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Alan Yong became an entrepreneur immediately after graduating from college. In this episode, we talk about how he landed contracts worth over half a billion dollars, lost it all, and a few years later got back into entrepreneurship again.
He also shares invaluable business information from his 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur.
What are some of your most exciting business ventures you have been involved in?
A tech company as well as a personal computer company where he landed two major contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars with the Department of Treasury and the Department of Defense.
He was able to do this by realizing his strengths and weaknesses and teaming up with the right people to win these contracts.
He is also the co-founder of Smokeys Daylily Gardens and the founder of DNotes.
I understand that you wrote a business book, “The Four Pillars of Business Success” What can you tell us about it?
The Four Pillars of Business Success was written in response to clients who suggested he should write a book. The book addresses the issue that business owners are blindsided because they’re good at 1 or 2 things and in today’s business world, that’s not enough.
In the book, he talks about how to be good at 1 or 2 things and recruit the right people to compliment your weaknesses and strengths so your company can be the best at everything you claim to do.
How did you gain the confidence to start a business again after losing hundreds of millions of dollars with previous business ventures?
He had to be sure and totally passionate about being in business to want to do it all over again.
What’s the best way for listeners to get in touch with you?
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Welcome to the show. Alan Thank you tell us about yourself and some of the things that you’re most passionate about. I tend to do us in 1971 when it YMCA scholarship to study a George Williams College purchase in Downers Grove. At that time in Illinois, I received my bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and then went on to study in Northern Illinois University where I got my MBA you easily after that I started my first business which was a Chinese restaurant by the name of mailing after five years sold the restaurant for a nice profit in started in industrial computer company called manufacturing and maintenance system. What the company did was we developed a Popeyes for industrial computer to help maintenance in the manufacturing facility to align their rotating corpsman which is based Scully like palm composer in generator just like the front No, your car alignment is very important. So that was my first participation in what’s called the high tech world. Okay, learning how to design thought on computer programming and what I do a few years later, the company became extremely profitable. But as a young man, I was very ambitious and something big. So I use the profit bum MMS and started a personal computer company called doffing technology. And what happened at that time is personal computer was becoming extremely popular in very quickly became very crowded, I mean, everyone who knew something about computer that buying plans, encode them in manufacturer of computer offering the best prices and one happier, so brace on, I found out that I was involved in the next currently competitive market, and then I need to reposition the company. So that became this channel and Tanaka, I spent a lot I’m thinking about it, and then eventually decided that our best route would be to go after something that is rare today. So we decided to go after two major contract one was a request for proposal from the Department of the Treasury Bob 120 million dollars. And then the second one was for the Department of Defense for $400 million. There’s two by portable computer in other related office to me, even though the possibility of winning this contract will be at swimming remote, I felt that if I could map out certain winning strategy, what if we were able to win just one of the contract. So recovering what I have learned from Business School is always important to realize your strength as well as weaknesses.
So I realized that in all the two companies said for our weaknesses as a new company, I need to team up with a number of the big boys so I was able to convince CS federal system inside the rights of falls Falls Church, Virginia to panel and Cindy we want to fall to one of the major contract Okay, so all of the tournament one x and we got the attention of a lot of people we will constantly in the nail in it. In the meantime, I said, what we need to do is to be able to leverage our society and it will have the most state of the art product at that time and deliver we came up with what’s called a tablet or handheld computer at that time and competed came on with what is called echo Newton at that time, which is the iPhone that I’m talking to right now. So they continue to give us a lot of credibility and over and as we were constantly in the news and one ideal so what happened after that is we caught the attention of some of the top people at IBM and IBM was extremely persuasive because they were not doing that well this is like 1991 92 I had wanted to look for emerging companies that will have a lot of potential for growth I am basically identified dolphin technology is one the best candidate in decided to manufacture our products so we ended up with 150 million dollars manufacturing contract in of course idea doesn’t do anything small, even though I wanted to be conservative and start out with law. Basically, I went ahead and mute 30,000 of ETS, which is the handmade product that night. Unfortunately, the demon a dead time for him. Hail was nothing like what was projected in IBM eventually decided that the product was great, but just too early for mass acceptance in order to weaken the DOM, everything that was the the inventory because that was part of the manufacturing, right? They paid for all the parts make the program on our behalf. And after the probably over 10,000 of the DTS the price of doffing, which was a publicly traded company basically collapsed in I ended up looking for a job Oh wow. It was extremely difficult to be at the account level losing a company is losing its finding a job yeah. So it took me a couple years in give a few offers that I did not feel like I would be interested. So eventually I ended up being a management consultant because I felt very strongly that part of my patient is to really help small business owner so I spent a year at the management consultant and then eventually decided to stay down with a single climb in Ashley, Indiana at that time by the name of smoky think and I will work the owner and eventually rebuilt into a different time company. So now smoky is called smoky daily garden in they have one of the largest daily grows in the world. In 2014 hour, someone I met and smoky garden restarted Dino’s, which is a digital currency company that is somewhat like Bitcoin. Duquesne, that it’s something that I’ve been involved in four or two interviews. Now in, of course, the latest project that I’m involving, it’s the writing of a ball because I’m really passionate about helping other small business owners. So my other patients other than gardening business would be cooking. I wanted to write a book, but realize that, you know, he would take a lot of time and effort to do it. But best way via today, and I understand you wrote a business book called The four pillars of business success, what can you tell us about it, please, for it is basically in response to a lot of my clients who suggested that I should write a book, the way I look at things is that in business, it’s possible to improve your odds, you realize that what it takes is to be good at more than just one or two things. The more typical problem then I’ll observe is that people get blindsided excessively, the founders, the owner, because they are extremely good at certain things, like one or two things that the real gorilla, unfortunately in the real business will, it takes a lot more than that. So this ball basically point out using what’s called a system approach to managing business one need to do in order to be successful is to make sure that you can be good at just a one or two thing. But it’s important to recruit the right people, partners and employee and make sure that they’re able to complement what you’re good at, and what you’re not good at. And make sure that the company would end up being the best in every single category, that you have a computer in the four pillars basically highlight that the most important component within that system would be you do the business, your great ideas, whatever it may be, whether is for a product or service your employee, it’s a with your customer, so the boat went in great length to highlight that starting with you, as a business owner finder, what is it that you need to build like to be able to perfect it lesion, be able to set the goal objective, be able to develop some kind of a leadership culture, the right mindset so that you would be able to inspire, encourage all your employees literally from the top down. The whole concept is that when everyone is working together towards the same goals, objective and vision, then you be able to realize your vision. But in order to get everyone to participate in achieving definitions, goals and objectives, man, you have to make sure that you can articulate your vision to everyone and be able to inspire people to basically multiply what your capability are. So that as a group, you’ll be able to meet your objective the went into great length tracing, how important it is to be able to hire exceptional employee or the best employee and be able to train them, it would involve them so that they are for the it probably your beacon. So that is basically what the book is about.
When you mentioned earlier that you had these contracts for hundreds of millions of dollars, and then the company collapsed, how did you gain the confidence again, to go back into business?
Yes, bindi is a real ethical side, okay, it told me a few years to really adjust to that what I have learned a no matter how confident you are, mistake will be back with the is with in your control, or a lot of the time it’s beyond your control on what it is is interpersonal, got to be very, very certain that they’re totally patient and about what they want to do, and be able to think through it be able to gain very deep knowledge before they were jam right in there to me is extremely important that if you’re an entrepreneur, you must have the conviction and the patient that you commit to something, your confidence that you will be able to do your best in confidence that you are going to be very right that is a clear vision. Okay. So in my case, even then, immediately after I ended up losing a company that was literally on the fast track in the was certainly not easy to be able to bounce that. But at the end of the day, if you’re a true entrepreneur, as I said, this, this is one of my tree patient. The other two are cooking and gardening. So the unit I am a form is the business I can talk to you about business 24 hours a day, you need to type by. So it’s extremely important that people must be patient about it. Because even after such an incident, I was able to recover the two week time. But it is I was able to recover and be able to build my confidence back. The reason that I wanted store is I feel like I have gone through a lot of different businesses. But every single one of them myself, sometimes with the help of other people in I have seen of success and failure in the book is literally my commitment to be as helpful to other enterprise as possible. And hopefully you’ll be able to benefit from what I am.
So where can we find you on the web? What’s the best way to get in touch with you so that we can find out when the book is released?
The best way is to do not have to check out my profile on LinkedIn.
I can also be reached at s ta y or in cheese at aol. com. That would be my email address. And you’ll have it Sunday, okay? So you can down there and if everything fails, just Google my name Alinea. I’m literally all over the place. It’s it’s very easy to track me down and he will link link me to a lot of different websites that that I’m associated with, including the ball, even the ball the four pillars of business, that face is searchable. Okay, Alan, thank you so much for sharing so much information with us today.
Hopefully you’re able to have enough good about that. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s definitely a lot of good stuff I have in there.
Cindy Rodriguez is the host of the Start Fierce Business Podcast. When she’s not interviewing awesome entrepreneurs, she’s working on growing her startup, going to Disney World with her daughter, or reading a book.