When AV Connections, Inc's corporate journey began, our founders, North Carolina entrepreneurs Brad and Marjorie Luckhart were in their twenties, in a city not their own, with three young children. They had arrived in North Carolina for Brad's job, with a hotel audio visual firm. And so it went, for a while. The usual struggles of young parenthood and the normal obligations of a job with a corporation.
1984 dawned and it was going to be a much different year than any before it. While they Brad and Margie might have been young, they were intrepid and sharp as whips. Brad was offered the opportunity to by the North Carolina franchise of the firm he worked for at the time. And with Margie's agreement, they approached a bank and eventually a deal was brokered. They were twenty-seven years old.
Big, terrifying gamble for two young guns, for sure, their young family relying on their ability and stick-to-it. Eventually, they stepped outside the hotel audio visual rental provider business and into events, galas, weddings. With each change to remain competitive, the business has had to morph and learn fast. Audio visual is a technology game when it is all said and done, and you have to remain willing and able to learn. If you don't value technology in this industry, you've no hope for the future. And more than being able to utilize technology and feel comfortable with it, the business has to make nimble decisions about acquiring new AV and lighting inventory and jettisoning the has-been equipment. There were always huge national companies breathing down AV Connections, Inc. neck as it grew; success was an even mix of fingers-to-the-bone hard work and unyielding cleverness. Brad and Margie learned never to stay in once place, in any sense with the business, for long.
Mentally, they have always "kept their running shoes on" as so many corporate trainers always like to say. They could be the best examples for success in the Who Moved my Cheese maze of finding one's way in times of change. And while Brad and Marjorie have all the best strategy for making a business work, they are also the argument that perhaps not everyone can do what they've done. We watch them to learn, we are fascinated by what drove the business to multiple branches in Virginia and then South Carolina, with how they have rode out drought and being weeded with work: It's not all business plans, customer service, and accountants. AV Connections, Inc. is North Carolina entrepreneur proof that there is something inside a person which determines how well you can drive your business. There are people built for the work.
Brad and Marjorie live, eat, and breathe the businesses they have built. It is not a subject dropped at the crossing of the threshold of their home. The business is welcome to contribute and challenge the household and to thrive like any other person or thing they have created and nurtured. They think about it, they talk about it, they act for it with the same regularity with which they breathe. It is part of their core.
In that way, we can't all do what they have done. This success is not assigned evenly to all mankind with the you-can-do-anything blessing of the heavens. Not every person is going to work this hard, be this clever, or create an environment of complete immersion.
This is a common definition of "entrepreneur": An individual who, rather than working as an employee, runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture, idea, or good or service offered for sale. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes.
The definition lacks, in the most critical way, the truth about what an entrepreneur is, at least in our experience with the most talented of the league.