When I first met Sam Prince at a dinner for the banking start-up Good Money, he began talking to me about a book he was writing about his equation for successful entrepreneurship: SoDoTo… More on that in a minute.
I asked Sam if he was a writer.
He looked at me a little bit like I was crazy… His Australian accent paused for a second and it became apparent that he was also across many other things. Some of which include being a medical doctor, entrepreneur, restaurant owner, aid worker and humanitarian… and he even makes some music! Who in the world was this guy? And how could one person accomplish all of these things?
My wife Rachel and I went out with Sam that night and later found out he was actually Young Australian of the Year. Since then, he’s become a great friend and his story is worth sharing.
Let’s start from the beginning…
My friend Sam’s mom was born in Sri Lanka.
After working in the paddy fields by day and studying by candlelight at night, she came home one day to see her father crying… She thought she had failed her test in school, but she had actually received the highest mark in the county.
Shortly thereafter, she was award a full ride scholarship to study economics at Bradford University in Scotland. She lived her life by the following mission:
Expanding your life by the limits of your mind and expanding your mind to the limit of your life.
Following full ride scholarships to complete her honors, masters, and PHD, she had Sam five days after receiving her doctorate.
Following in his mother’s footsteps, Sam took education seriously.
Being a talented kid like his mother, Sam was fast-tracked through school and university and found himself at the age of 21 studying full time to become a medical doctor and working part-time at a Mexican restaurant. There, he recognized inefficiencies in the operation and an opening in the market for a healthy, fresh Mexican restaurant.
He decided to take his $12,000 in savings and start his own Mexican restaurant. Today, there are 210 Zambrero’s across the globe as the company. It’s the fastest growing restaurant group in Australia. More importantly, they’ve donated almost 30MM meals as part of an initiative called Plate 4 Plate – the company’s goal is to donate 1B meals by 2025!
Sam’s business success didn’t stop him from becoming a doctor. In fact, he became one of the most prestigious in the country. His dedication to his patients was second to none. He fights disease with them as if it was his own. Sam’s credibility was so high he started a nationwide mission by the name of ONE Disease to eliminate Crusted Scabies out of Australia. Sure enough, there is no more Crusted Scabies in Northern Australia.
This is the tip of the iceberg of Sam’s aid work. His GIDQ is off the scale.
Sam is only 35 years old and proof of what is possible you put your mind to achieving greatness and settling for nothing less.
Sam believes entrepreneurship is an art that can be taught through mentorship. His last three apprentices have all become self-made millionaires.
Now that he’s achieved most of his original aspirations, Sam’s new dream is to scale entrepreneurship education to make it accessible to all. My friend Alex Banayan always says we as individuals will reach for the highest branch we know is possible… So in his words, the mission should be to illuminate more branches!
Sam is taking inspiration from his medical career – in medicine, the most successful doctors in the field are actually professors. In other words, who better to teach entrepreneurship than entrepreneurs?
As Sam assembles the most visionary and iconic business leaders alongside him to lead his effort, it’s never too early to start the conversation on how to teach entrepreneurship through mentorship. Sam has scaled it down to a simple acronym he learned in medical school: SoDoTo
It stands for…
SoDoTo will be the largest worldwide effort ever assembled to teach entrepreneurship.
As I wrote on Monday, education will be the difference maker in solving some of the biggest challenges our world will face in the coming years.
If you haven’t been able to witness an entrepreneur succeed first hand, maybe it’s time to look for a mentor or even a boss you can watch create.
If you’ve already been privileged to be an onlooker or contributor to somebody else’s journey, maybe it’s time to step out and build a business.
And if you already have, maybe it’s time to find an apprentice or a mentee you can teach.
Sam calls his life a bit of a mess. In his own words,
“I find myself a Scottish born, Australian doctor with Sri Lankan heritage now running a chain of Mexican restaurants and doing aid work in Asia Pacific regions in places like Cambodia”.
If you want to know the way entrepreneurship looks, there you have it. There is no path, except your own.