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A Father’s Life Lessons Taught through Small Business Ownership
Gary Williams Jr

Father’s Day … a time to reflect and appreciate each and every dad out there for their efforts of being a father and, in my case, a boss.

The UPS Store is truly a family business for me. My parents have dedicated the last 32 years of their lives to The UPS Store franchise, beginning back in 1981, the same year I was born. Much of my weekends growing up as a kid were spent in the car with my dad looking at new potential UPS Store locations. And anyone that has been in a family business can relate to many of the topics of the day being discussed at the dinner table.

Along the way, just like any family, we have certainly had our ups and downs. But on this day, I think it’s important to share some of the many life lessons my father has taught me along the way.

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Small Business Success Starts with Music, a Friend and Take-out Food

The best ideas are sometimes the ones you joke about with your best friend over Chinese food. About five years ago, Jason Lucash and Mike Syzmcak came up with OrigAudio while traveling the world for their jobs at the time, lugging around music stereos to listen to jams and eating take-out food on a regular basis. On a night like any other, the two came up with an idea: instead of lugging around giant boom boxes and stereos, make something small, portable and foldable, similar to their Chinese take-out box, that could play music and be easy to travel with.

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Good Nite Lite: Inspired by Children, Loved by Parents
Good Lite Lite

I recently spoke with Entrepreneur Magazine’s Emerging Entrepreneur of 2011, Adam Nelson, to talk about a product he created—the Good Nite Lite. The Good Nite Lite is a device that combines a traditional night light with a timer, so that children learn when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up. Adam thought up the Good Nite Lite concept when his four-year-old son continually woke him and his wife because he couldn’t seem to stay in his own bed until the sun came up.

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Impressions from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Growth Conference 2012
Entrepreneur Magazine’s Growth Conference 2012

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 Growth Conference in Long Beach, Calif., as a member of The UPS Store team, which sponsored the event.

For the more than 850 entrepreneurs who convened at this year’s Growth Conference, there was an undeniable feeling of optimism and determination to learn and grow their businesses.

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A Personal Connection to The Entrepreneurs of America

With nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States, chances are that you have a personal connection to a small business owner. My connection is with my father. As a serial entrepreneur, he rarely has met a business opportunity he didn’t like.

Over the years as I’ve watched him start one business after another and have been a part of each and every one, I’ve been inspired and come to understand the risks and the hard work – as well as the big rewards. Maybe that’s part of why I do what I do now in UPS’s Small Business Marketing group. My job is to help small businesses by understanding their needs, and keeping those needs in the forefront of UPS’s product development and marketing activities.

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Calling All Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneur Magazine’s Growth 2.0 Conference Hits Atlanta

On Thursday, hundreds of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs will descend on the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for the 3rd annual Entrepreneur magazine’s Growth 2.0 Conference, a free, one-day event presented by The UPS Store. A focal point of the day is the recognition of three individuals who are making an impact on their industries, communities and employees – the winners of the Entrepreneur of 2010 Awards.

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Honoring America’s Entrepreneurs

Almost everyday, I read about someone who has started a business, thought of an ingenious idea, and think to myself, “why didn’t I think of that?” Or, I read about a business that is using its resources to make a difference in its community.

While I may daydream of what it would be like to be my own boss, make my to-be-determined clever business concept a reality, running a small business is a lot of work. These men and women often wear many hats—accountant, salesperson, marketing guru, social media strategist, and receptionist.

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