There is still something special about being in a classroom after all these years. My business professor at Cal State Northridge in 1984 was William (Bill) Crookston. Soon after graduating in 1985, I asked Bill to be the doctor and for the company my dad and I had (On-Site Fabricare – the refurbished office furniture division that today is known as Tangram OnSite) to be the patient. Bill visited with me and my dad and he prescribed some remedies, most notably that I needed to be the company’s evangelist. Funnny how knew my strength then as it is still my strength today.
Over the years I would join Bill in class and share my story of how my dad and I started a business in the back of a barber shop in the Pico Robertson area and all the good and bad that comes with running a business. I absolutely loved talking in front of a class of students.
Recenlty, Joe Lozwowski and I visited with Bill and his class at USC – Intro to Entrepreneurism – to share some of our stories. I shared my relatioship with Bill and how he helped me in the early years and why I ultimately sold our business. But then Joe shared how perserverence is the ultimate calling card for any entrepreneur. To give up is easy. To keep at? That’s difficult.
Our tag line at Tangram Interiors is “Your Office Inspired.” Listening to Joe as he stood in front of the class and told his story and the subsequent Q&A session, as well as open invitation to have coffee on campus, was truly inspiring. Think positively. Be humble. Give Back to your community. But most importantly, even after a string of losses, keep at it and it will turn. For Joe and Tangram, it certainly has.
We may set out to provide inspiring office interiors solutions, but today I was the one that ended up inspired.