Interview with Lew Turnquist, our Senior Managing Partner from Digital Journal.
25 June 2012 – Lew Turnquist is the Senior Managing Partner at Kirchner Private Capital Group, a North American company patterned after the original model for a merchant bank. The company recently released a book titled “How Do You Know… If You Are an Entrepreneur?”.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Lew, thank you for answering my questions. First, introduce yourself to us.
Lew Turnquist: Cendrine, I am happy to answer your questions and give your readers some insight into our group and our recent publication.
My entrepreneurial journey began over 20 years ago and like most has been a rollercoaster ride. In my role at Kirchner Private Capital Group (a North American company patterned after the original model for a merchant bank), I am able to apply the experience I have gained to help others.
Our approach is unique – our proprietary platform pairs deep domain expertise with process expertise for superior results. Everything we do and how we do it stems from an entrepreneurial culture built from real world experience. We provide M&A Advisory, Diagnostic Assessments for investors, Transition Management Services, Venture Capital Portfolio Management and Lifecycle Partnership services across five domains: Agriculture & Food, Health & Life Sciences, Software & Technology, Cleantech & Energy Efficiency, and Traditional Industry.
CM: “How Do You Know… If You Are an Entrepreneur?” contains a series of insightful one-liners and accompanying illustrations that help readers determine if they might be entrepreneurial. Interesting concept! How did you come up with this idea?
LT: Our group is comprised of successful seasoned entrepreneurs. Knowing what makes an entrepreneur is a hallmark of our company and is one of the reasons we have been successful for more than 25 years. We have more than three centuries of collective experience working both as entrepreneurs and serving other entrepreneurs. We often joke amongst ourselves about our past experiences, and found that our stories resonated across the group, so the idea occurred to us that all entrepreneurs would enjoy sharing the humour in the symptoms of entrepreneurism. And because no entrepreneur has time for anything but point form, we put them in the form of ‘one-liners’
CM: How many people took part in the project?
LT: Most of our team took part in the writing of the book in some way, by either contributing ‘one liners’, or the behind the scenes work that went into the publication. It was really a team effort and we are very proud of the finished product and being able to demonstrate our unique insight into entrepreneurism.
CM: What role has your experience as an entrepreneur played in the writing of the book?
LT: I think my experience as an entrepreneur and in fact everyone of our team members’ experience as an entrepreneur goes into everything we do every day. We’ve all lived it. And lived because of it.
The success of KPCG for 27 years has been to leverage our entrepreneurial experience to help others through their own ventures. I think the reason why entrepreneurs relate to us and find our assistance and insight so valuable is because it is all based on real experiences and lessons learned the hard way.
CM: What is your favourite one liner? And why?
LT: I have many favorites. Two of them are: ‘If you thought about waiting for an opportunity to knock but decided to kick the door open instead.’ If there is one theme that is consistent with every entrepreneurial venture it is that you have to make the opportunity happen, it never just ‘knocks’.
‘If you don’t worry about bed-head because you are only concerned about keyboard face.’ How many of us have fallen asleep while working late night hours at our computer, it is almost a rite of passage for an entrepreneur.
CM: The proceeds from “How Do You Know…” go directly to the Christopher Douglas Hidden Angel Foundation, an organization helping people with cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges. Would you tell us a little more about that?
LT: We are very proud of our corporate citizenship and the Christopher Douglas Hidden Angel Foundation is one of the causes we are excited to support. The Foundation’s focus is on the design, development, and, implementation of Multi Sensory Environments and providing education necessary for fully realizing the potential and benefits of these environments. The Foundation’s aim is to enable productivity, inclusion, independence, and self-determination for persons with the aforementioned challenges. These environments have enriched the lives of over 9,000 individuals to date.
For anyone interested in finding out more they can visit their website www.cdhaf.org
CM: A sequel to your book is in the works: “How Do You Know… If You Are an Entrepreneur? II” This time, you will solicit input from readers, asking them to share their own one-liners. How can people get more information and get in touch with you?
LT: Yes, this started with us, but every entrepreneur’s experience is relatable by the rest of us. Readers can send us their one-liners on the book’s website where they purchase Volume I: www.howdoyouknowifyouareanentrepreneur.com. We also have a unique feature available on the website where entrepreneurs can directly ask our Founder Bud Kirchner a question. Bud has over 40 years of experience as a social and business entrepreneur. He has founded an internationally recognized charitable foundation and has been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year twice and has been an advisor, agent, partner and/or principal to over 300 companies in his career.
CM: Any last words?
LT: We really enjoyed writing this book and really hope that entrepreneurs enjoy it just as much. We think that this is taking a lighthearted look at being an entrepreneur. It really ties into one of the main themes of being an entrepreneur: taking business very seriously but not yourself. If your readers have any additional questions about the book or our group they can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again.
For more information about “How Do You Know… If You Are an Entrepreneur?” visit www.howdoyouknowifyouareanentrepreneur.com.
More information about Kirchner Private Capital Group can be found at www.kirchnergroup.com.