|Penn State grad brings entrepreneurial message home|
State College – Stephen Greer graduated from Penn State in the early 1990s and set out on an entrepreneurial adventure that took him to Southeast Asia, where he set up a successful business that made him a millionaire by the time he was 28 years old.
Greer is now on a six-week book tour, promoting his new work Starting from Scrap, the story of the founding of Hartwell Pacific, a $250 million dollar business that dealt in the scrap metal markets.
“In some ways the book is just a business story,” said Greer. “But for me it’s more a fast-paced, coming-of-age story. It’s about a young person running away from a bad economy in the United States who found a life of adventure and opportunity in Hong Kong.”
Following a two-year stay at a chemical company in Germany, Greer returned home to a nation that was in the midst of a recession.
“No one was hiring on Wall Street, where I intended to work. And Asia was the hot topic. A friend of mine invited me to Hong Kong. He said I could sleep on his couch while I looked for work.”
Instead of a job, Greer found a niche – a huge demand for scrap metal in Asia and a glutted market of scrap metal in the United States. That’s when he founded Hartwell Pacific.
In four years, he went from sleeping on his friend’s couch to being a millionaire.
“That gave me the biggest problem any business person can have,” he said. “Overconfidence.”
His current book tour has included several appearances on Penn State’s University Park campus, and Greer said he was happy to be able to meet with today’s business students.
“I tell them to live life as an adventure,” Greer advised. “They need to have passion for what they’re doing and they will be successful. Hopefully, there will be a monetary reward at some point. I say take advantage of your youth. When you’re young you don’t need to be risk averse. Start when you’re young and foolish.”
Married and the father of three, Greer lives in downtown Hong Kong, though he does spend summers in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, where his parents still reside.
“Business schools do a good job teaching the skills needed to be an entrepreneur,” Greer said. “But they can’t teach the heart it takes. That comes from within the individual.”
Read an Excerpt
|To download the PDF excerpt of STARTING FROM SCRAP |
Best Seller 2010
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