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Lloyd Sigel: Lloyd’s Barbeque

Lloyd Sigel started his business career selling roofing and siding with his dad, whom he calls “one of the best salesmen he has ever seen – one who could overcome any objection and get the sale”. This was at the age of 13.

From there he moved on to painting houses while in high school and selling advertising while in college. When he finished college he took his first professional job with a reduction in pay because he could not find a job that paid him a comparable amount.

His first job happened to be in the food industry where Sigel quickly made his mark as a superb salesman. This caught the eye of a food industry entrepreneur who hired Sigel and then made him a partner. This partnership became very productive and Sigel soon found himself buying a nearly bankrupt food company to pursue his passion – to sell pre-cooked ribs to restaurants and food stores. He bought the assets by assuming the liabilities, which is a great way to get into your own business especially if you do not want to invest a lot of cash and you know how to turn the business around.

Over the years he built this business into a giant in the food industry and then sold it four times. The last time was to General Mills when sales reached over $100 million.

The next time you eat Lloyd’s barbeque from a supermarket, know that 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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