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Episode Info

Episode Info:

Stuart Garner is the CEO of Norton Motorcycles in the UK. Prior to acquiring the Norton brands, Garner went from being his family’s “black sheep” to several successful entrepreneurial endeavors. Stuart spoke with Steve Sims on, “The Art of Making Things Happen Podcast” about entrepreneurship, how to get things done, and their shared passion of motorcycles.

  • British entrepreneur Garner turned his passion for motorcycles into his profession.
  • As his company became more and more successful, Garner invested cash in other businesses, building up a nice portfolio of investments in interesting companies.
  • One of his investments was in Spondon Engineering, which makes frames for superbikes and race bikes. A few years after Garner made the investment, Spondon was approached by Olly Curme, who owned Norton, to see if they would be interested in acquiring Norton.
  • The timing of the deal was less than ideal – the world was on the verge of economic collapse. However, Garner knew what he needed to do to get the deal done and was on a plane from England to Minnesota the next day.
  • Garner’s main efforts have been to position Norton in its own desirable, aspirational and exclusive niche.

 

Garner’s main efforts have been to position Norton in its own desirable, aspirational and exclusive niche. This brand now resonates throughout the entire company, from the stately Donington Hall where the bikes are manufactured to the evolving design and engineering of the bikes themselves. Although initially there was external resistance to changing the Norton design, Garner continued to push the brand forward and has seen these attitudes shift. From pheasants to fireworks to motorcycles, Garner has shown that there’s no one path to entrepreneurial success.

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