Lessons from Leopold’s

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Stratton Leopold. He’s such a pillar in the community for many reasons. His family owned business is one of the oldest businesses in Savannah, going strong at 103 years old. Stratton himself is such an advocate for business and film. He’s passionate about doing both well and having some fun at the same time.

During this interview, you’ll see that he’s adopted some tried and true principles about life and business that were handed down by his father and uncles. He’s blessing us by sharing those same principles that you can now apply to your life and business. 

Here are the Six (6) Lessons Stratton Shared:

Lesson 1: Seek Expert Advice

This is the very first thing he talks about in the interview. I could not have placed that better if I tried. He shares information about how a cousin who studies business helped his dad and uncle.

I say this all the time… solo = slow. 

You cannot do it all alone. He underscores this fact in another way in lesson 5 below.


Lesson 2: Work Hard

Stratton mentioned several times that to be successful, you have to work hard. Your work ethic is one of the best tools in your tool box. We hear so much today about how to build passive income and work from the beach. That may work for some who are super tech savvy but for the rest of us, we’re running businesses in the real world. There is no substitute for your work ethic.


Lesson 3: Everything You Try Will Not Work

Boy did this one hit me. I wanted to stand up and yell Amen when said this. I can’t count the things I’ve tried that didn’t work.  We had a great conversation about how you have to keep trying and not get discouraged when something doesn’t work.  Accept it. Learn from it. Move on!


Lesson 4: Find Your Niche

There will always be other companies who have similar products as yours. Similar is not the exact same. 

There will always be businesses like yours who are bigger and more successful than you. Rather than trying to compete with someone who has a bigger budgets than you, focus on serving your niche and your audience with excellence.

Just because you’re not the biggest doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for you.


Lesson 5: Get Involved in Your Community

Start with the groups you have access to. Then begin expanding and reaching out into the bigger community.

You’re going to have to show up to community events. You’re going to have to meet new people and get involved. Relationships and trust are layered. It takes time to build quality relationships. Keep showing up!

‘If you’re separate from it [your community], you’ll always be separate from it.’

Lesson 6: It Takes Awhile

Success in anything takes TIME. It doesn’t always happen quickly. If you want it and you’re dedicated to it, keep after it.

Here’s a prime example of it taking awhile: I speak publicly on a regular basis but I didn’t always have the platform I have now. It took me five (5) years of leading workshops and speaking at conferences and events before I got my big break and invited to speak on the stage with the likes of Google and Forbes. FIVE YEARS!

Be sure and watch the video to hear the whole conversation.

BTW… if you’re looking for new organizations to get involved with and you’re in the Savannah area, definitely check out the Metropolitan Savannah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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