdom I have shared with them over the years. Having built multiple companies (and lived through the severe ups and downs of each) while balancing the demands of raising a family of six kids (and now four grandsons to date), I love to teach and help others. And now, I am excited to share with ExitEvent's readers. 

My promise: I will be consistent with what ExitEvent is all about: “We are storytellers, industry agnostic, editorially independent and by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.” 

Each month I will have a different question for you to ponder. I learned a long time ago that it is the quality of the questions that I ask that make all the difference. I am known for asking the thought provoking questions too, those that really make you think about yourself…why am I really doing this, and what are the consequences of my decisions? I will also add common mistakes we tend to make and a key take-away to each column. 

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your entrepreneurial journey; I am ready to get started! 

The first question (the easiest one I will ever ask!): Why did you become an entrepreneur, the top reason? 

Think about that one and I will be back tomorrow with some insights and follow up to the question. I will tell you that studies have shown that there is a common reason we all become entrepreneurs, men and women alike, and at all ages throughout our entrepreneurial lives. 

I wish you a happy and safe new year and an extremely successful 2016!