Are Successful Entrepreneurs Born or Made?
Founder, Master Teacher“Real businesses are built one customer and one dollar at a time.”
- Co-founder of Lone Star Overnight and PeopleAdmin, Inc.
- A top-ranked entrepreneurship teacher for the Acton MBA and formerly for the University of Texas
- MBA, Vanderbilt University; B.S. University of Richmond
Entrepreneur-teacher Jack Long knows the secrets to building real businesses. In 1990, he launched Lone Star Overnight (LSO), an overnight package-delivery business dedicated to serving the state of Texas and named by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. Six years later, Jack sold the business for enough money to retire. But with entrepreneurship in his blood, retirement was short lived. Today he runs PeopleAdmin, a successful software company that he co-founded in 2001.
Jack’s trial-and-error approach to customers and cash flow began in childhood. “As early as seventh grade, I couldn’t resist thinking about enterprising ways to make money. When I was ten, I spent an entire summer drawing up detailed plans for a small airport on an island in the Tennessee River near our home. How many planes could it accommodate? How much fuel would they buy? Was the runway long enough? How much does an island cost? Who owns the island anyway? These childhood dreams became the foundation of my approach to starting a business. The bottom line is that real businesses are built one customer and one dollar at a time.”
As a teacher in the Acton MBA program, Jack insists students take their case work seriously. “Letting an unprepared student graduate would be like sending someone incompetent to perform heart surgery. Launching and running a business is a serious responsibility. You have lots of people counting on you . . . investors, employees, customers, your own family. I’ve got a reputation for being awfully tough on them in the classroom, but my students thank me for it later.”