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Last Update: Tuesday June 15, 2021

Key Idea: Make More Than Money -- Make Impact

Hattie says that the real riches of success can't always be measured in dollars and cents.

Key Question:


Work on a big idea.

Q: What really motivates Andy?

A: Teaching people about democracy.

Q: Why does Andy love telling the story of Mary Dyer?

A: Because Mary Dyer gave the world the right to religious freedom by sacrificing her own life. It is people like Mary Dyer we must thank for the life we live today. Our tolerance for diversity is unprecedented in the world, beginning with the state of Rhode Island being set aside as the one place in the world where any person can practice any religion without fear of persecution.

Q:  Why must the mission of a company be big?

A: Because starting and running a business is so hard. Nobody does it just for the money. You have to feel you are making a difference in people's lives. You have invented or product or service that people will not only pay for, but whose lives will be made better by it.

The mission is the reason behind the work. This mission is what you have to focus on when you hit obstacles that seem insurmountable. Andy is glad he can show people the city from the Charles River; but, he is motivated and inspired to keep on keeping on because he is teaching people about the greatest government in the history of civilization.

Here at the Small Business School, we've studied many successful small businesses. We always ask the business owners about their motivation for starting and operating the business. No one has ever told us they started their own business because they wanted to make a lot of money and that they operate their business to make as much money as possible. Instead, we hear time and time again that small business owners believe if they have a good plan and execute it well and fairly, the money, well it just comes.

Michael Novak, the theologian-in-residence at the American Enterprise Institute told us that there is a difference between self-interest and greed and that self-interest is good but greed is bad. Bill was not being greedy when he came to Pat with a great idea to expand Mickey Finn's. He was interested in being an owner of Mickey Finn's and making it prosperous enough to support two owners and many more employees. Bill was interested in working in Libertyville and making friends and working to improve the entire historic business district.

What are you interested in? What are you trying to accomplish in your business? If you are motivated to provide a high level of customer service, to produce a quality product, to establish a nurturing environment for your employees, then that's your self-interest. That's what is important to you. That's not greed because greed is gluttony and avarice, the motivation to improve one's own lot without any consideration for others. Self-interest, on the other hand, is our passion, what motivates us, why we start our own businesses and make successes out of them.

Think about it

What's your self-interest? What product or service could you offer that would bring you greater satisfaction? What could you do to improve your entire industry or neighborhood?

Clip from: Boston Duck Tours: The Money is Out There

Boston: Meet Andy Wilson, founder of Boston Duck Tours. A Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year, he turned three passions into a single business – his love of Boston, his respect for early American history, and the Charles River.

First, he wants us all to know the history of this country's early struggles for religious toleration, freedom, equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Learn how such passion moved him to quit his job and raise over $1M to launch this dream -- an 80-minute, historically-narrated tour from an authentic World War II amphibious landing craft.

Take the tour now as we wander the narrow streets of Boston and splash down onto the Charles River for the grande tour Boston.

Go to all the key ideas and video of this episode...
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Boston Duck Tours

Cindy Brown, CEO (Andy Wilson, founder)

3 Copely Place
Suite 310
Boston, MA 02116

Visit our web site:

Office: 6172673825

Business Classification:
Entertainment / education

Year Founded: 1994

Make More Than Money -- Make Impact


HATTIE: Money. It's what we need to get started, it's what we need to keep going, it's what we need to grow, and it's how we keep score in business. Andy had none when he started Duck Tours, and today, he is in deep debt. But he's on the path to wealth. What is that path? How did he find it? His experience working in the finance community taught him that venture capital is available, but you have to know how to attract the right people. Andy did his research, put plans in writing, prepared an offering memorandum, but money didn't fall from heaven. It wasn't until he met Carrie McIndoe at Strategic Capital Resources that he was able to go forward. She was the catalyst. She raised the funds needed, $1 1/4 million. How do you find your catalyst? You become like Indiana Jones in search of the Holy Grail. You become like Andy Wilson, so focused, so enthusiastic, so persistent, you will find the money or you'll change the business plan until you have one that can be funded by outsiders. Venture capitalists don't want little ideas. They want big ideas. Get a big idea, put it in writing, find some people who've already done it to coach you, and be willing to go without for months, maybe even years before you actually see any cash for yourself.

(Voiceover) The tour is full of heart-stopping moments for all of us history buffs, but Andy believes the most important person in American history has been overlooked.

"CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS": Now over here on the left-hand side, you're gonna see a statue of Mary Dyer.

ANDY: Mary Dyer gave the world the right to religious freedom ... Boston was originally settled by the Puritans, and they passed a law that said if you did not practice their puritanical beliefs, the penalty was death . And the worst part was is they came to this country to escape religious persecution. Mary Dyer said, `Hey, you know, you're hypocrites.' And she put them to test. They found her guilty -- her only crime of being a Quaker -- and they hung her on the Boston Common. As a result of that, her husband went back to the King of England and proposed an experiment called the Lively Experiment. The king ... signed a proclamation and made Rhode Island the first place on the face of the earth where people could freely practice their religion.

(Voiceover) That's a hundred years before this country became independent. Mary Dyer, she's my hero. This woman ended her life to give the world the right to religious freedom, which was the first acceptance of diversity in the world, and nobody knows who she is.

Unidentified Child #1: I learned that Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street.

Unidentified Child #2: Well, I learned something.

HATTIE: Oh, tell me, darling, what'd you learn?

Child #2: To drive a boat.

HATTIE: You learned how to drive a boat!

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