Successful business leaders are no strangers to overcoming failure and adversity. Having been in the business trenches, they know exactly what it takes to make a venture thrive.
Not ready to rest on their laurels, many entrepreneurs use their hard-earned knowledge to help others as coaches and philanthropists. They discover that while running a business can be exhilarating, it’s giving back that brings them the most satisfaction.
Entrepreneur Greg Secker is a perfect example. Having made his wealth as a foreign exchange trader for a Fortune 500 company, he grew dissatisfied with his success and turned to teaching. Secker realized his true passion lay in coaching others how to become financially independent, and he set his sights on a brand new opportunity.
“I got bored of working for a bank,” he says, “so I decided to teach people how to understand market trends and investments.”
Secker succeeded as a business coach precisely because he learned from the ground up. His first-hand experience has established him as a top authority in a complex yet lucrative financial space.
Learning by doing
Trained as an animal physiologist, Secker learned technical skills by pure chance, building PCs for his friends to play faster video games. Realizing his talents lay elsewhere, he joined a travel company where he found himself building technology to help tourists exchange and protect their cash on the road.
Secker eventually left the travel business and went on to become one of the youngest Vice Presidents of Mellon Financial Corporation, then a major Fortune 500 investment bank. Along the way, he worked with some of the top traders in the world; listening, learning, and trading smarter and with more accuracy.
Following your calling
Like many other entrepreneurs, Secker decided sharing knowledge was the natural next step to running a business.
Determined to teach people the art of trading, in 2005 he developed the concept of “trader coaching.” Secker built a group of 30 traders who left their jobs to earn a substantially greater living from no other place than Secker’s own living room.
Just three months later, he came up with Learn to Trade, a financial education platform dedicated to helping others understand forex markets and the opportunities and risks that surround them.
“What I realized along the way was that I enjoyed teaching and the comradery that went with it,” he says. “So I started a business leading seminars and teaching people on stage. I put three ads in the paper for £4,500, and that was enough to fill a hall with 400 people.”
The business immediately did well, pulling in over a million dollars in profit in the first year.
No matter the niche, most entrepreneurs possess knowledge in their area of expertise that once successful, they are happy to pass on.
For Secker, this was investing in risk-managed currencies. Realizing that forex is one of the most intimidating investment plays, he built a multi-million dollar training company backed by a software product that allows novices to navigate foreign exchange markets.
Secker says, “Most people are rubbish at trading but as part of Learn to Trade, we put a lot of effort into creating SmartCharts, which is a transformational trading platform centered completely around coaching. We’ve put everything onto that platform. Video tutorials lead you through investment strategies I have spent decades learning. And then, once you’re ready, it’s linked up and ready to trade. It’s the first true hybrid eLearning and trading system of its kind.”
The joy of giving back
For Secker, the experience of giving back has been highly rewarding. “A part of my profits went to the U.K. children’s charity Barnardo’s. I’ve since built schools with Richard Branson and The Maud Chapel Clinic in Asia, which I named after my grandmother. Following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, I even constructed a village to rehouse over 580 people who lost their homes in the storms,” he says.
Secker has achieved a double line. Not only has he created a thriving and profitable business, but that business helps others achieve financial freedom, and he uses business profits philanthropically.
What’s your expertise?
Through your career or life experiences, you likely have developed an expertise in a particular area or function. Is there any opportunity to teach others and launch a business with this unique knowledge? As Greg Seckler demonstrates, if you take the initiative to share your expertise, you may have your next business.