Serial entrepreneur, self-employed, strategic consulting skills, organizational, financial and business development background, the Mood Ring man and taking my company public. The world’s best liquid crystal thermometer salesman. (said with tongue in cheek)
The quick superficial summary stated above doesn’t begin to reflect the incredible entrepreneurial life I have been blessed with. I attended the University of Dayton and graduated in 1966 with a BS in Business Management and Economics. During that time frame, I paid for my education by working at Chrysler Corporation. I started on the assembly line and was quickly promoted to the professional staff and attained manager status at the age of 21. I recommended truck mounted air-conditioning before it was available for trucks and supplied management with the safety statistics and engineering approach to make it possible. I prepared a new product business plan and was immediately promoted for my observations and efforts.
Later I moved on to the NCR Special Products Division and met a Division VP who had a momentous impact on my career. Bill Wilson was one of the most influential men I ever met. He taught me how to negotiate and develop incredible new opportunities with a phone call and an engaging attitude. He was a no limits person with the desire to turn every situation into an opportunity. He shook me out of my fearful growing up process perhaps accentuated by my parents and taught me by personal observation how to be a magnetically attractive person and manage your way to success through encouraging and growing the people in your organization and believing in yourself and your gut instincts.
Along the way I met and married my first wife who was the daughter of another incredibly great man who was CEO of a 100 million dollar business back in my home state of Illinois. The company was very successful and growing very quickly and Bill Lisman, my Father-in-Law shared with me his vast library located in his plantation style home. Bill shared his books, I would fill up a box and return them after the next visit home. This is where I was first introduced to my first concept of the infinite power we humans have available to us. I had been raised a catholic and attended catholic schools including the University of Dayton.
When I began reading the works of Charles Haanel, Napoleon Hill and listening to his recordings of Earl Nightingale I was introduced to the theory that our thoughts become real things in our lives. These thoughts become planted like seeds in the rich soil of our sub-conscious and grow into fields of beautiful crops or acres of weeds and chaotic ugly plants. I made up my mind then and there to allow no more negativity to pass through my system because we obviously reap from life exactly what we sow.
I was very favorably influenced by all these great men in my life and quickly began to understand why so many men are standing on the sidelines of life frustrated with their economic condition and struggling with a continuing worsening set of outcomes while others connected to this unlimited source of power expect more from life and attract more and get more.
It was almost like having an unfair advantage over everyone else. People noticed the differences in my attitude, behavior, values and outlook and asked me about my secret and I shared Napoleon Hill’s Laws of Success with them or “Think and grow Rich” or Peter Drucker’s Concentrate for success. I was reading and writing my thoughts and noticing a common thread in all the hundreds of books I read. Each and every one of us is endowed with the power to create however most of us are unaware of our personal powers or appear to be uninterested in unleashing them. I became a personal power junkie by studying constantly, listening to recordings in my car while driving to work and dreaming about the better life I was creating for myself while impressing my sub-conscious with ever increasing powerfully emoting thoughts. It worked!
I was promoted repeatedly, Chrysler, NCR, Koehring Corporation all recognized how I was differentiated from other management people. In 1975 I joined forces with two other young entrepreneurs to start a new company. Within months we were in the middle of one of the fastest rising new fads around, the Mood Ring. We worked round the clock and in seven weeks time had created a million-dollar business out of nothing. My partners were geniuses at technology and figured out how to produce the highest quality liquid crystal mood stones on the market ready for insertion into rings. I knew deep down there was no time to become a ring manufacturer and sell our product direct to the retailers around the world so I went to Providence Rhode Island, the costume jewelry capital of the world and sold the stones directly to the companies that already had the connections with the world’s largest retailing outlets. It worked!
After the mood ring, we grew our company with many new product introductions including a forehead thermometer usable by moms to quickly determine the presence of fever in their infants. The marketing was magnificent showing a picture of a concerned mom using the thermometer strip on her child. The product sold out of the stores around the world without advertising because moms are concerned, infants can’t tell you what’s wrong and the product became so popular that People Magazine did an article featuring a picture of me. It worked and I did become the world’s leading forehead thermometer salesman. (This is humorous and I’m laughing because who really cares and even my children don’t know or care about this but it was great fun while it lasted.) Electronic digital thermometry soon came onto the market and eclipsed the liquid crystal generation which had eclipsed the mercury glass thermometer generation.
The timing was right for many of the products we introduced however I attribute our success not just to luck but to the power to think and grow rich. Concentrated energy and determination become a highly focused laser beam capable of surmounting impossible odds that can accomplish any worthy goal. I’ve seen it first hand and it works!
Sometimes our lives take on a semblance of a Hollywood movie where the rock star comes out of nowhere to attain great fame and fortune only to sink back into the sludge of mediocrity and disappear.
Our company attained great fame and fortune and went public in 1984. With these magnificent accomplishments came a series of life changing occurrences that seem to darken the landscape of our lives. A book or novel could be written about the events following the triumphant capturing of the minds and hearts of the brokers and traders on Wall Street.
I observed the fine people around me including my business partner becoming different and ego involved. I observed drama and intrigue, shifts in loyalties and a significant reduction in the harmonic cooperation that had helped achieve our goals in the past. I also observed a change in attitude where many people were only looking out for themselves. There was suddenly a Board of Directors that were obviously running the show and I felt significantly reduced in my new role. We were not following Andrew Carnegie’s Laws of success as written by Napoleon Hill and we had lost the entrepreneurial spark that had brought us to our success. We had become just like the management teams at Chrysler, NCR and Koehring that I abandoned when we started our new business. We had atrophied and it was time to move on.
I’m not looking for excuses here but I was truly disillusioned with the corporate environment and quickly began attracting more reasons to become more disillusioned. A long list of entrepreneurial experiments including investing in a company located in Southern California along with a devastating stock market crash brought my career to a screeching end. Totally devoid of any remaining financial resources I was forced to literally start over again at the bottom of the ladder.
You can say that I never recovered from that collapse because I am no longer financially well off but I never capitulated to the conditions I found myself in and began to rebuild my life from the inside out. I realized that my early success was unsustainable because I had not matured in developing my character and I was lacking skills and attitudes required for the new digital age developing at a fast pace around me. I joined CompUSA as a marketing manager in business development. I began working with local businesses to upgrade their computer systems and train their personnel in the use of these systems.
I helped a local entrepreneur form a new computer training school in downtown Los Angeles, became involved with the LA Chamber of Commerce, became somewhat an expert in the future of technology, started making presentations about the future of our digital world and suddenly my new career was off and running. My focus during those years in LA became my personal search for why dysfunctionality is so prevalent in families, organizations, governments and between nations.
I continued reading and studying the psychological characteristics of dysfunctionality and determined that it is primarily the condition of low vibrational mental activity concentrating on thoughts of fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, complaining, comparing, criticizing, competing and contentiousness. I realized that our mental activity during the day is primarily an endless parade of neurotic negative thoughts crossing our consciousness and darkening our outlook. I became determined to share the positive message behind the science of consciousness with the world.
I recorded training programs and shared this information with whomever was interested. I became a strategic consultant to survive financially and incorporated the principles underlying harmonic cooperation into my work.
The most staggering perception I had was the amount of dysfunctional behavior I was observing in client companies as I traveled the U.S. delivering consulting projects for the company that employed me. Even worse the consulting company where I worked was staffed by highly dysfunctional staff feeding on and destroying one another. Then I realized that I was the problem. I had become old and cynical, expected to be taken advantage of and life always delivered what I was expecting from it. What had happened to that truly unbelievably optimistic young man I used to be?
I began in earnest a search for my true authentic self. You will find that the search is never completely over but continues, renews and improves daily. These events have all served and strengthened me and I am now a recovering cynic beginning to see the opportunity in everything around me. There is much left to accomplish and I have set out on a new twenty-year journey dedicated to authentic principle centered achievement. Stay tuned, I’m sure the ride will be exciting!
William Hultquist, CEO