Tim Gannon’s Lessons for Entrepreneurial Success

On Thursday, June 26th, the business community gathered together for the annual Entrepreneur Luncheon hosted by the Business Development Board.

The ceremony began with a welcoming from Ray Celedinas, who thanked the community support for the BDB before turning it over to David Bates who served as the moderator who provided context to the entrepreneur ecosystem in Palm Beach County.

We have incredible resources in Palm Beach County, from mentorship programs like Score and the Enterprise Development Corporation, to educational programs like Palm Beach State College and Palm Beach Code School, to incubators and accelerators like TechRunway at FAU.

Tim Gannon was the keynote speaker. Tim is an entrepreneur and athlete, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse and PDQ Restaurants and winner of five US Open Polo tournaments. 

In his speech, Tim addressed the BDB community in a candid, heartfelt, engaging speech about the story of his success, and the drive and determination it took him to become who he is today. Tim came from modest upbringings and worked as a valet in Ft. Lauderdale as a teen, but was inspired to strive for financial wealth when learning about Polo from a friend.

A family friend explained to Tim that there are three ways to make money. It’s as simple as this:

  1. Marry someone with a lot of money… (that’s the tough way)

  2. Get a degree from Harvard or Wharton, and become a CEO of a big corporation

  3. Bring something to the marketplace

You may decide you want to be an entrepreneur and take control of your destiny, as Tim did. He thought, “I need something to bring to the market.” In the 1980s America had an explosion of bold flavor in the Food and Beverage industry… strong spices and seasonings were captivating the American palette. Tim saw how the Japanese were approaching culinary art, making flowers out of food, and came up with the Blooming Onion.

How do you do you replicate that kind of success? Tim shared his insight and experience, outlining five key lessons that helped him achieve his dream of living on the ocean and being one of the happiest guys on the planet.

5 Elements for Success

  1. Find your Velcro moment, listen to your natural insight, that moment of inspiration that creates an opportunity for you to do what you want to do.

  2. Discover your Achilles Heel. Find your weakness and build around it. Manage it.

  3. Turn headwinds into tailwinds.Take whatever comes your way, Failure feeds your hunger. Don’t worry about mistakes. Find ambition. Use the fire, that natural drive that gives you hunger to achieve great things. Make it happen. Figure it out. That is what life’s about.

  4. Pick your team. Build your team right. Surround yourself with people who have differentiating skill sets. Find people that trust you. Help people. Help them figure it out.

  5. Do whatever it takes. You will learn what it takes.