EduCounting

Episode 91: Part 1 – Glenn Schischa, Cable Television and Mickey Mouse

Becoming an international businessman with Glenn Schischa

SHOW NOTES

Glenn Schischa has been a Managing Director in over 12 different countries and is the definition of a successful businessman. He joins us today, to talk about how he started working on such an international scale, and what he’s learned over his life…

 

Glenn Schischa has an impressive job history.

 

He’s worked for the likes of Disney, has been Managing Director in over 12 different countries, and has worked all over the world spanning more than 50 different countries.

 

Today, he joins us to discuss how he got to where he is, the hurdles he had to overcome, and some important lessons he learned on the way…

 

“You want your money, you want what’s fair.” – Glenn Schischa

 

“The first thing you did was to build relationships because relationships help you to empathise, and they also help you to leverage.” – Glenn Schischa

 
Time Stamps:

02:00 – What facing a family tragedy as a child taught Glenn.

06:46 – The type of jobs Glenn had coming out of college.

10:01 – How you can be an entrepreneur while working for a big organisation.

13:03 – What it’s like working in Disney headquarters.

16:45 – What a ‘production audit’ is and how licensing agreements work.

22:16 – The extent of Disney’s power.

24:20 – The importance of building relationships when working in cable.

27:30 – How Glenn pivoted from working in finance to marketing and entrepreneurship.

30:59 – How Glenn started working internationally around the world.

 

Connect with Glenn Schischa:

Glenn Schischa

 

Connect with Ben Jones:

 

TRANSCRIPT

BEN: Hi, welcome back to Money With Mak And G. I’m Ben Jones, we’ve got a special guest today. He was actually the managing director in over 12 different countries, which is interesting for me because of my overall voyaging around the world. But He’s also worked in over 50 countries, which is really exciting. He’s been successful on many fronts. And we’d like to explore just a little bit more about that path, which is a little winding and how he got to where he got to. Go ahead and join us today for some additional time with Glenn Shisha. What’s happening Glenn?

GLENN: Doing great.

BEN: How’s your day been?

GLENN: Day’s been awesome. Glad that we get a chance to spend time together. Exactly. Yeah, it’s always awesome. It’s Always Sunny in Florida.

BEN: And what do you call it, it’s always good to get some vitamin D, especially back in Indianapolis, but we got some pretty good weather back there as well.

GLENN: You guys can keep it. Love you guys but you guys can keep it.

BEN: 70 degrees. And now you’re going to be 80 in just about a week, which is pretty exciting. But really glad to have you. You know, we’re doing this on location with you. So, the overall video is going to be a little bit less than what we normally see. But I think you’ve just got some amazing stories and want to go ahead and dive now. 

GLENN: My pleasure. You know, you provide the wine you got the time.

BEN: Oo baby. But, you know, we usually start a little bit back, you know, you come from the East Coast. You had an entire new york IBM town set up. Yeah, interesting setup from you know, when you were born and raised there. And I know you had a pretty early tragedy early on, which seems to be one of the things that you know, touched your life and made you who you are.

GLENN: Definitely tragedy affects you. And you have to decide whether it’s going to define you. Lost my dad and my brother in a plane crash. They went skiing up in Maine when I was about 10 or 11 years old. And I was supposed to actually be on the plane, but the plane was overweight. So they left me behind. And it crashed on the way back. So kind of weird stuff.

BEN: I know how there’s like pivotal times in your life changes and I know that a number of the podcasts that we’ve just recently done. It’s been some interesting twists that have happened. 

GLENN: Well you grow up fast and my mom took it a little hard. So, you know, I ended up having a few more responsibilities in the family, you know, and which is to be expected. It was tough for her and, you know, you’re young and so you end up being resilient and you know, you find a way.

BEN: Do you think that helped you as you kind of went further along? Like being able to get over, you know, tremendous adversity or?

GLENN: What’s interesting is, I think it taught me a very early age way of service. Because in our family for survival, I was taking care in helping my sister, whether it’s making the meals, you know, making sure she did the homework and all that good stuff. And then of course, my mom, because my mom kind of locked herself in a room for like, ever. When you have something like that, and your kids get to be that age, and everybody who’s listening on the call has had some experience where their kids get to be at an age that’s equal to a milestone that you had in your life. And then it’s a major reflection moment, because you kind of say, oh, God when I was that age, you know.

BEN: Coming from that perspective, and you know, we haven’t told everybody, but we did do the podcast with your daughter. So she’s 13 Now, but you have twin daughters. And I’ve got twin boy girls. And it was funny, because remember, we also had Cheryl that had twins as well. So like, four of us that were over in Europe.

GLENN: Yeah, we’re all drinking the same water.

BEN: Because three of the four that are over there all I have twins. And so they’re getting to the point where they just surpass the point at which, you know, you’re trying to get through this as a very young boy and lead you to a life of service.

GLENN: Maybe about because most of the work I do and where I always derive pleasure was helping others, you know, going into markets that have seeing success, helping them to get, you know, some glimmers of success, build some hope and get them to believe that they can succeed and then watching and supporting them as they got the success. And I was always like, okay, where did that come from? You know, it wasn’t this Mother Teresa thing. I think it all came from the fact that at a very early age, I just identified this role of helping and supporting others and it continued. Carry on. 

BEN: It’s a little bit of a void right? There was a void when that happened and you had to fill in things.

GLENN: I had to fill it. Yeah, we had to eat you know, homework needed to be done, we needed to go to school so yeah.

BEN: Because you can be a tough businessman. But the thing that I’ve always seen about you is that sometimes you know, people misread that they’re you’re trying to help them and to push them and I’ve seen people succeed, because of the fact that you’ve given them opportunities along the way, because we work together and known each other for how long has it been?

GLENN: 20-25 years. We’re still talking.

BEN: For the first time, I’d loved it. I tell all my friends. It’s like, you know, they asked, hey, how did you guys meet? I go, well, the first time I met him, he was a complete jerk for two months. And after that he was like, hey!

GLENN: You know, I was the same guy. You guys just figured out that I was busting your chops to that, to help you.

BEN: So you’re young, you’re trying to get through all of this, you’re filling this void, figure out that it’s a life of service that you have worked through. But you get to a point where you’re going to college, and you’re going to college?

GLENN: North Carolina, Chapel Hill, go heels.

BEN: I’m letting you actually say that. Yeah. And so you go there. You go to North Carolina, you graduate and then what you get out of school, and I think you had some pretty interesting jobs right after getting highschool, right?

GLENN: Yeah, it’s been some really great adventure. So I started out for about a year and a half working for a holding company that would had a lot of money. And it was very, very interesting because they were looking to consolidate some fragmented industries so we were going out and buying brands and basically buying them for their customer base. And looking to close down the plants to find efficiency and profitability on these 100 year old businesses and stuff. Which quite honestly, was really super heavy for like a 20 some odd year old. You’re going in your meeting, this plant manager has been working there for like 25 years, but you know, your organization is wanting to close it down. And you’re going into a survey where all this production could be moved. That was heavy. I looked at it, you know, I don’t want to do that for a living, you know.

BEN: Did you know what to do when you got out of school? Like, you got that job but were you thinking, oh, I want to do that, I want to consolidate businesses.

GLENN: That was really interesting. Well, it was really interesting, because I had this entrepreneurial experience that I had a sports memorabilia business, you know, baseball cards, all that sort of stuff, which is all cool. And that time it was gone again, everything in between kind of really sucked. But, you know, I made quite a bit of money on that, and put myself through college, which was fantastic. Had a lot in the bank, a nice car, you know, from all that night. Our family was kind of humble. I had a few people working with me, and we’d set up at the shows, you know, and do pretty well. So that was kind of neat. But I knew, you know, towards the end of college, you could just see the curve of that industry. And everyone thought, oh, I was going to open up a card shop and do this and do that. And I was like, no, no, I just see the trend lines on this thing. And thinker. So I like to look at things at about that 30,000 feet and kind of see where everything’s playing but I think with my strength that I can also get into the trenches. I can kind of wear those dual hats at the same time and keep juggling both of them and so that was it. And you know, I knew that industry was going to be very short-lived. It was just showing signs and so I decided and I basically blew out everything I owned just about as much as I could and moved on. Sold, sold, sold and sure enough, about a year and a half at all crashed after that.

BEN: But you’re really an entrepreneur at heart. Because every time I’ve seen you, you’d go and you have a corporate job, but you’ve been like, totally separated from corporate and you’re doing your own thing and you’re kind of Rambo.

GLENN: A lot of people started to interrupt, but a lot of people think entrepreneurs have their own business and stuff like that. And I love that. And I’ll be honest, I prefer that environment. It’s much more rewarding and more control. But you can be an entrepreneur within an organization, within a business. And a lot of people don’t realize that just because you’re working for a big corporation doesn’t mean you can’t have creativity, freedom, feel and have ownership because that’s what a company wants. Every company would dream to have employees that have ownership of what they’re working on and what they do.

BEN: And I think that’s a beautiful point, because you get the opportunity to kind of test your chops and to build them, because you’re using other people’s money.  

GLENN: Yeah, make mistakes on other people’s money. That’s beautiful.

 

BEN: But I can remember the same thing is that if you’re a person that likes to actually get things done, you’re creative in the way that you look at things, that you bring up new ideas. Normally, most companies 100% love that. They’re just like, because they’re trying to grow. And they can’t always grow by just expanding what they currently have. They got to come up with new ideas. And that’s the one thing I always appreciated about you. You looked at everything so differently from a strategic perspective, that was just so different than others.

GLENN: And I think, in my career, I’ve been really fortunate whether it’s been a Disney or Tupperware or wherever else is that there are a lot of people in the organizations that tried to play it safe, keep it secure, they didn’t want to lose a job, and I was exceptionally rewarded for taking risk within an organization. And that’s credit to the leadership. Because the leadership in the organization saw that, rewarded it and not only rewarded it, they fueled it, then embraced it, encouraged you. And that’s where you saw at those times that those were occurring in those organizations. They were getting great success because of that. And it wasn’t just me, it’s just numerous now and as long as those people were rewarded to take risks, to try new things, to think out of the box, and to give things to try and either succeed or fail and not get punished for failure but get rewarded for learning and doing something better the next time. Yeah, that was a lot of fun.

BEN: Because I remember when we were in Europe, I mean, I like to see the same people because they just brought up your level of creativity and everything. You were one of them. I always loved Guillermo, come on, you know, in Spain, and then he had other people in different directions.

GLENN: He’s living a tough life right now. Even the Canary Islands. Yeah.

BEN: But he’s had a great time. But from your perspective, though, can you tell us a little bit more about Disney? Everybody’s always fascinated with Disney. And I think you’ve got some very good insights. You’re living down here in Orlando and you’ve been able to be exposed to Disney for years. And then you had this job coming out, it was after your MBA, right?

GLENN: No, before my MBA, actually. So after I finished up with this heavy stuff, and I decided I just want to change who actually went up, drove out to the West Coast and was fortunate enough to get a job with Disney in their headquarters.

BEN: So you got this other job after undergrad?

GLENN: Undergrad. Did that for about a year or so. And there were some funky things that were going on there. And, again, strategically, I just thought, you know, I didn’t like the direction they were going. I don’t think they were in my opinion, that organization was making decisions for the long term as compared to values in your life. Exactly.

BEN: So you’re out for a year and a half. And then you said, hey, I want to try something else. And this is one of the things of stress, because you’re not going to die by going out to California, right? And you took this risk. People see it as a risk. And what we’re trying to encourage people is hey…

GLENN: And everybody in their 20s, you can do those over and over and you can do those and screw up five times. Yeah, and still get on the right track and race forward and have a great life. Absolutely. You know, it’s the ones that are too afraid to do that. Which is a shame because they just could have. I packed up my Toyota Camry. And why a Toyota Camry because that car I told you I had, which I was so proud of the Pontiac Firebird that I bought brand new with the spark good. That darn thing didn’t work one single day. It was winking at me because one of the lights was up and one of the lights was always down. They could never fix that. So my next car I said, I don’t care how it looks or what it does. I had what I thought was the cool one and I went to school. I just wanted to be reliable and to run and so hence Toyota Camry. Those were the old days that you know, you had your books on tape. Yes. Original audible. You stuck your cassettes in there. Listen all the way out. And yes, no matter which book you actually listened to on the way. They had to be mysteries. Because when you’re driving, the suspense keeps you awake. I had to drive through all night. It was like a two or three day drive. So I would go I don’t know, 15-20 hours and then when I was ready to crash whatever motel was nearby, you know. You pulled in, you’re worried a little bit because your car’s like completely packed. You can’t see through the back window.

BEN: I have an interesting story. When I sold my motorcycle and I had like 25 grand. I kind of put it down my pants so nobody would steal it. Nobody would see that. But we won’t get into that. I digress back there. So you’re going to California?

GLENN: I drove all the way all the way out until I hit the beach. Yeah. I found this little place and found a room with a bunch of roommates in Manhattan Beach and was there and then about two weeks later, I ended up with a job over at Disney up in Burbank at the headquarter.

BEN: And so what were you doing, were you drawing, animating stuff?

GLENN: Business background, strong finance, accounting. So I started to audit with them. Right. And so we did anything from compliance audits with the Disney Channel to production audits, things like that. So started out with that and I ended up before I left running the Dallas and Los Angeles audit group. So it kept me busy.

BEN: But the interesting part though is what is compliance audit. I know everybody, what is a compliance audit and what is a production audit?

GLENN: Yeah, well, production audit, you know, you’ve got a TV show or a movie and it’s got a budget and they’ve got a budget and they’re looking at where the money spent and you know, and reviewing it all to make sure they’re hitting budget and then seeing you know, which is really true and air conditioned dog house for his poodle on Sat and having a guide say wow, I’m not quite sure that was really in the budget and maybe shouldn’t be paid for by you know. So that was that and noncompliance audit, we had a lot of contracts, whether it was licensing for wherever you saw the Disney logo, but mainly what we spent most of our time mom was cable. The Disney Channel was a pay service at that time.

BEN: So licensing, though, for people that don’t know is you give someone the right to sell like Mickey Mouse, or Donald Duck or whatever.

GLENN: To put Disney image on a t- shirt or whatever else, and they have to pay, let’s say 10 or 11%. And all the companies have licenses, all the characters and stuff have licensing agreements. And then of course, they have minimum volumes as well, because he’s not just going to let me you know, sell five t-shirts and pay them.

BEN: It has to be big enough. So like 100,000, so they know they’re going to get paid. And so you’re doing this and the compliance audits, you know, when Disney was paid for as a separate channel, which, you know, for people listening, it could be Disney plus, right? Now, it’s a little bit different back then.

GLENN: Because back then it was like HBO and everything was a separate channel, it was not a part of your basic service and some people had to sign up and pay $995.

BEN: And so the cable operators who dispersed the channels, to the households in their area, they would charge for the Disney Channel, and then they would actually pay money back to Disney on an honor system. Yeah, that is where the problem comes in.

GLENN: And so in order to keep people honest, you go around, and you know, do some friendly audits just to keep checking to help keep people out. It’s very similar to an industry right now is, well, pre-COVID was the movie theaters, because the movie theaters pay a percentage of revenue. That’s how they work with the studios.  So they pay a percentage.

BEN: I knew that they paid a percentage, but I didn’t know it was kind of on the honor system.

GLENN: So they pay it well, it has to be paid some percentage of your revenue. They may submit a billing system, but who says it’s the right billing system or your billing system. So then you have to have your people come and meet and number one, you have to check the billing system, but because there may be two or three billing systems, you have to talk with them. You have to go through their promotional material to see what’s really happening there and to make sure everything’s being captured, right.

BEN: I love the story when you said hey, you know sometimes they offer like hey, really Showtime and the Disney Channel, right?

GLENN: But well, let’s do the good one. Because I mean, I’ve actually seen that and I can say it because I don’t work for them. At the time Disney, Showtime, HBO, Playboy channel, we’re all a part of you know, the the paid services. And they had this promotion that for $9.99, choose your ears. And it was a print ad that showed the Playboy channel. You know, the bunny years Playboy Channel and Disney Channel. Oh, no. And they let them choose their ears or you could have both yours. Naughty or nice for like $12.99 and that first off, there was a ruin Disney that maybe we should not be showing up in this and I get it, you know?

BEN: Well, we dealt with their couple of channels and they are really strict on some of their stuff.

GLENN: Yeah, it’s like, okay, there’s some probably get out of it too. But you know, in that age, when Disney was licensing everything, I think there was even Mickey and Minnie toilet paper. Now, just think, did Walt really want that toilet paper to be used? Yeah. So I’m doing a compliance audit, doing all that sort of stuff, which is fine.

BEN: I guess my point with that is you had two channels that you could pick like two channels for $12.99 or whatever a month. And they would allocate a lesser amount to Disney instead of like, right down the middle. So because they owe Disney higher licensing fees or higher fees for their content. And so you would audit that and that would be like, oh, you can’t do that.

GLENN: Yeah. So if each one was $10, maybe Playboy, they had to pay $1 too. And Disney, they would have to pay 50%. Okay, but when they sold these two combined for $12 they would run Playboy at $10. So they paid $1 there and then they’d run Disney $2. And we’d have to go back and see, maybe it’s like $6 each and then let’s work off of that number. And you know when you get hundreds of 1000s of subscribers that number is big. And sometimes it was just in a sentence, sometimes it was smart. Did you ever have to turn it off? Yeah, we always joked about that. And so you know, cuz sometimes, you know the cable operator would start to not be very happy. You know that he owes us like $200,000 or $300,000. We’re Disney so we can’t really get too hard or too tough with threatening. You don’t want to behave like that. But at the same time you want your money, you want what’s fair, you know, because that’s what the world is always about, what’s fair, you know? And there’s a couple of stories where you know, you’re talking to these cable operators, and you have to realize one thing, Disney is tremendously powerful, because it’s not just a service for your kid. It is your child’s babysitter. Yes, it is. We fell into that. So if you had cut HBO or Playboy, like we were talking about, it’s okay. And they find a way to get that would get whatever they want and maybe you cut Disney within, you know, if the Disney signal goes off within about five minutes, your phones are just inundated with calls saying what the hell’s going on. So yeah, you just sit there and sometimes if it was getting really bad, you just say okay, listen, you owe me so much. I got my hand on the button. I’m going to have to cut your service if we don’t see your checks yet. You know, by this time, I’m going to have to cut your service and then you start calling them and say, okay, I’m looking at the button right now. He’s like, no, no, don’t press it.

BEN: Second, we just sold at our home because a lot of people don’t. I know the mothers and fathers here listening, they’re going to completely understand. Yeah, no, you cut it and you had cable and see it. But now you know.

GLENN: And of course, they blame it on us. You cut it. The guy like sends your wire in 10 minutes is in a call center. Oh, we don’t know what’s wrong with this. Exactly. 

BEN: You had really good experiences. You found tight ways to, you know, to market and advertise, you found out a very setup way that they do things like you learned a whole bunch of constructs or frameworks on how to do things.

GLENN: Well, it was really interesting, because I spent a lot of time with cable. At that time, cable was a very fragmented industry. So more creative entrepreneurial mom and pops everywhere, in every little town having their own cable business, and you go out and meet them. And you know, the first thing you did when you went was to really build relationships, because relationships help you to empathize, it also helps you to leverage. So you build relationships, and you hear all their stories. And every single one had these great stories about living their dreams, and it was really awesome. But also, you saw this industry, and it was completely fragmented. And you saw people like John Malone, who ran and you guys can Google, phenomenal guy. He ran Cablevision systems, I believe, are Cablevision industries, whatever it’s called. And that’s part of what he did. His vision for cable was that it was going to be like cars and everything else are going to be like three, four or five massive operators for that role. And so there became this while we were there, you know, it became this huge, dramatic move from him to buy up, and everyone scrambling to buy up all these little operators, right. And in the consolidation, it’s a huge market.

BEN: Individually, let’s say you have 50 of them. Individually, they’re worth a million dollars a pop, that’s $50 million. But if you can consolidate meaning you can acquire all of them, and then have a whole bunch of leverage and your power that hey, I own half of the state of California for Comcast, that turns from $50 million to maybe say, what $400 million.

GLENN: Because what ends up happening is if you’ve got 50 little cable networks, in every city, you have 50 accountants, you have 50 lines people, you have 50 marketing people, you have people going through the consolidation, you get tremendous efficiency, which all goes to the bottom line. When it goes to the bottom line, the value of your company, which is a multiple of your bottom line, goes up tremendously. And that’s how a lot of these companies through consolidation can create value.

BEN: Absolutely. So you learned a ton.

GLENN: It’s really interesting, really fascinating. There was a lot of opportunity for creativity there. So we used to go on to the lot for lunch, but we were also because I don’t know as a funny agreement, we could go on at a Warner Brothers a lot and eat lunch there. And I’ll never forget me and my friends going over to Warner a lot. Eating lunch there and like three tables down is Michelle Pfeiffer in her cat outfit from Batman. Let’s all take a moment of breather here. Yeah, 23 year old and I was not good with the ladies. That was quite a moment for me. So that was a really fabulous and cool experience, really great experience. And as I was trying to figure out, you know, next steps I was being groomed in that channel. And quite honestly, I wanted a bit more of an entrepreneurial opportunity. I love sales, marketing people. And I wanted to start moving out of finance and accounting. And so I was trying to figure out how to do that. One of the best ways to do that is to hit a reset, and you can hit a reset by going and reinventing yourself with graduate school. So I decided I wanted to go get my MBA. And while it was interesting is Disney got me into the executive program at UCLA, and they were actually paid for and I was there signed up. But there were two problems there. First off, was that I would have to sign an agreement for I think about three years that it was a three year program. And then I wasn’t allowed to leave Disney for three years. So that was about a six year commitment. And so many things in life, a little bit of commitment issues, that was quite a long time for a 22 year old. I am a 23 year old, you know. So that was issue number one. Issue number two, was that I was in this finance audit, all it would do within this organization would probably put me in deeper and would be really hard to make a pivot over into a sales marketing, leadership role. So that was kind of a free ride. And that was really hard to turn out. So I went back to Carolina, because you know, I’m Carolina blue. It worked for me as an undergrad, I loved it, there was a great environment, I knew a lot of the teachers, I admired the place. And I thought, okay, that system worked for me. Why take a chance at some other place? You know, I did have another choice that I wanted to go, but I didn’t do it. They didn’t believe how serious I was because I didn’t do a site visit. My little lesson for everybody is when you go to an MBA, you got to show up for a day and do a site visit and show you’re serious, because I really wanted to go to UVA in Charlottesville and get in shape because that was the only place I got dinged.

BEN: But the interesting part is nowadays, you know, a lot of this MBA and, you know, subsequent college, you know, it’s a little bit of a question a little bit up in the air, and people need to really look at it. But if you’re thinking about going back to your MBA, yeah, definitely.

GLENN: It’s an investment and it’s something to consider and of course, Carolina was one of the more inexpensive so I didn’t get out with a lot of debt that was highly influential. When you start looking at things like a few of the others Northwestern and stuff you know, you start out with a higher salary, but boy, you really bogged down with that. And that was important. I mean, part of my DNA is I don’t like to owe anybody, you know, I wasn’t a saver. So I went to Carolina. I always dreamed about doing something internationally, it was just always a fascinating dream of mine, And Carolina had an international prop program. I dove in at the very beginning and to get into marketing, entrepreneurship and international. That’s where I focus.

BEN: I think it’s crazy just because I’ve known you and I’ve only known you from an international perspective and crossing like lines with you, in Orlando, and Germany, and UK and all these other places and then to hear you say I wanted to go international, made me laugh.

GLENN: That was my dream. The thing is, I mean, because everybody knows my history now. I didn’t get on a damn plane until I was like 19 years old.

BEN: I was older than that. I was 25.

GLENN: I was 19 years old, my friend had a second house in St. Croix, which was bigger than my first house. And of course, it was pan-am at the time, because pan-am was still in business. I got to the airport and I’m expecting this jet because I’ve made it in my mind. It’s my first flight. I know the history of our family with planes. And I’m thinking about this big jet and this thing’s like a 16 little puddle hopper and I’m just like going oh god, oh god, can I get on this thing? So I went to the bar, had two or three screwdrivers and said, okay, if it happens, it happens. I’m getting on this thing now. So you figure out how to overcome your fears. Sometimes you need a little help in mind which is clear enough. So I never really been on planes and stuff, but I just always had this dream of seeing the world and I wanted an opportunity to do that.

BEN: So where did you start? Because you go back to your MBA from…

GLENN: Got my MBA. I did a long summer internship in Thailand, which was fantastic. He says about two three months in Thailand.

BEN: And that’s a little bit shocking because for a lot of people, you know, Europe is kind of the first step before you go to Asia, Africa or otherwise. Europe is the easiest way to jump. And for me, that’s where I had to go because it was too shocking for me.

GLENN: So I went to Thailand to work on an internship for a kind of investment banking firm. And so we were looking at proposals every single day about casinos in Cambodia on some famous waterfalls there. We were doing the first golf course in the capital of North Vietnam. And our strategy was to find jobs and pair it up with Singaporean money. So, you know, and that was really interesting, very exciting, it was kind of like 24/7 work, you know, you worked until two or three in the morning, two or three hours sleep, you know, you take a shower, take a red bull, and you go right back at it.

BEN: You’re looking at like deal flow, but you’re also doing the accounting finance thing. Yeah, you’re looking at the numbers to make sure that they make sense.

GLENN: But also there wasn’t a lot of experience there on pitch books and stuff. So you’re helping them to build the financials and p&l cells, you know, so you’re going a little deeper than just, you know, reviewing things. So, that was kind of fun and exciting, it gave you that taste and that feeling, you know, when we ever had a day off or two days off, we try and explore somewhere, you know.

BEN: Were you heading up to 10 miles or wherever this place is, where you like hooked on travelin?

GLENN: Oh, yeah. So that was like, Yeah, this was right. I am on, this is what I want to do. I want to experience other cultures. You know, I want to eat other foods, you know, all these international foods. I want to get rid of the bad stomachs from eating the wrong stuff and learn from my mistakes. I should highly tell you Zantac was my friend. Some people take multivitamins in the morning, we all took a huge dose of Zantac. That was the miracle cure. They seriously impacted my world. So I am grateful to them.

BEN: That Disney toilet paper. But it was great, though, because everybody had their fallback as far as what medications you took with them. And I always had mine. I can’t remember what it was. Tony’s always worked.

GLENN: So I came back. totally focused on that. My second year in graduate school, and I was going international period. No doubt about it. You don’t even know this. I had two jobs coming out. One was with the Bulgarian American fund and it was a $25 million fund sponsored by the US government to help in Bulgaria. Yeah, it was kind of like the Peace Corps for MBA. So you it was playing in, I got my international, I got to help people. And what you were doing was you had funds and you were trying to help local companies there convert from a communist mindset and structure of business to capital. So it sounded really cool, really awesome. You you were getting paid like, I think it was like they were giving you housing and like $250 a month for like, two years or something. And you would, I didn’t care about the money. It just sounds really awesome. I was spiked, it was everything I wanted to do, you know, so I was really close to doing that. And the other was American Airlines, because they owned the Saber system at the time. The Saber system is like the first really super kick but remember, the reservation system, they actually spun it off, and they were looking to go to Asia, and like a startup in China, and there was a whole team that I could get involved in to do that. So that was really exciting as well. And so I was kinda fighting between those two at the same time again, you know, it’s this type of service, because my dad had passed away. My grandmother who was about nine years old at the time, I was kind of her guardian. So I was taking care of her and, you know, keeping an eye on her. And I was really struggling between following my dreams and respecting what I promised my grandfather on his deathbed, that I would take care of my grandmother. So I was trying to figure out how I could do that from 10-12 time zones away in Asia, you know, Europe is a puddle jump, but it was something else. So I was struggling with trying to make a decision there. I was very good friends with the people at career placement, I got a call that they had an opening on one of their interviewers for the day and it looks really bad when a school can’t fill up all the slides. So they will tell you about the interview. Well, you know, go ahead and I’m like, you know, I don’t have time for this. But if you give me a buck for a beer, because beers were a buck apiece, I thought for a buck, I could put it on a show for an hour. So yeah, it turned out it was Tupperware direct selling. What the heck do I know about direct selling. It’s a woman’s business and sure I only grew up around women. That was the extent I liked women, but I couldn’t seem to get them to like, this is going to really work. You know, and I didn’t know jackin anything about all that.

BEN: So what made you think this was even interesting at all? Because the very thing there isn’t interesting. So you go there on a fluke.

GLENN: So I show up at the interview room. It’s you know, it’s on campus. Show up in the interview room and I meet this lady Jennifer. I think she’s working out for Reisen now in West Palm Anyway, great lady from Austin. Jennifer. Yeah. Jennifer Marlene, came to interview me on campus. She’s awesome from New Zealand sorry. Because I almost did the same thing, but I did that, but I was thinking of it. So she came in and you know, when you go through all of those interviews, and I actually had my wall of shame, I should tell you because I was in interviews. I had every rejection letter up on the wall, I have a photograph of like, 50 rejection letters up on the wall that I put up on. And my goal was to actually get as many as I could, you know. So you just keep going. And but a lot of them were training recruiters and so you know, it was a cookie cutter approach. And I just couldn’t fit into that with my entrepreneurial sense of my creativity and fitting into those structures. So I met her and we had a great conversation. And I was like, wow, she was pretty cool. And then I get this call that they want me to come down to Orlando to meet with.

BEN: Make sure to come back next week as we finish our discussion in our limited series about successful individuals telling their stories in their own words.

Scroll to Top