Most bios about founders are written in third-person which is impersonal. I decided to do mine in first-person.
After all who is better to tell you about me than me. I guess this is an "autobio".
Lesson One: Know what rules to break and when to break them.
In my role as CEO/President of The Wright Group, LLC (TWG), I am involved in transforming ideas into products, services, or businesses; business development; and the strategic alignment and integration of the portfolio. A primary requirement for investing in a new venture is that the venture must have a connection with an existing TWG business or brand. My responsibility is finding that connection. Lesson Two: There is a connection with everything. Finally I am responsible for the financial growth of TWG.
Before launching TWG, I had a diverse career that included being an organizational transformation consultant, strategic mangagement consultant, data strategist, parallel entrepreneur, systems architect, project manager, software developer, educator/corporate trainer, business/entrepreneur coach, lecturer, author/writer, poet, and musician. I worked with diverse clients that included startups to Fortune 500 enterprises in various industries; non-profits; local municipalities; and legal, medical, and healthcare entities. I taught for two New Jersey colleges and provided training to employees at corporations throughout the NJ/NY/PA area. While I occasionally still teach and consult, the majority of my time is dedicated to managing TWG's portfolio.
I believe my diverse background has been the second most valuable asset in building TWG. Recognizing the connection between my careers was invaluable. Each career or role made be better in the others. Being an instructor, consultant, and entrepreneur made me a better instructor, consultant, and entrepreneur. Being able to tap into my creativity possibly from being a poet or musician, made me a better professional.
More valuable than my experience was my "mindset transformation" whereby I recognize that "intellectual and creative capital" were more valuable then financial capital. There is truth to the cliche, "poor, smart, and hungry" or as the billionaire fund manager and founder of Gabelli Asset Management Company Investors (GAMCO Investors, Inc.), Mario Gabelli once stated, "I like PHD's: Poor, Hungry, and Driven". A hungry dog hunts best! Rich, dumb, and well-fed people are not looking to change things. I believe in education as I have spent quite a bit of time in schools but education does not make you smart. Smart people may or may not have formal education. Smart people are resilient, adaptive, and responsive. During these complex, chaotic times, I trust in surrounding myself with smart people with enormous imaginations who are driven to make the future better by doing the right things today.
TWG was founded with purpose, passion, and drive and more intellectual than financial capital. Looking to do something different and more challenging than my previous entrepreneurial ventures, I decided to take the risk and launch TWG and thrust myself into the private equity industry with no previous knowledge. After almost 6 years in, I am still a neophyte but I have been able to grow the portfolio.
TWG's initial portfolio consisted of the three businesses that I owned at the time. Then I used a technique, "Entrepreneurial Development Process" (EDP) that I developed years ago which is a way of transforming ideas and problem solving into products or businesses. I went through my digital and printed archives and dusted off every idea that I jotted down. I worked on updating and transforming each idea into a meaningful product, service, or business. It did not matter whether any of those products, services, or businesses made it to market because this was a skill-building exercise to develop my idea transformation ability. Lesson Three: Being creative does not require money. Lesson Four: Learning and access to knowledge are available for free. Lesson Five: When you are financially challenge (aka "broke") make sure you have a public library card which is free and access to the Internet. The former will provide the latter. Lesson Six: No excuses.
Currently the TWG portfolio has over 100 brands at various stages of development consisting of independent businesses, products, services, and community development initiatives. TWG is aligned with my life purpose which is to make the world a better place so our portfolio is mainly comprised of personal, professional, organizational, and community development entities.
The vision for TWG is to expand the portfolio in 2021 by investing in artificial intelligence, healthcare, and eco-friendly/sustainability opportunities.
For my education, I completed the Executive Masters of Technology Management Master's program at Stevens Institute of Technology and my undergraduate studies at the U.S. Naval Academy. I also studied at Wharton, University of PA. I have taken a multitude of online business, entrepreneurship, technology, health and wellness, and nutrition courses at institutions across the globe. During the COVID-19 pandemic I was inspired to become a Global Climate Reality Leader (environmental activisit), a certified life coach, certified diet & nutrition coach, and certified holistic wellness coach. This was personal and professional reasons related to health and wellness. Feel free to review my coaching bio.
I close by saying, I am thankful that I respect "poor, smart, and hungry" folks because I've been one during this journey! Pursuing your passion requires sacrifice but its worth it. There is something majestic about creating things especially things that will outlast you.
Here is the last lesson: Lesson Eight: Create something every day. A poem, a song, a joke, a solution. It does not have to perfect. Just create!
The I M portfolio is comprised of 4 major entities: