Tuesday, December 11, 2012
The personification of the word entrepreneur, Norm Brodsky ’64 launched eight successful businesses before he began sharing his strategies as the author of the popular “Street Smarts” column in Inc. magazine in 1995. Brodsky, the winner of the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, will return to his alma mater on Wednesday, December 12, for An Evening with Norm and Elaine Brodsky, a conversational presentation in the Sweigart Auditorium, at 6 p.m. Brodsky will appear with his wife, Elaine Brodsky, who has been published in Inc., featured in USA Today and quoted in The New York Times, about women in business.
The “Street Smarts” column, which earned Brodsky a gold Azbee award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors in 2008, is just one way the engaging businessman, who also appears regularly on CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg TV, reaches his audience. Brodsky is also the author of a book, The Knack: How Street Smart Entrepreneurs Learn How to Handle Whatever Comes Up, and has appeared on the covers of five business publications. He speaks internationally on how owners can better their own lives, as well as those of their employees, through business.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Rider in 1964 and a law degree from Brooklyn College three years later, Brodsky began his professional career as an accountant. However, yearning for a quicker pace, he founded Perfect Courier, a messenger service and trucking company in Brooklyn, N.Y. As technology continued its inevitable advance, Brodsky looked to expand into the area of document storage. Starting CitiStorage with the profits he’d earned from Perfect Courier, Brodsky turned the company into one of the largest archival storage and retrieval companies in the United States. The Brodsky husband-and-wife partnership sold CitiStorage and Perfect Courier for $110 million in 2007.
As someone an aspiring entrepreneur might seek to emulate, Brodsky enjoys sharing his expertise on starting and maintaining successful businesses, and spends a great deal of time mentoring prospective business owners. He recalls meeting a couple in a social setting, a man who had recently lost his job and a woman running a computer-supply business from their home’s basement. Brodsky encouraged the two to meet with him, weekly, for free consultations. Since then, the couple’s business has flourished, and Brodsky has provided pro bono consulting services to hundreds of entrepreneurs.