Contributed by Maurice Thomas, an EO South Florida member who is one of the Champions of the new EO OneWorld initiative, a membership platform affiliated with EO’s New York chapter which believes that a diverse EO is a stronger EO. EO OneWorld will add value to EO by attracting more EO members from the Black, Hispanic/Latino(a)(x), Asian and LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurial communities. Maurice is also the founder and president of Thomas Services, Inc. a solutions-based, logistics and supply chain service company.
Are entrepreneurs born or made? As I examine my path to entrepreneurship, I suspect it’s a little of both, or at least it is in my case. Here’s the story of how I came to run my own company.
Back in the early 1990s, I was a married father of two very young children working as an investment banker in a small, boutique firm. Our firm’s owner and CEO was a very experienced businessman—a true entrepreneur in every sense of the word. Having previously worked in some of the largest companies in the world and earned an MBA from a prestigious university, I had no idea what I signed up for, but it didn’t take me long to realize that working there was the best professional decision of my life. We were small and very entrepreneurial in our approach. I was required to learn very quickly, and I was given increased responsibilities no sooner than I showed the capacity to handle them.
My first entrepreneurial opportunity
One day in early 1993, I was having lunch with one of our clients, who also was a true entrepreneur. He began to describe his latest business acquisition and—suddenly!— the conversation morphed into a discussion around the opportunity for me to start a business designed to service HIS new business. A few months later, I was the owner of a modest, three-employee operation. And so, my entrepreneurial journey began.