JACKSONVILLE, Florida – “Lessons My Brothers Taught Me” by entrepreneur Charles D. McCarrick (Houndstooth Press, 2022) teaches how to harness your own personal qualities into building both professional and personal success. As a case study, the book chronicles the author’s evolution from quitting his job and then founding and succeeding at building an extremely valuable high-tech business. The story is interspersed with personal life lessons, presented as humorous flashbacks and illustrated with comical cartoons to help emphasize the point. The intertwine of valuable lessons with humorous experiences make this a fun and easy read while still providing guidance toward charting a path to personal success.
Each of us is a business, conducting transactions every day for the purpose of sustaining our well-being and toward scaling and growing as a person. The success of these transactions depends largely on our salability as individuals, and on our sensibility to distinguish between obstacles and opportunities. If you are willing to embrace the ‘person as a business’ concept, then it is easy to accept the proposition that the success of any business is linked to the basic human principles of the people within it. The four principles essential for all success may be expressed as follows:
Salability + Sensibility + Sustainability + Scalability = Success
A process dubbed, the 4S Transform. In this book, you will learn how to identify and apply these “4S” principles toward your own definition of success, including establishing your own business. It is a fun and easy read, with humorous lessons and real-life examples which illustrate that the quality of one’s character plays a dominant role in the success of any transaction, personal or professional. If you are determined to run your own business, despite lacking any previous experience or formal training in that field this book is for you. You’ll discover that you already possess the pieces to build your own success.
Lessons My Brothers Taught Me:
How to Transform Your Personal Qualities Into A Successful Business
Charles D. McCarrick | Nov. 15, 2022 | Houndstooth Press
Business / Leadership / Motivation
Hardcover | ISBN 978-1544533391 | $22.01
Paperback | ISBN 978-1544533407 | $13.18
About the Author
Charles D. McCarrick is an entrepreneur, inventor, and lead visionary of Micro-Ant. With more than 10 patents to his name, he pioneers and supplies unique equipment to the communications industry. Charles’ most defining characteristic is enthusiasm—for new ideas, for the people who work with him, and for continuous improvement. By cultivating people’s confidence and creativity, Charles has forged a top-notch team that delivers new technologies into the hands of customers and value to investors. Now, he delivers this book of life lessons to you. You can find out more about him at www.charlesmccarrick.com.
In an interview, Charles D. McCarrick can discuss:
- How to harness your character and experiences to build success
- How he translated life lessons his siblings taught him to a successful business
- Personal philosophies he has gathered over his career
- Career-defining moments, including successes, failures and everything in between
- The 4S Transform approach to strategy, and how this concept can be applied in practice
- The obstacles that small businesses face and how they navigate them
- Feedback he has received about his book, as well as surprising questions or interpretations from readers
An Interview with
Charles D. McCarrick
Since your book is called “Lessons My Brothers Taught Me,” can you start off by introducing us to your siblings and how they shaped your approach to building and running a business?
In descending order of age:
- Mary Ann, my only sister, who very much behaved as my personal program manager in private life and taught me to be more organized;
- Hank, who is an engineer and inventor and filled the role as a father figure and mentor after my dad passed away;
- Bill, who taught me that sometimes things just aren’t fair, and to carefully assess the characters of the people you deal with and avoid those out to harm you;
- Dick, my advisor, who possesses an analytical mind and taught me to make evidenced based decisions opposed to acting on emotions;
- Mike, the youngest, who shared my interest in understanding how things worked and whose optimism and enthusiasm is an inspiration to me.
What makes “Lessons My Brothers Taught Me” different from other business books for beginner entrepreneurs?
I’m not reporting or compiling data or studies of what others have done; I actually did it, and wrote about it in a transparent way that could be relevant to others looking to be an entrepreneur. I emphasized the value of character in all things, and how it is developed in times of adversity, so even the “bad” experiences can pay great dividends in the future, if you pay attention. It also places a lot of emphasis on character and how to employ it in such a way as to succeed at anything.
In your book, you discuss four guiding principles that you dubbed the 4S Transform. Can you briefly explain those concepts?
It occurred to me after executing many transactions with both small and ultra large companies that the success or failure of these deals relied largely upon the characters of the individuals involved. It takes but one sour deal with an individual concerned more with preserving their job than fostering a partnership to tarnish the reputation of an entire organization. In other words, the reputation, or perceived character of any business is based upon the character of those within it, an understanding this provides a valuable lesson to entrepreneurs: that your business will be perceived according to how you conduct yourself as an individual, and your success will come from observing the character of those companies you seek to do business with. Hence there is a link between personal character, and business character, and that link is what I dub the 4S Transform.
The 4S comes from the four principles or characteristics I recommend as being most pertinent to be a successful entrepreneur: the personal traits of Salability, Sensibility, and the business traits of Sustainability and Scalability. The Transform part comes from developing a pathway from the personal “domain” to the business “domain,” defined and described throughout the book.
What are the qualities of an effective leader?
Someone who has an objective to pursue which they can communicate in a way that is both compelling and inspiring, and maintains a fair balance of discipline and compassion while pursuing that objective.
What posed the greatest threat to growing your business?
Unscrupulous customers who sought to take advantage of me by stealing our intellectual property and using it themselves. Also, vendors who made commitments they could not nor would not keep, which left us to deal with very unhappy customers.
What does a healthy company culture look like, and why is this so important?
It is a team of employees who know their responsibilities and take pleasure in doing the best they can, managers who have earned the respect of their employees and possess good character and leadership traits, and administration worthy to serve this wonderful culture which takes every opportunity to foster it.
Was there a defining moment that success had arrived for you, or was it gradual?
It came in a number of stages or milestones; first when I realized we were generating enough income to pay all of our expenses, next when observed we had a dedicated, capable team that had us on track for both sustainability and scalability, then when we were posting profits that far exceeded what I could have earned as an individual, when we purchased our very first building, and finally when companies and equity firms in our industry started tripping over one another to purchase the company we built.
How has your approach to business evolved? Is it still evolving?
Initially we needed revenue so badly we cared little where it came from, whereas now we only take on jobs that have a clear path to market and service a valuable use to the end user. I would say it is more refining than evolving, as we are increasingly more circumspect about the business case of each opportunity opposed to simply the dollar value.
How is a person’s character and experiences the basis for their success? How do they identify and harness those experiences?
People are far more likely to interact with a person that they like, admire, and trust. These are the qualities of Salability. It is the same in business; people are far more likely to interact, or in this case, do business with a person/business that they like, admire and trust. This might appear obvious, but what many entrepreneurs may not realize is that these personal qualities are of enormous value in building and sustaining a business, and can be incorporated into the very products and services their company offers.
This is exactly how I began my business, with the notion that I did not want to be considered just another supplier competing on price; I wanted to be the best in the industry, and the mere mention of my company name would invoke likeability, admiration, and trustworthiness. But how do we go about discovering these character traits and employ them toward business? Character is built during episodes of adversity. How you respond when things go wrong defines who you are, what you stand for, and how you treat others. These “episodes of adversity” are simply experiences encountered during your formative years that shaped your view of the world and your behavior towards it. In my case, growing up fifth in line of six siblings, episodes of adversity were a daily occurrence, so there was much opportunity for me to shape and reshape myself and learn to interact with others toward more favorable outcomes. In the book, I call these Life Lessons, in which each is recounted highlighting the injustice of it all, but concluding with a Moral that would be valuable to me in the future. Recounting a bad experience and repackaging it as a lesson is something we all can do, and with a bit of open mindedness and humility, can take advantage of these experiences to achieve success.
What is your definition of success?
Mastering an objective I have set my mind to.
What are some of the greatest obstacles budding entrepreneurs face when starting off, and how can they overcome those challenges?
Obstacle: Trying to grow their business during that period before industry credibility has been established.
Strategy: Speak directly with as many potential customers as possible, either by phone or preferably in person to establish rapport, and to leave the impression you are a person and company they want to do business with. Mass emails and impersonal marketing campaigns are more effective in some industries than others but in my experience generate less quality opportunities than the personal touch. Plus people are far more apt to remember you if you interact with them personally.
Obstacle: The cost of operating far exceeds the revenue, and no one will lend you money without expecting an equity stake in the business (or your personal assets, i.e. house).
Strategy: Ask your family, friends or colleagues if they will lend you money in exchange for a promissory note, which promises to pay back the loan at modest interest and over a term that gives you ample time to get the business generating revenue. These “friendly” terms don’t require collateral or ties to assets, but instead rely on a promise, that is, your integrity and the lender’s faith in you. But of course, no one should ever borrow money without the intent and ability to one day pay it back.
Obstacle: Unscrupulous vendors, customers and/or competitors who see you as an easy “mark” and take advantage of you financially or misappropriating (stealing) your products or services.
Strategy: Businesses are just people and some are kind and compassionate while others serve their own interests. Get to know these people, talk to them, engage them in conversations where they express who they are and what they stand for, about personal experiences they have and what their approach to business, and life is. This is what successful business people are doing when they assess you, count on it.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.