Submitted by Erica Lemp, Editor,eBizToday@BizLaunch
Each month we chat with a local entrepreneur or small business team to give our readers some insight into their success. This month we’re excited to catch up with BizLaunch alumnus Thomas Dankowski to learn more about his entrepreneurial drive. Tom is a former manager at Kennedy Space Center whose business, Spaceport Aviation– an established flight school offering training to everyone from the novice to the experienced pilot- has been growing since 2008. Tom is a pilot, certified flight instructor, inventor and author and we’re proud to call him one of BizLaunch’s inaugural members. We asked him five questions, and here’s what he had to say.
1. What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
I have a motto: “Do what you love; Love what you do. Don’t chase the money, let the money chase you”. It is exactly this that has caused me to chase my burning passion with aggressiveness. I never dreamed of being a so-called ‘entrepreneur’ and still look in the mirror and wonder how this all happened. It was when I discovered that many other folks had the same passion that I decided to take a risk and create a business out of a burning-passion-hobby.
2. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I have no ‘mentor’ ; yet, there is indeed a common denominator. “Hanging out” with very successful people will ‘rub off’ in such high order-of-magnitude ‘unsuspecting’ POSITIVE ways/methodology. Exceptionally successful business-folks are very ‘positive’ (attitude) biased. Positivity is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?
(1)Monetize your passions. (2)Know your strengths. (3)KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES!
4. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Every time we issue a new pilots license to a new student it generates a euphoric ‘high’. Also purchasing another aircraft is exceptionally gratifying due to all of the reasons/justifications as to ‘why/how’ we got that far and can do such!
5. What motivates you?
When you immerse yourself in your burning-passion the ‘motivation’ is self-perpetuating. 2/3’s of your life will be your ‘career’. “Life” is not a dry-run/dress-rehearsal. DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!