The Risk Takers is about ordinary people, all with good ideas, who faced daunting challenges, but took a leap of faith and started their own business. The book tells the stories of the personal and professional journeys of sixteen fascinating men and women who built hugely successful, multimillion dollar companies. They started with very little, opted to strike out on their own, and struggled with disappointment and failure. Yet, they overcame adversity and through persistence and resiliency determined their own destiny. Youll meet the founders of companies familiar to most Americans: Geek Squad, Curves, Liz Lange Maternity, Kinkos, Paul Mitchell, Spanx, Amys Kitchen, along with nine others. Don and Renee Martin, successful entrepreneurs in their own right, personally interviewed these men and women whose inspiring stories demonstrate its never been easy to start your own business and navigate it through all the inevitable storms to ultimate successin any economy, in any era. But can be done. The personal stories in this volume remind us of what is possible when you combine an inspired business idea with faith and tenacity.
Its the right book at the right timeits time to resurrect The American Dream.
Don Martin epitomizes the rags-to-riches entrepreneur success story. Raised in poverty in a small town in the Ohio Valley, over the next four decades he founded and built the largest privately held insurance brokerage in California: Cal-Surance. Ranked in the top fifty of insurance brokerages in the U.S., Cal-Surance generated over $200 million in annual revenue.Renee Martin was a dynamic real estate broker when she switched careers entirely, to work in community service. She became a rape counselor, a court-appointed special advocate for The Children's Court (CASA), a director of community relations of a child abuse crisis center, and a public relations spokesperson for many community organizations. After publication of the book, she and Don coauthored, "The Survival Guide for Women," she became a frequent and popular speaker at women's seminars across the country.The Martins also collaborated on "TeamThink: Using the Sports Connection to Develop, Motivate, and Manage a Winning Business Team." They live in Palos Verdes, California.