Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural Illinois in the late 50s and 60s. A farming community that was just beginning to transition to suburb. I saw a lot of new housing and shopping centres going up and for a seven year old kid, watching construction is a powerful thing. I decided then and there I wanted to build stuff. Build real estate and start my own company. But then I forgot all that and got busy with growing up. When I started writing essays for business school, all those ideas came rushing out of my head and in the end, all those things I wrote about came true. Writing is a powerful tool for an entrepreneur.
Why did you write your book, "Why Sell Tacos in Africa" and what's it about?
I've been an entreprenuer building businesses my entire adult life. It started badly and I had to overcome a lot of personal issues like addiction, but then I started again and rewrote my life and built several large successful companies in central and Eastern Europe starting with only $400. I turned that into $200 million and then exited at the top in 2008. "Why Sell Tacos in Africa" is a metaphor for emerging market and start-up opportunities for entrepreneurs. It's my step-by-step guide to what I did and how I did it.
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