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Venture with Virtue

Sep 14, 2017



  • Serial Entrepreneur – taken one of his company’s public, been involved in private equity for 25 years and worked with leaders as diverse as the president and the pope.
  • Featured in PBS Documentary The Call of the Entrepreneur.
  • Served on the boards for numerous think tanks and nonprofits.
  • Involved in founding 8 new Catholic educational institutions.
  • Founder of the Solidarity Association that guards the Hanna Papyrus, which is the oldest copy of the Gospel of Luke and the Lord’s Prayer in the world.
  • Author of 2 books…What Your Money Means and A Graduate’s Guide to Life


  • Be patient, but be ready. He had the idea for his first business in 1982, but the opportunity for it to happen didn’t present itself until 1989.  He was ready when the opportunity did arise and was able to do business with Cargill the largest private company in the world at the time.
  • Relationships – don’t look at others as a potential way to make money or improve your business. Look at others as a relationship that needs to be fostered because relationships are a key component of our true wealth.
  • Don’t worry about always selling others on your idea. Foster relationships and be enthusiastic about what you are doing.  If someone doesn’t want to invest, then it’s ok.  Maybe that’s not what they are there to do.  That relationship will serve another purpose down the road.
  • How did Frank grow his initial idea into a $1.5 billion portfolio of nonperforming loans?
  • From the beginning he was always thinking about how he could scale the business.
  • Established a beachhead and well positioned as a first mover. When US government gave stamp of approval for banks to sell off these types of loans, the market expanded rapidly and his company was already positioned to take advantage of the opportunity.
  • So why did Frank sell a successful business to a private equity company?
  • Within a few years competition with very deep pockets increased significantly.
  • Better chance of success partnering with a larger company than trying to go it alone.
  • The decision paid off. He was able to take some money off the table and retain 20% ownership to participate in future success.
  • One of the keys to his success was finding larger companies to partner with. e. Cargill and Goldman Sachs
  • Project integrity by practicing it on a daily basis. Developing it as a habit.
  • Only way to improve intellectually, emotionally and physically is to work out. There are ways to work out for each of these areas of our lives.  Most people focus on the physical, but need to work on intellectual and emotional as well.  Building habits of virtue is the best way to accomplish this.
  • Frank’s Tip For You – Best way for a small business to accelerate growth is to find a way to hitch yourself to a larger business. Bill Gates did this in the early days with IBM.  What do the larger business look for in a smaller business before they will partner with you?  Transparency and Integrity.  Listen for more details on how to build credibility with larger businesses.



  • As Christians, hopefully there are a number of pivot points in our life when we intentionally decide to live out our faith. Frank has several, but he shares the one time that had the biggest impact on him to intentionally live his Catholic faith.  Minute 13
  • Typically if he could work hard enough and want something bad enough, he was able to get it…except for this one thing that was totally out of his control.
  • This was a bad thing, but the older he has gotten the more he has realized the many good things and blessings he has received that are out of his control as well.
  • What is Frank’s daily challenge to himself? Every day he asks himself, ‘has everyone I have encountered left me better or worse?’  At the end of every day he does an examination of conscience to see how he did.
  • How does Frank balance a successful business career, his family and his faith?
  • He doesn’t believe balance is the right approach. It is about establishing priorities.
  • What are his priorities? God, wife, children, parents, other family members, work.
  • Once the priorities are set, keeping them in order is the bigger challenge.
  • How does he monitor this? Not with hours and hours of prayer, but with 3 checkpoints throughout the day including daily Mass.  While daily Mass isn’t a requirement for Catholics, prayer is.  If we aren’t taking time to talk to God, then we can’t be putting Him first.


  • Money is a gift from God. We should be deliberate about how we use it.  If not, then we can jeapordize our soul and that of those we love.
  • What is the essence of wealth?
  • Almost everyone wants to be successful. Most people want to be wealthy, but think money is the only measure of wealth.
  • Frank knows several Billionaires personally. What is the one thing that the happy Billionaires have in common?  It’s the same thing that all of the unhappy Billionaires don’t have.  It’s a happy marriage.  While this isn’t THE KEY to happiness, it is an essential part.
  • Who is truly wealthy? Someone filled with well being.  Typically someone that has a good relationship with God and is happily married. 
  • 2 Main Elements of Wealth – Human relationships and hope for the future
  • How can you be wealthier than Warren Buffett? 29 minute mark
  • Keys to being wealthy? Engage in hopeful activity.  What is one of the most hopeful things you can do in this world?  Minute 32
  • We are happiest when we are fully human. What do we need to be fully human?  Full of Virtue.
  • Misconception about Competition – It is not always a good thing. We can become more like an  animal or more like a man, depending on how we choose to compete.


  • Realization that faith is a gift. We have to practice our faith daily.  As Christians Christ warns us that we will be persecuted for our faith.  If we view our faith as a burden or set of rules we must follow, it is going to be difficult to stick with when persecution comes our way.


What Your Money Means and How to Use it Well – Frank Hanna

A Graduate’s Guide to Life – Frank Hanna

Strangers in a Strange Land – Archbishop Charles Chaput

  • Hopeful analysis of the culture we live in