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Zachary Houle

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Marc Sparks: Rugged Individualist…and Caring Communitarian

The phrase “rugged individualist” was once common in America. It referred to a person who made his or her own way in life with little assistance. Taming the wilderness, cultivating rocky soil and settling in inhospitable environments all characterized the rugged individualist. With the end of the frontier and the misery of the Great Depression, rugged individualism fell from favor as a popular expression and celebrated ideal. Yet this concept never escaped the American bloodstream. In modern times, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists still prosper—and create jobs—from the most meager beginnings. A 21st-century example is Marc Sparks. Learn more: http://www.marcsparks.com/

Often called a “serial entrepreneur,” Marc Sparks was born to do business. Like many with boundless energy and restless imaginations, he chafed at the confines and structures of traditional schooling, graduating from high school with a mediocre grade point average. From there, he shot out of the gate and never looked back. Among his creations was a software production firm that—at its peak—sold $200 million worth of computer programs annually. Another of Sparks’ start-ups was an enterprise that held ownership in multiple insurance companies (he developed this business out of his bedroom). At one point this business concern exceeded a billion dollars in value—which plummeted to nearly zero in just three months.

It is his failures to which Sparks credits his successes. Each loss revealed insights which he later used to win. This philosophy rests at the heart of Sparks’ 2014 book, They Can’t Eat You: My Unorthodox Path to Outrageous Success. In the book, he shares “Fifty Sparks,” gleaned from both triumphs and defeats, that readers can apply to their own commercial ventures. Underlying it all is the conviction that a willingness to lose everything is the paradoxical key to phenomenal professional and financial success. Sparks practices this in his own private equity company, Timber Creek Capital, LP. Based in Dallas, Texas, that supports promising start-up firms with financing, infrastructure and marketing expertise. Key components in his criteria are uniqueness of product or service; laser-like focus on the business; and “an outrageous sense of urgency.” Learn more: http://timbercreekcapital.com/

Timber Creek is one of Sparks’ winners, profiting from thriving partner companies in real estate, media, technology and health care. Still, Marc Sparks does not make money to simply hoard or spend it. A generous philanthropist, he directs large donations to causes like Habitat for Humanity, homeless shelters, magnet schools for at-risk youth and pet adoption programs. Is Marc Sparks a rugged individualist? Yes, he did get far on his own instincts, guts and savvy. At the same time, his passion is for partnering, mentoring and giving. To indulge this zeal, he needs people as much as people need him. Learn more: http://thebrotalk.com/bro-recommendations/dallas-entrepreneur-marc-sparks-spills-must-visit-list-wineries-dfw/

Comments

Astrid Devon says:

Yes for me as I believe in the possibility of being both a believer in community effort and being in such position that one still have more power. I think that essayhell.org can add to the knowledge pool in this area if more academic talks about this result in a change in ideologies. the main thing I sincerely consider as a factor is the responsibility of saving a world that is almost losing value.

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