In the corner of my mother’s living room, under several plants, there sits a trunk. It is the one her grandfather packed all his belongings in when he boarded a ship and moved to the United States. He eventually settled in Northern Wisconsin and started a small business. The rest of his story, I don’t know much about, but the trunk is a symbol of his journey and desire to start anew.
Tales of immigration fascinate me. What does it take for someone to leave their homeland and completely start over? War? Famine? Love? Hope? I don’t know that I would be able to do it, which makes the journey of others so much more inspiring.
I would like to share Ready, Fire, Aim! An Immigrant’s Tales of Entrepreneurial Terror by Charles Ota Heller with you. It will be released on June 1, 2017, but it is available for pre-order now:
Under the best conditions, being an entrepreneur can be filled with anxiety and trepidation. Throw in some challenging circumstances, and trepidation turns to downright terror. Charles Ota Heller is a Holocaust survivor who arrived in the US as a penniless thirteen-year-old who spoke two words of English. Exhibiting strength, persistence, and determination, he earned an athletic scholarship to college and obtained three degrees in engineering. He became an academic at the cutting edge of new computer technology and was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.
Over the next twenty years as CEO of technology companies and an additional twenty as an investor in, and mentor of, startup companies, Charlie experienced the joys, successes, failures, and terrors of entrepreneurship. When the FBI attempted to shut down his company on a trumped-up charge, memories of World War II and the Gestapo filled him with the terror of uncertainty. He was betrayed by a member of his management team and was deposed from leadership of the company he founded. Then he discovered that his partner in a venture capital fund was dishonest and Charlie had to fight to maintain his own reputation.
Ready, Fire, Aim is the story of his riveting journey, told as a powerful, candid, engrossing adventure that will not only entertain but will leave present and budding entrepreneurs with valuable takeaways.
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