If you and Alice Canlis were side by side in a small hatchback driving across North Dakota, would she kick you out or would you become best friends by the time you reached Chicago?
What does this have to do with financial investing? I’ve talked a lot about the qualities of successful businesses. Through interviews and evaluations, I’ve broken down what I believe are the top two qualities: people and inventiveness. As an investor, you need to look at how a business owner obtains these qualities.
Let’s consider Canlis and people –
While you could make the argument Canlis’ value is derived from its high-end cuisine and exceptional wine pairings, Mark distinguishes the real value of a restaurant as: “How your time was…treasured.”
He attributes the exceptional experience to his staff, a group of people whom he believes are trustworthy, generous, and others centered – just like his parents. How does he pick such an amazing staff? Mark said:
My first interview question for anyone is, “How will you become more of who you want to become while you are working for our company.” If they don’t have a good answer, I can’t honestly recommend they work with us.
Canlis’ value is maintained through their personnel. As an investor, it’s important to recognize companies which take the time to hire a valuable staff.
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