November 24, 2014
Chuck Barnett

CEO, BMDM - Barnett Murphy Direct Marketing, Orlando

Photo: CEO, BMDM

Benjamin Fleischer

Benjamin Fleischer, CEO, Pyure Brands

Florida Life

What's the best advice you've ever gotten?

| 10/3/2013

‘Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done.’

Chuck Barnett
CEO, BMDM-Barnett Murphy Direct Marketing, Orlando

“Words my mother lived by and passed along to me before I was a teenager. I attribute most of the advances in my career to that tenet, whether seeing opportunities that others have overlooked or figuring out new ways to attack old problems. We were promoting variable data printing before the first press was even on the market, and every day clients come to us for new ways to reach their audience and provoke response. If we didn’t constantly reinvent ourselves and challenge the status quo, we wouldn’t have been around for 10 years. Thanks, mom!”


‘Find a need and fill it.’

Benjamin Fleischer
CEO, Pyure Brands, Naples

“I had an opportunity at a young age to be exposed to the meaning of being an entrepreneur. My father saw an opportunity to bring a conventional ethnic food into the mass market. As a child, I was fascinated to see a tiny little retail store grow into a large manufacturing operation. I took his advice to heart and always try to find a niche with all my business endeavors. How can I make something truly unique and capture an audience? I always try to be ahead of the curve and/or the first in the market with all of my products. I constantly re-evaluate my position in the marketplace to make sure I have something innovative, which always comes back to that simple advice.”


‘There are two sides to every story.’

Mark Wade
President, Seacrest Services, West Palm Beach

“In life and in leadership, I have always kept in mind what my father, Ken Wade, told me many years ago. He explained to me that there were always two sides to every story. ‘Wait to hear both sides before you make a decision or plan of action,’ he stressed to me. I’ve kept that with me and believe in this in both my personal and professional life. I try to be a fair leader, and it is near impossible to do so if you are quick to make a decision based on an action.”


‘I know you can do better than this — do your best.’

Mary Riesberg
Life Coach, Riesburg Institute Pensacola

“Those words were spoken to me by Mr. Smith, my high school history teacher. I was failing his class, and he pulled me aside one day and asked me if failing was the best I could do. I said no. In his unique, somewhat harsh-sounding voice, he said, ‘I know you can do better than this. Do your best.’ There was something in those stern words of encouragement that sparked a belief I could do better. Mr. Smith knew that there was more to me; there was ‘my best.’ I went from failing his class to getting an A. This one encounter changed my life as an adult. It is my standard by which I measure my success.”


‘Think long-term greedy, not short-term.’

Gregory M. Freedman
Partner, BH3 Management, Hollywood

“Approach your business, staff, vendors, customers and partners with an objective of longevity, not shortsightedness. It’s about doing 10 deals with a customer, not one. It’s about having a team and partners that wouldn’t dream of working with anyone else. It’s about having vendors that will bend over backwards to accommodate your needs because they know they will get paid on time and will get repeat business. This requires honesty, transparency, fair dealing and always doing what you believe to be the right thing and of the highest integrity. Sometimes, this can bite you, as those people that are short-term greedy will seek to take advantage of you. However, in the long run you will always come out on top and will have the long-standing relationships that are crucial in having a successful and thriving business.”


‘Always listen to your mother.’

Russ Bond
General Manager, Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club, St. Petersburg

“I grew up in a house with a dad who was a career hotel man. He worked at least six days a week, 12 hours a day, on a regular basis. He implored that I never get into this ‘crazy business’ for a career. My mother disagreed. Then one day when I was 14, my dad asked me to start working at the hotel’s restaurant as a busboy. After several years of working a variety of jobs in the hotel field for my dad and others, I enrolled at the Hotel School at Purdue University. I have enjoyed an incredible career in the business for over 30 years with Marriott Hotels and have lived in nine different cities across the country. For the last 13 years, I’ve been in St. Petersburg at the legendary Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club. The best thing I ever did? I took my mom’s advice to not listen to my dad’s advice and got into the hotel business anyway.”

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