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Sam Wyly Wants Us All To Be Billionaires


by Gail Sachson 17 Aug 2008

Guest blogger GAIL SACHSON owns ASK ME ABOUT ART, an educational art service, is Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission and member of the Public Art Committee 1,000 DOLLARS AND AN IDEA:ENTREPRENEUR TO BILLIONAIRE is a beach book, a bible, a self-help and a how-to business book. It’s a fast read and a fun read! […]

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Guest blogger GAIL SACHSON owns ASK ME ABOUT ART, an educational art service, is Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission and member of the Public Art Committee

1,000 DOLLARS AND AN IDEA:ENTREPRENEUR TO BILLIONAIRE is a beach book, a bible, a self-help and a how-to business book. It’s a fast read and a fun read!

By page 66 of Dallasite Sam Wyly’s new book, I was eager to start a business. I was convinced that the rules to becoming a billionaire that I had already gleaned from the 250 page autobiographical book, would be my mantra and make me money…lots of money.

But then I remembered that early on Wyly writes that “It’s not the money that counts. It’s the journey.” So follow me. Invest in my new company (yet to be decided), and we’ll travel together…the WYLY way.

We’ll set goals- GRAND goals.

We won’t let frustration get us down. Failure is necessary writes Wyly.

And we’ll remember that “Creative thinking is the entrepreneur’s core!”

As I read further into the book and more about the business acumen of 74-year-old Louisiana born Wyly, I was overwhelmed by his ability to juggle so many people, plants and possibilities at once. He and his brother Charles created and acquired companies like University Computing, Sterling Software, Maverick Capital, Ranger Capital, Bonanza Steakhouse, Michaels Stores and Green Mountain Energy.

As I read, I imagined Wyly sitting beside me sharing words of wisdom, guru-like. He cautions that when forming companies, keep 51% of the company..(OOPS! He admits to not being able to do that all the time. Well- try!). He reminds us to hire the BEST people, pay well and delegate responsibility. He says to trust those we hire…but AUDIT well.

When buying companies, he says search for bargains, but be fearless, then BODACIOUS! Never let your pocketbook tell you what to do and READ and READ and READ to discover what you need to know. (Stanley Marcus’ Minding the Store is his favorite book about retailing entrepreneurship.

And lastly, the man who was called “bubba” until graduate school, a “poco loco upstart from Texas” and a wild man”, reminds us to HAVE FUN!

Wyly has had fun!. He has a sense of humor, a sense of timing and a sense of what’s right. He and his wife Cheryl, business partner and brother Charles, his wife Dee and their extended families ,have been major supporters of the ARTS in Dallas over many years. They are history buffs, who have acquired a major collection of American art, and the Dallas Theater Center’s new home is to be called The Wyly Theater because of their generosity. 1,000 Dollars and an Idea, dedicated to Wyly’s mother, Flora, is published by Newmarket Press and will be in bookstores September 2.

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  • Bob Dupre

    Sam’s book is a truly enjoyable read for the entrepreneurial minded. One of a few books where I have read every single page, including all the Library of Congress stuff! Unfortunately, one has to have done some of what he mentions to really appreciate the book, which excludes about 95% of the population.