I’m Leonard Hirnikel, better known in the business world as “L J”. I created the Wing on Wing blog to share my story of how I went from a Career Army Senior Non-Commissioned Officer to an Executive Business owner and Entrepreneur.
After a successful 20+ year career in the US Army, I found myself in strange territory. The year was 1994. It seems like ages ago since I left the Army Green uniform behind and adopted a new uniform—a business suite.
The start of my entrepreneurial career was with a newly formed company, Career Network. I was immediately labeled as a Co-Founder of the company. What did I know back then about starting a business? I had what everyone in business needs: a great mentor and partner. My business partner and mentor, Randy, and I created a great business at a time when it was needed. I guess you can say we were at the right place, at the right time. Our business was so successful, that in the second year we consolidated with our sister company.
My business opportunities continued to grow, as did I, in the business sector. Along came Y2k and it was time for change, once again. I was very reluctant at the time, but opportunity knocked. Opportunity is all about identifying or being dragged into new ventures. At the time, our number one customer told us that they were going to change their business practices, explaining how it would affect our business. There was no time to waste; we had to gain new experience, as of yesterday!
That is when NSTAR Global Services, Inc was born. NSTAR was a company dedicated to servicing the Semiconductor Industry. What a ride it turned out to be! We grew our business at an exceptionally high rate and by our sixth year, we found our company on the INC 500 List, a respectful number—163! We maintained a position on the exclusive INC List for the next three years. By the year 2010, we sold the business to an international company.
Once again, opportunity was knocking at my door! Soon after the sale of the business, I found myself moving to Germany and working alongside the large corporate company that purchased our business. My career in the international business world had begun. My role in Germany took me to locations such as Russia, United Kingdom, China and many other countries.
In 2015 I made the decision to change direction, once again. Now, I find myself looking for ways to pass on my business experiences and knowledge to other entrepreneurs. I hope that you will follow along and gain some value from my own entrepreneurial experiences.