Dal LaMagna offers a pinch of advice

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Who’s Dal LaMagna, you ask? He’s better known as Tweezerman, who began his steep rise to success by hawking tweezers in Long Island beauty salons.

Three points of advice from the guy who launched more than a dozen businesses, sold Tweezerman to Henckels and now is CEO of countertop manufacturer IceStone:

1. Don’t fear failure. “Fear success—because when you succeed, you’re going to be living your dream 24 hours a day. So make sure it’s what you really want.”

2. Empower employees. “I created an employee stock-ownership plan. After Hurricane Sandy flooded every piece of equipment at IceStone, employees took it upon themselves to repair everything in­­stead of replacing it. We saved $4 million.”

3. Let them run with it. He told his people, “Anything you can find that the company doesn’t need, I’ll put that savings toward health care.” Employees gave up their company-issued cellphones. Now their contributions to health insurance range from $40 a month for factory workers to $140 a month for managers, and everyone is covered.

Bonus advice: Let go of your ego.

LaMagna sold tweezers under his own name until he walked into a beauty salon and somebody yelled, “Tweezerman is here!” He immediately changed the company name.

— Adapted from “The Rise of Tweezerman,” interview by Dinah Eng, Fortune.

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