I am extremely humbled and sincerely grateful for this interview with Stacey Alcorn, blog contributor of The Huffington Post. Her words accurately describe my core values and the impact they have on every business endeavor I take on. I like to think that I do not fit the traditional mold of big businessmen and real estate developers. My commitment and dedication over the years has always been focused on the people and helping others. I learn so much from the people that I have the privilege to work with throughout the different WinnCompanies’ housing developments we have built over the years. They teach me more about the type of person I want to be and the mark I want to leave on this world, than I could ever teach myself or others.
I would not be where I am today without those who took a chance on an “average” student so many years ago. This article highlights my relationship with cousin, Norman Cahners. I looked up to him and he saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. This belief in me motivated me to try harder in school and go for my goals and visions in entrepreneurship. I hope that throughout my career I have been able to influence a few along the way by recognizing something positive in them that they may have not otherwise recognized in themselves.
Alcorn hit the nail on the head when describing the four philosophies I strive to live by in life and in business –
- Do Well By Doing Good
- Put Quality Before Profit
- You Are Only As Good As…(continue to strive for better than the last)
- Vulnerability and Failure
I credit much of my success to treating others the way I would want to be treated and doing good to others. I always take on affordable housing initiatives with the people and the community as the most important factor in the deal. Everyone deserves an opportunity to live in a home that they can be proud of and respected. My motivation is not profit first, but rather putting quality into every project I take on. My vision is to benefit the community and the people that I serve and I have been fortunate enough to see great success over the years by keeping quality at the forefront of my business initiatives. I strive to make each and every business deal or venture better than the last, with a focus on community and relationships. I take to heart feedback I receive from community leaders and tenants. A fear of failure certainly motivates me in everything I do. I don’t want to be a failure to my community or to the people that put their trust in me to do the right thing. I continue to keep the quote, “There is nothing more vulnerable than entrenched success”, from the successful George Romney as a constant reminder that my success is a motivator to continue what I started 45 years ago.
Lastly, I am thankful that Ms. Alcorn’s perception of me changed from being compared to a “Gordon Gekko” type before she met me to a “Walt Disney” type after the interview. Wow! Can’t think of a better icon to be compared to!