A recent UnderCover Boss marathon featured several lessons for budding entrepreneurs. For instance, Fat Burger’s CEO landed in federal prison because of an obscure law that neither he nor his lawyers knew he had violated.
Lesson: Investigating little-known or long-forgotten laws for the industry you’re thinking about entering may avoid unpleasant surprises and you’ll know more than the competition knows.
Philly Pretzels Factory
The CEO of Philly Pretzels Factory has a university degree in finance.
But it was his job as a child that provided his niche in the business world as an adult.
Dan Dizio had been selling pretzels on street corners since age 11.
Lesson: Childhood experience, training, and specialized knowledge is often an unbeatable combination.
The brand manager went undercover but had to step out of character and fire a worker after he confided how much he hated the customers he felt forced to wait on day after day.
Lesson: Boston Market is not the first or last company with an employee who absolutely “hates people. One major insight is that some people are hardwired to work solo and independently. the ex employee’s negative and inappropriate comments indicate a stressful reaction t working in the wrong environment.
Lesson: Painful experiences or career dissatisfaction can play a major role in fueling ideas for creative endeavors. The PBS program Superheroes illustrates the point during the profile of the two teenage creators of Superman.
Immigrants in the 1930’s Depression era, Jerry Siegel and Joe Siegel were bullied as teenagers and Siegel’s father, after a robbery, suffered a fatal heart attack. And these experiences helped shape the idea for their comic book hero.
The Fantastic Four comic strip was a new direction not only in content but also in how the work was produced: As a collaboration.
Inspired by a writer who was fed up with the other material he was producing day after day for the comic book company, so he decided to create characters based on what he wanted to do. The public responded favorably and creative collaboration in the industry became a new way to work in that industry.
Philly Pretzel Factory