The Backman file Featured

8:00pm EDT March 26, 2010

Born: Cincinnati

What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?

My first job ever was selling Burpee seeds out of a catalog. I was just a kid. You got a catalog and you went around door to door within your neighborhood and sold people flower seeds, vegetable seeds, all kinds of seeds. For the number of seeds you sold, you got paid — they sent you a little commission. I think it taught me at that age to keep going, don’t stop when people say no to you. I would go to every house because I didn’t know any different. I’d just keep going.

What was the last book you read?

The last book that I read is not a new book. It’s called ‘Beyond Entrepreneurship: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company’ by Jim Collins.

If you weren’t in your current position, what might you be doing?

I might be a professional fishing captain taking people out on charters to catch billfish. I love to fish, saltwater fishing.

What is your definition of success?

My definition of success personally is to be who I am, understand the needs of our people, of our clients and (keep) moving forward on a daily basis.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve received?

The best business advice I’ve ever received, I received from my grandfather. He told me this when I was 16 years old. My nickname is Bax. He said, ‘Bax, as you move along in your journey in life, always try and treat people the way you would want to be treated in any situation at any time. And if you can do that, you will be successful.’ That has always, always stuck with me.