Keith Kantor has applied many of the skills he learned in the Marine Corps to business and added a few more he has learned along the way.
What’s your story?
After graduating college I joined the USMC as an Officer in 1976 and stayed mostly through the reserves for 40 years. During that time they paid for my MBA and eventually my Doctorate in Nutritional Science. During this time I started some successful businesses in the food industry, two of which reached 30 million dollars in sales. In 2015 I left the food industry and used my Doctorate to form NAMED Program(www.namedprogram.com) which helps people addicted to drugs or alcohol.. It was and is very successful. Now I want to use my proven expertise of creating value for public companies.
What excites you most about your industry?
Nutritional Science will be a big part of medical industry of the future. What I was able to do with NAMED Program has helped hundreds of people beat their addictions. I enjoy helping people but what I realized is more than charities, honest, well run businesses help more people than anything else in the world. I want my legacy to be known as someone who helped people all over the world. There is no way to help more people than by helping businesses increase their value. You help the stakeholders, employees and customers. That is what I will do.
What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?
In the Marines I was taught leadership, integrity, loyalty and perseverance from the best trainers in the world. I was taught there is no such award as second place. I continued to use these hard taught values into business and was able to have several successful businesses. These businesses created hundreds of jobs, value for the shareholders and excellent products and services for thousands of customers. Being the best at whatever I do was taught me as being normal but I suppose many would say this is what drives me to push beyond what other people consider normal.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
The most successful skills I have learnt and applied in my journey are leadership and building value. In the Marines I was taught to always lead by example and I carried this into business with me. I always let my people know that I truly cared about them and loyalty was a two way street. The other area I always excelled in was building value. I have the uncanny ability to draw attention to my people, my companies and myself. Media and social media became my special asset and if you look at www.drkeithkantor.com you can see what I mean.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice I ever received is, “always under promise and over deliver”. I think this is true with any business or relationship but is especially true with publicly listed companies. If you do this on a regularly basis your reputation (or your companies) will show it. I think the best example I can give is with my last food company. A normal reorder rate was about 70% but by under promising and over delivering to our customers, we had the highest reorder rate in the entire Southeast.
Who inspires you?
In terms of leadership it was Chesty Puller. He was one of the greatest Marines who ever lived. He always led by example and commanded and gave intense loyalty from and to his people. He also always under promised and over delivered, especially in the Korean War. My family inspires me to want to make the world a better place when I leave it than it was when I entered it. I saw how are my parents worked to make sure I did better than they did and that became ingrained in my genes and grew to encompass the world.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
The biggest concept that I recently learned from the Veblen Directors Program, that blew me away, is that more value is built in public companies through their equity story than through fundamentals. In other words, for micro caps and small companies their value will rise by investors being giving lots of true positive information, more than almost anything else. The great thing is that this is where I always excelled. I just did think of it as building value since the companies were not public. Now I know that showing and teaching similar techniques will have a huge affect on public companies.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I think I would have tried to get involved in the public markets at a much earlier age, since now I understand that is how you can positively affect the lives of the most people .I enjoy helping people and this would of magnified my efforts.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy working out and doing martial arts. Both help me unwind. I also enjoy reading for pleasure and do so everyday. Spending time with the family and now the new grandchild is always enjoyable and a great way to unwind.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?
One big ah ha moment was to learn that in sales if you have real rapport with the customer you almost always sell. So, training and hiring with this in mind always helped me develop an excellent sales force. Another was that if you really showed your people loyalty and that you truly cared about them, you would get it back ten fold.
Everyone in business should read this book:
For anyone with a family, that is also in business, it would be,” Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. For those interested in Economics in the United States it would be ,”The Creature From Jekyll Island” by G. Edward Griffin. For regular business I think, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie is a great one.
Shameless plug for your business or career:
I believe there is huge potential at the intersection of entrepreneurship and building value (equity). Let me show you how it can be done.
How can people connect with you?
My email is Keith@drkeithkantor.com, my cell or text is 1 6783132956. It is the same number for Whatsapp. I also have LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter which you will see below.
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.