Monday, April 04, 2011

Bob Williamson is a very successful business man, with a powerful, powerful rags to riches story. I discovered him in the recent AOL story about him you can see at http://smallbusiness.aol.com/2011/03/14/my-first-million-bob-williamson-horizon-software-international/

Williamson has just published a very readable autobiography, “Miracle on Luckie Street” http://www.miracleonluckiestreet.com/, don't miss reading it. The book gives a detailed account of his life in detail from childhood to where he is now and what happened to make a powerful 180-degree change in the direction of his life when he was just 23 years old following a head on automobile accident and a near death experience.

We just spent an hour on the telephone together talking more about the book, his life, and the business lessons he has learned. Here’s a summary of what he shared with me.

Business is just common sense. I haven’t really read any books, taken any class, I haven’t had a mentor or been part of any group,” said Williamson, speaking to me from Florida where he is developing a new resort and spa.

“Part of this is because I’ve always been a loner. Recently I’ve become much more involved in fellowship, which is good. But it really wasn’t part of my business life until now.

“The turning point for me, what really got me to where I am now, selling my company for $75 million and now having a life I really love, was in 1992 when I surrendered my life to Christ. My business was down to just me and my wife, things did not look good. But a peace came over me, and I knew things would be OK.

“Do you have kids? I don’t know about you, but I love my kids more than anything, more than life itself. I think God loves us that same way, and that’s why he has given us the bible. It’s not just a bunch of rules, it’s a living conversation. It's not just for salvation, although that's very important, but it's also an operating manual to help us with our life.

“I read the bible each day, Google the passage, ask myself what God is saying to me. That’s where my daily message comes from I’ve been sending out for 11 years. You can search on whatever is important to you and see what I’ve written in the past about mission statement, goals, or anything like that. It’s very down to earth and practical. www.wordsfortheday.org

“We are in a spiritual war. We can’t defeat Satan, but we are told to resist. “I can do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13) should be taken almost word by word. It starts with “I”, that means I have to do my part, it’s not just going to be handed to me. 'All things,' doesn’t mean fighting for slavery, or being a successful drug dealer, things that are outside of God’s will for us.” (I’d asked about the PBS special recently on Robert E. Lee, the fact that he had a deep religious faith, thought God was on the side of the South and that God wouldn’t allow them to loose the Civil War.)

“I read a lot of biographies, Thomas Edison, Jack Welch, but no book means nearly as much to me as does the bible, which I continue to read every day.

“I decided to write my autobiography some time ago, I wanted to write it to give hope to people who really don’t have any hope, so they would say, ‘if he can do it, so can I.’”

When I got Williamson’s book in the mail last week, I’d recently announced that the motto or slogan for your new Small Business Chamber of Commerce would be the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It felt like real confirmation we are on the right path when I read that he had made the Golden Rule the cornerstone of the successful businesses he has built.

 
Why the Golden Rule? Williamson told me: “I asked myself, ‘what would Jesus do if he was building a business today? He would treat people the right way with great customer service, the best products, and fair prices.’”

 
In his book Williamson goes into more detail about the four primary goals that come out of the Golden Rule. I encourage you to read it.

Bob has agreed to answer your questions you post here as a comment this week.
“Everyone is important,” he said to me when I thanked him for agreeing to answer your questions here, and to taking so much time with me on the telephone.

What question do you have for Bob? This is a great opportunity to get help for yourself, and please forward a link of this site along to anyone else who you think might have a question for Bob or who might like to join us for the Denver IDEA Café Startup Workshop next Friday.

Post your question by clicking “comment” immediately below: