Negotiating and deal-making are important skills to have for any entrepreneur looking to grow his business, especially in the early stages. When you look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs, they all seem to have an uncanny knack for getting a deal done. Nobody exemplifies this more than Wayne Huizenga. For those of you who do not know, Wayne Huizenga is the founder of Waste Management Inc., Owner of the Miami Dolphins, former owner of the Florida Panthers and the Florida Marlins, and mastermind behind the growth of Blockbuster.
Wayne came from a modest upbringing and started in the business world with next to nothing. He turned a one truck garbage business into a multi-billion dollar empire with Waste Management Inc. He was able to accomplish this by acquiring local garbage and disposal companies across the country. His ability to work out a deal, scout talent, evaluate business models, and handle people allowed him to successfully build one of the largest waste disposal companies in the world.
He left the company when he decided it had grown too big and the excitement of rapid growth was replaced with the chore of management and maintenance. But Wayne could not stay away from the business world for too long. He started a small company, Huizenga Holdings, and started to buy out many small service businesses in Florida. Operating almost like a venture capitalist, he would buy a controlling interest in the companies and keep the current owner on to manage the day to day operations.
Wayne is probably most famous for his success with Blockbuster. He took the company from a few movie rental stores to a national leader in movie rentals in approximately 7 years. Because of this he was named Financial World Magazine’s “CEO of the Year” five times and Ernst & Young’s “World Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2005.
His story is very inspiring, especially to those of us who have nothing more than an idea and a dream. He turned his dream into a reality, and he did it with hard work and determination. He is proof that when you set your mind to something you can accomplish it. For more detailed information about his life and business successes I would recommend the book, The Making of a Blockbuster, by Gail Degeorge.