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Richard Copeland: Thor Construction

Ask Richard Copeland why he succeeded, and his answer is that it is because he is “always a hustler.”

When he was growing up in Minneapolis, Copeland saw that the hustlers had the cars and the clothes. Obviously, one does not build a $100 million+ business by being only a “hustler.” Copeland saw business opportunities, went after them aggressively, learned on-the-job at breakneck speed and had the character to persevere.

If there is a prototypical entrepreneur as envisioned in the movies, Richard Copeland would fit the mold (in fact, he would even say that the mold was created with him in mind). He combined street smarts, leadership abilities, an opportunistic perspective, unlimited ambition, and the courage to enter new fields where he was a novice, with the willingness to learn and work endless hours.

He started his business with one pickup truck and built a national construction company with annual revenues exceeding $170 million and projects in Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

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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