Big dreams often come with challenges and hurdles that must be navigated and overcome. No matter the obstacle, dreams are at the core of most great ideas. But what if the barrier was a law that would not allow you to pursue your dream? Here are three people who would not let that stop them.Stephan Asseo – Winemaker
Stephan Asseo began making wine in 1982, following his education at L’Ecole Oenologique de Macon, Burgundy, France. Over 15 years, Stephan developed into an artisan winemaker of fastidious craftsmanship, and gained a reputation as a maverick vigneron. However, his true desire was to be more innovative than AOC law would allow. In French regions such as Burgundy and Rhône, laws govern what varietals can be mixed.
In 1996, this led him on a quest for a climate and soil where he could pursue his plans as a winemaker. After searching for over a year among the world’s great wine fields, ranging from South Africa to Lebanon and Argentina to Napa, Stephan found Paso Robles. It is there that Stephan began his adventure and founded L’Aventure Winery. One trip to the tasting room will assure you the dream is a reality, but you will also find the winery highly rated by Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.
Frederick W. Smith – FedEx
Without a question, FedEx has been one of the great entrepreneurial success stories. From the legendary college term paper in which Frederick W. Smith first advanced his idea of an overnight-delivery service to the infamous trip to the Las Vegas casinos, where he won enough hands of blackjack to help meet a payroll, the story of how Smith built FedEx into a $27 billion delivery juggernaut has become a part of corporate Americana.
In 1973, FedEx began service in 25 cities with a fleet of 14 Dassault Falcon aircraft. The planes were relatively small in size because laws limited the size of plane that could transport air cargo. While he was not the only major player involved in pushing for a change in this legislation, Smith had been instrumental in changing the law, spending many hours on Capitol Hill. This deregulation meant Federal Express was free to fly whatever size aircraft it deemed appropriate to transport its packages.
Howard Ruby – Builder
Who would imagine the federal Fair Housing Act passed in April 1968 would have challenged anyone’s business model? But at the time Howard Ruby was gracing the front pages of the LA Times as one of the biggest builders in the country. His sweet spot – – apartments for singles. He understood earlier than most that he needed to sell a lifestyle, not just apartments. He had furnished apartments with huge pools, tennis courts with a pro on-site and sand volleyball. The problem? With the new law, he could no longer market to only singles. The solution? He began marketing to everyone as required but changed the product to appeal to corporations. Today he continues to run Oakwood Temporary Housing, the largest provider of corporate housing globally.
You may not need to move to another country, change legislation or completely reinvent your business model, but all of these successes show that it is worth it to overcome the obstacles and pursue your dream.
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photo by Katrina Snaps. Used by permission.