From golf courses in Aberdeen to a licensing deal in the Dominican Republic, our current president Donald Trump is no stranger to owning a business. But what you might not know is that many presidents before Trump have owned businesses as well – everything from multi-million dollar corporations to family peanut farms. Below are five examples of businessmen who later decided to try their hand at being President.
- Jimmy Carter – Possibly the most famous pre-presidential business venture was Jimmy Carter’s peanut farm, a family-owned enterprise that Jimmy took over after his father’s death. Along with his wife, Rosalynn, Carter also managed an additional seed and farm supply business as well.
- Abraham Lincoln – Lincoln may have gone down in history as one of our nation’s finest presidents, but unfortunately the same can’t be said for his business acumen. One little-known fact about Honest Abe is that he actually opened up his own general store in 1833 in Illinois with his business partner William Berry. Sadly, his business partner died, and the shop was bankrupt within one year.
- Warren G. Harding – Harding had a variety of jobs before he rose through the senate to the Presidency: In addition to working as a janitor, a teacher, and dabbling in law, Harding also raised $300 to purchase the dying daily newspaper in his home town of Marion, OH. Harding not only revived that newspaper, but started another successful publication called The Star as well.
- George W. Bush – Talk about “bleeding blue”! Life-long Texan and big-time Texas Rangers baseball fan George W. Bush sunk nearly $600,000 into the team, netting him a 2% share of the franchise. Bush was a managing general partner of the team until he became state governor in 1994. When the Rangers franchise was sold just four years after that, Bush netted almost $15 million dollars in profit from his investment.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt – When Roosevelt was struck with polio on vacation at the age of 39, he found a way to help others suffering from the same condition. In 1926, three years before he became the governor of New York, Roosevelt purchased a resort in Warm Springs, Georgia that he used as a hydrotherapy treatment center for polio patients. It still operates to this day.
While some of the ventures had a wide range of success, each of the mentioned Presidents were willing to take the risk in building and growing a business. If you are looking to try to reduce some risk in your own business ventures, buying a franchise or franchising your business might be worth considering.
So, on this President’s Day, what are you doing to create your own business venture or to grow your current business?