In the newly released Iconic Insights podcast and video,
entrepreneur Ron Sturgeon shares his experiences on the road to success
HALTOM CITY, TX, August 17, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Ron Sturgeon’s success might sound like a fairy tale to some, but in reality, it all boiled down to a matter of survival. Now a prosperous multi-millionaire, the Haltom City-area entrepreneur knows all too well what it’s like to be homeless and hungry.
Sturgeon recently spoke about his business experiences with Heather Chastain, host of the Iconic Insights Podcast. Sturgeon brings more than 50 years of entrepreneurial experience to the table, describing himself as a serial entrepreneur. For more than half his life, he’s been opening, operating, buying, and selling businesses, often seeing potential where others saw none. That foresight, coupled with sharp business acumen and a need to pay the bills, eventually earned Sturgeon the right to describe himself as a “successful multi-millionaire.”
“Millionaires think very differently from other people,” Sturgeon said. “They see opportunities, whereas some people see barriers.”
While his rags-to-riches story might seem typical, Sturgeon’s life has been far from mundane. His father died when he was 17, leaving him to fend for himself. He had no money and no place to live. He wasn’t thinking about being a millionaire; he simply had to figure out a way to survive.
“I don’t think I ever sat down and had a plan that I was going to do this,” he said. “I needed to eat, so I had to do something to eat.”
To do that, Sturgeon learned how to work on cars, and opened his first business, an auto repair shop, in Haltom City, 50 years ago Eventually, he realized he could make more money selling used car parts, which led him to start a chain of auto salvage yards that he sold to Ford Motor Company in 1999. Sturgeon shared the humbling story of taking his wife and two young sons to the junkyard on Sunday, perfectly illustrating his resolve.
“We worked long enough to buy groceries for the week,” he said. “After we got that, we went home.” That’s the sort of determination that inspired him to become a thriving commercial real estate investor. He founded the Salon and Spa Galleria chain growing to 23 locations in Tarrant County. He owns a secure, temperature-controlled car storage facility for automobile enthusiasts, and a competitively priced self-storage facility, and over 500 commercial tenants in almost 2 million square feet of office warehouses. In addition to all that, Sturgeon shares his diverse expertise in all aspects of entrepreneurship as a small business consulting and peer benchmarking leader.
Recently, when preparing to open a new small business in Haltom City, Sturgeon faced mountains of red tape as he sought the necessary approvals. That experience prompted him to start the Haltom United Business Alliance, a group that represents small business owners and advocates for reforms to make Haltom City more welcoming for small businesses. And just last year, Sturgeon launched Make Haltom City Thrive Again, an initiative that encourages city council members to take action on revitalizing declining areas.
While Sturgeon didn’t attend college, he believes he would have been a better business person if he had. A voracious reader, he learned much of what he knows from books, and credits much of his success to books.
“I learned everything by just reading,” he said. “My advice to people is to read just one book a month.” Sturgeon has been reading the Wall Street Journal for as long as he can remember, and said it helped beef up his vocabulary and business acumen.
“Just by reading the stories, you learn so much about the terminology and machinations of business,” Sturgeon said. As an inspiration to other entrepreneurs, he recommended reading books on leadership, finance and marketing.
A prolific author himself, Sturgeon has used his experiences to pen myriad books offering tips and suggestions to fledgling entrepreneurs. His published books include “Green Weenies and Due Diligence,” “How to Salvage Millions from Your Small Business,” and “Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities.”
“For the longest time, I’ve written books on business, marketing and leadership,” Sturgeon said. “But I’ve never written a book about how I got here.”
That realization was the motivation for his newest book, scheduled for release in 2024, called “Homeless to a Hundred Million.” In the book, Sturgeon describes the plan he used to build his fortune.
“It’s about that path, what made me different, and how I got there,” Sturgeon said. Referring to it as a “road trip,” Sturgeon concentrated on his mantra of “wealth instead of income.”
“For the longest time, I lived very modestly,” Sturgeon said. “Even today, I live pretty modestly. I would always put the money back in.” And that’s exactly what he did when he started purchasing real estate. His first rental property was a mobile home in Haltom City, after he upgraded from a single wide to a double wide in Skyline Mobile Home Park.
Sturgeon believes the key to building wealth is to stop focusing on income, and to put money back into the business or into other assets. Many business owners think that once they show some growth, they can start enjoying their newfound wealth, or as he says, “eating out of the pie.” Sturgeon explained why that’s not always a good plan.
“I don’t eat out of the pie,” Sturgeon said, citing the example of a real estate investment. “Initially, you don’t make much money. It’s all about making the payment, but in 15 years, the property is paid for by the tenants, and it’s a real ‘aha’ moment.”
According to Sturgeon, marketing is a critical key to entrepreneurial success. He believes it’s important to make yourself stand out in the crowd.
“Most people who used to flourish but are not doing well today have not adapted to the new mediums and the way to attract business,” he said. “They don’t think about their unique selling proposition and how noisy the world is today. You just have to be better than anybody else.”
Not everyone is an entrepreneur, and much of it boils down to taking risks. Sturgeon discussed risk, and the role it plays in becoming a successful entrepreneur, citing the example of using a credit card to make payroll.
“There are a lot of people out there, regardless of how good their product, service, or work ethic is, who are not willing to make their payroll on a credit card,” Sturgeon said. “If they’re not willing to take that kind of risk in the early stages, it’s going to hamper their ability to get ahead.”
Entrepreneurs also need to learn to adapt to change, especially in marketing. Not everyone is comfortable tooting their own horn, but Sturgeon said that is one of the most fundamental aspects of business success.
“You have to get over that hurdle and learn to be uncomfortable,” Sturgeon said. “If you don’t talk about yourself, nobody else is going to talk about you. You’d better learn to be able and willing to talk about your successes. That can be daunting for people who are really shy, or really humble. You do have to learn to think success, talk success, and not be afraid to talk about your own success,” he added.
Click here to listen to the Iconic Insights podcast or view the video. To learn more about Sturgeon’s ventures as an author, motivational speaker, and small business consultant, visit his Mr. Mission Possible website.
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