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Glen Taylor: Taylor Corporation

“Printers like presses. I like customers”… Glen Taylor

When Glen Taylor was 16, he was a father, husband, manager of a farm, and a 4.0 GPA (if you don’t count typing) high-school student. When he finished high school, his teachers persuaded him to enter college rather than go into farming. With scholarships, loans, and a part-time (32 hours a week) job in a printing company, Taylor pursued a degree in math, which he completed in three years.

At the printing company, he implemented so many profitable, “common-sense” improvements, that, upon graduation, the owner asked him to join the company as the #2 guy for an annual salary of under $5,000. Taylor listened to his advisers at the college and agreed to join the printing company, even though he would have made more as a teacher and would have had his summers off.

His professors told him that challenging opportunities in business do not show up every day, and he could always go into teaching later. Within a few years, he had made so many improvements to the company (and asked for a piece of the larger pie) that he was making in excess of $35,000, and had bought 13 percent of the company with his savings (he could live on the original $5,000 salary).

That is when the owner of the printing company announced that he was ready to sell and gave Taylor a year to put together an offer. Initially, Taylor planned to buy the company with two of his colleagues. However, he soon found that they had differing goals. Taylor wanted to expand, and expand, and expand. The others did not.

So Taylor bought the company on his own.

Today his company is a colossus in the printing industry with operations throughout the world, putting Taylor on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. On the side, he owns the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA franchise and was the Minority Leader of the Minnesota State Senate. Who knows, one day he might even become one of the best schoolteachers on the planet. This is how he did it.

This introduction is excerpted from Bootstrap to Billions: Proven Rules from Entrepreneurs who Built Great Companies from Scratch by Dr. Dileep Rao. Copying or reproduction in any format or medium without the prior express, written consent of the author is strictly prohibited.

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