Let’s start with an age old question! Entrepreneurship is a born talent or it is a skill one can learn?
Well, some say, it is an inborn quality that transforms a person to a successful entrepreneur. Others say, it’s a skill set that can be mastered with practice. Though entrepreneurship is an inborn quality, one needs to learn the qualities it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. All in all, an entrepreneur is a person that takes initiative in all the practices concerned with an organization, knows how to use the resources and guides his team in every up and down.
An entrepreneur and a celebrated communicator and public speaker, Christopher B. Munday, started his entrepreneurial journey even before getting to know what entrepreneurship is! His innate entrepreneurship was demonstrated early as a child when he created a door-to-door egg selling business, a car cleaning business, and a bicycle restoration business, rebuilding worn out bikes in an old shed behind their government provided housing.
Chris elaborates, “I would walk around the streets running behind area homes and identify old rusty bikes, then simply knock on doors and ask if anyone minded if I took them away and helped them out. People would come from miles away to purchase bikes or parts from me.” He learned the true value of hard work and responsibility, along with humility and perseverance, in his youth; and these remain his core values and characteristics today.
The Learning Phase
In everyone’s life there comes a phase that makes or breaks a person, and in Chris’s life this phase followed when he started his career working for a regional stationary company. While working there as a sales representative, he quickly won customers and the largest contract his company had ever seen with General Electric.
After this success, he moved into the tissue industry working for such companies as Scott Tissue, Kent Paper, Euro Tissue, Tela AG, and Kimberly Clark. Chris put himself through Open University and received his BA and MBA while pursuing his career. “I couldn’t afford to attend school full-tine but knew that education was the key to opening doors, so by getting up early and working late into the night, I found a way of supporting my growing family and somehow successfully making it through school,” says Chris.
As a benefit of his hard work, Chris was promoted to various positions along the way, including National Account Manager, European Contracts Manager, Business Unit Leader, European Business Unit Leader, European Sales and Marketing Director, European Managing Director, Global President,Chairman and CEO. By 1999, Christopher had been a part of building and selling seven companies that collectively had revenues in excess of $1 billion − one of which was sold, bought, and sold again to one of the largest tissue companies in the world for over $350 million.
The Foundation of 2020Companies
By 2006 Chris left the tissue industry and moved his family permanently to the U.S., assuming the role of Chairman and CEO for a growing security company with an objective to sell the business and find a new equity partner. In May of 2008 Chris completed the sale to a major private equity partner and became an Operating Partner − a position he holds to this day. As part of his role, Chris has served on numerous boards and led several portfolio companies, including becoming Chairman and CEO of 2020 Companies, which today has over 12,000 employees and continues to grow rapidly under his leadership.
2020 identifies the opportunities in every challenge and works side-by-side with key global brands to guarantee success.The company offers the following services:
Sales & Marketing: Product and Service Sales, Field Sales and Marketing, Product Introductions, Side-by-Side Selling, Assisted Selling, Demonstrations and Sampling, Mystery Shopping, Experiential, Mobile and Pop-Up Retail, Special Events and Sales, Market and Competitive Insights.
Merchandising: New Products, Promotional Execution, Point of Sale, Fixtures, Store Resets, Store Audits, Inventory, Seasonal
Training: Product, Sales, Merchandising, Certifications, Promotional, Retail Field Sales, National Retail, Dealer
At 2020, they say, “every problem is an opportunity and every goal as something to surpass.”
Chris a Great Communicator and Public Speaker
Over his career, Chris has been part of the sale of numerous companies and participated in billions of dollars in transactions and today sits on numerous boards in multiple sectors globally. Chris has been referred to as one of “. . . America’s greatest communicators and Public speakers that can hold any audience” as well as a “charismatic, witty leader with unparalleled interpersonal skills that can get to the core of any program quickly and remain unfazed and calm during difficult times”
Today, he remains focused on 2020 Companies, enjoys public speaking engagements, and finds energy from a growing family of 11 grandchildren. Several years ago, Chris was diagnosed with an incurable illness that would slow most people down and change their direction. For Chris, however, this created greater motivation and has helped him focus on the things that matter most. Chris is quick to point out that any success he has had is due to loving parents, incredible mentors and true friends, and a family who creates more joy and happiness than anything else. His desire is to be remembered as someone who cared for others, made a difference, and put others first.
Advice to the Budding Entrepreneurs:
Find your ‘why’ and never lose sight of it and when you fall get up and never give up and when people say you can’t -don’t listen!