Dr John Teeling Talk

Dr John Teeling Talk

11 The Man

Dr John Teeling holds degrees in economics and business from UCD and is known as a serial entrepreneur having established several companies in the oil gas and resource sectors He is best known as the founder of Cooley Distillery which he started in the late 80s and subsequently sold to Jim Beam for over 70 million in 2011

He is the founder and chairman of several listed companies including Connemara Mining Petrel Resources Minco African Gold Persian Gold West African Diamonds and Botswana He has the set up more listed companies than any other Irishman he prefers London listings over Dublin because it is cheaper to list there

He has had more than one career over his lifetime an academic an explorer and whiskey distiller

12 The Talk

He spoke at length about what it takes to run your own business His theory is that it takes vision resources human financial and technical the ability to handle uncertainty sleepless nights too and the energy determination and persistence to keep going

His view is that there is no shortage of skilled people and in his experience he has never struggled to find the right person to fulfil a role you have to look for them Financial resources predominantly come four sources friends family fools and free money from the state Technological resources can be bought leased or developed in house by employing people with the required skills

He prefers the term uncertainty to risk risk can be measured In dealing with uncertainty you will have a lot of sleepless nights Energy and persistence are key to getting your business off the ground and encouraging others to join you and stay with you in during the tough times He spoke about length about setting up the Cooley Distillery and his absorption with the dream How many times the dream almost ended over eleven years it took for the distillery to make a profit A couple of remark he made struck a chord with me friends and fools continued to invest and the people of Cooley worked like dogs and he credits them with much of the success of the business This got me thinking about how men like John Teeling persist in the face of adversity for over a decade

I have chosen to reflect on the John Teeling talk because it was clear he was a persistent man especially when setting up the distillery Passion appears easy for an entrepreneur its their vision but how do they keep that spark alive and persist with their vision as the company grows and use it to motivate others like investors and employees This is linked to my PDP and future career plans in that as a management consultant the ability to demonstrate persistence in addition to having the ability to understand the entrepreneurial mindset as I suspect that many of my future clients will be entrepreneurs

Mr Teeling made it clear that energy and persistence are key to getting your business off the ground and encouraging others to join you and stay with you during the tough times He spoke about length about the numerous times the dream almost ended over eleven years it took for the distillery to make a profit Wu et al 2007 define entrepreneurial persistence as the ability to maintain the motivation to continue acting under challenging conditions

Many people view the ability to start your own business as an aspiration goal that can yield favourable rewards This decision is full of uncertainties Burke and Miller 1999 and entrepreneurs must be willing to assume personal social and psychological risks Lumpkin and Dess 1996 In addition entrepreneurs need to be persistent when they encounter difficulties and uncertainties Hatch 2000 Holland 2011 says that the decision to start a business is typically but not always made under conditions that are favourable to new venture creation Whilst persistence is a decision that must be made repeatedly over time Persistence can stem from the original commitment to start the business and individuals can feel a sense of obligation to maintain this commit

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