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Espressopreneur: My Grandfather’s Entrepreneur Words of Wisdom

My grandfather was an awesome entrepreneur. I had a great childhood because I grew up on his farm, which was located within ten minutes of the city center. My parents worked the farm because my grandfather left the communist country of Yugoslavia to come to the land of opportunity — America. Even though we worked hard on the farm, we still had plenty of time to enjoy the resources of the farm. 

"If you don’t risk, you don’t profit BIG." — Paul Radojevich

We had an orchard full of trees with incredible variety:  plums, rainier cherries, walnuts, peaches, and red cherries — and just about every variety of fruit you can imagine. My brother and I would wake up in the morning and climb trees to eat our breakfast like two little monkeys. Now that’s as organic as you can get.

When we moved to America to follow in my grandfather’s steps, my parents took the ultimate risk of packing their life into five large suitcases to come here. They were huge risk takers for sure.

I was talking with my 80-year-old mother about a venture, explaining that I took a great financial risk on it.

“Mom, I took a huge risk on this one particular venture,” I said calmly. 

“I knew you took a huge risk,” she said. “I could see it in your eyes.”

“It’s going to make it big,” I said. I am glad I took the risk.

“Your grandfather had a saying...” she said.

“What was it?” I asked her as I recalled the fond memories of working side by side with my grandfather on his pig farm in a stall full of hundreds of pigs that were three times the size of my 11-year-old body.

She told me the phrase in Serbian and I will translate it for you.

“If you don’t risk, you don’t profit BIG,” she said in Serbian.

“Yeah, I can hear him saying it now, mom,” I replied.

So whatever you’re doing as an entrepreneur or investor, remember my grandfather’s words. I will add to his wisdom: “With great risk, there is an even greater profit.”

My grandfather died an entrepreneur. He loved to work and he worked until he was physically incapable. He never considered work as work. God rest his soul.

Now back to finishing my cup of Starbucks espresso. Give me your thoughts by commenting below.

© 2013 entrepreneurdex

Damir Perge, author of Entrepreneur Myths: The Startup Reality, is the founder of entrepreneurdex, a venturcelerator using complexity science to fund and launch startups.

An entrepreneur and investor, with more than 25 years experience, he's worked with ventures in the technology, internet, media and publishing, entertainment, energy, and manufacturing sectors raising more than $300 million in capital for various companies and investing more than $50 million into startup and emerging ventures. He's sat on the boards of 11 companies, served as editor-in-chief of Futuredex, a private equity magazine. Follow 

Pre-order Damir Perge's upcoming books at damirperge.com >

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