Posts tagged Harvey Mackay
Originally from Rockaway Beach, New York, Steven Schussler is no stranger to PR stunts, and his book, It’s a Jungle in There, encourages anyone with a dream to “learn to become a creative genius, and take your ideas as far as you can to make them come true.” In order to attract investors for his idea of Rainforest Cafe, he transformed his home into the Rainforest Cafe® prototype. After four years of showing the concept to potential investors, Schussler opened the first Rainforest Cafe® at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota in October 1994. He and his public company built and operated 45 Rainforest Cafe® restaurants in seven years, on three continents and sold the chain to Landry’s Restaurants Inc. in 2000. Before selling to Landry’s, Rainforest Cafe® received over 40 awards in 6 years including: Fortune Magazine’s “Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S.A.” (named to the list two consecutive years); Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Hot Concept Award,” and Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top 100 Entreprenuers.”
Steven Schussler says, “What better way to kick-off Thanksgiving than by giving thanks for what you have. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much you can acquire in your life, but how much you can help others. In Chapter 28 of my book, It’s a Jungle in There, I talk about the importance of philanthropy and how entrepreneurs must embrace social responsibility. My motive for creating the Ice Palace on the Fox Plaza is to raise awareness for Smile Network International, and to share the message that anyone can overcome obstacles and get ahead in business if they put their mind to it.”
The Ice Palace, which is also a prototype for Steven Schussler’s concept restaurant called, “Water, Fire & Ice™ The Ultra Polar Lounge™,” will be carved by Minneapolis-based Ice Occasions™ owner, Chris Swarbrick. His team also created sculptures for the Vancouver Olympics, and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. “It will take (100) 300-pound blocks of ice to construct the 15-ton Ice Palace on the Fox Plaza, and upon completion will house an ice bar stocked with Aquadeco Water in beautiful designer bottles, a circular ice couch, a fire and ice table (with real fire), an ice carving of a penguin, and a full size gorilla!,” said Swarbrick.
ajungleintherebook.com/endorsements”>Donald Trump says, “His story is not only compelling, it’s fun, inspiring and full of sound business advice.”
Without a college degree, Schussler became the CEO of a company twice named by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 100 fasted growing companies in America.
Here are some of the questions guiding our discussions:
1. You had some major challenges in the beginnings. Tell us about the process that lead to the success of RainForest Cafes…
2. You have said the importance of researching a new product or service concept is paramount to success. How does an entrepreneur approach the matter of getting market validation for a new concept?
3. So much of doing business is about relationships. Let’s talk about the power of a first impression. I think you have a story to share around this theme.
4. We’re sitting together in late 2010. What is your sense about the current business-startup environment. How can entrepreneurs overcome the tight credit markets and low consumer spending headwinds.