BUSINESS PRINCIPLES FROM THE MIND OF A MOONSHINER
After failing out of college, left-proclaimed lifelong entrepreneur Adam von Gootkin had a major epiphany: “It’s up to us as individuals to design our own futures.”
Living Proof documents von Gootkin and his business partner Pete Kowalczyk’s journey to turn their Connecticut startup into a multimillion-dollar, award-winning spirit distillery. “Every brand we all know and respect at some point was a startup,” von Gootkin notes.
The book’s chapters—each of which close with a drink recipe—cover all types of business lessons, from setting and reaching goals to hiring the right employees to making a social impact.
In Living Proof von Gootkin discusses the value of failure, emphasizing that, “There’s nothing like failure to challenge your growth as an entrepreneur.”
He also stresses the importance of authenticity: “No matter how much capital you have, you still can’t buy authenticity, and you can’t buy a true emotional following from your customers.”
In another key point in the book, von Gootkin, who is committed to inspiring Connecticut entrepreneurs says, “As entrepreneurs, it’s our job to think big. Ideas are the currency we deal in, the lifeblood of our hopes and dreams. Part of the process of becoming a successful entrepreneur is figuring out how to tune into your ideas and instincts and trusting your gut over the (sometimes misplaced) guidance of others.
As von Gootkin notes in his interview with Innovation Destination Hartford, the book is a great read for anyone who’s getting into entrepreneurship and not sure where to start. Living Proof: Onyx Moonshine’s Journey to Revive the American Spirit is available at Amazon.com.
Book reviewed by Innovation Destination Hartford Website Curator Nan Price. Read our interview with Adam von Gootkin, Co-Founder of Onyx Spirits Co.