Yakima County Development Association - Founder of Cranium offers Tips for Success in Business and Life


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Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner.  It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.



Founder of Cranium offers Tips for Success in Business and Life

March 18, 2011

Richard Tait, founder of Cranium Board Games, provided some 'game changing' tips for success at our recent annual meeting.  Tait captivated the audience with the story of how he came to invent Cranium and he also shared his tips for succeeding in life and business that he learned along the way.  His story is inspirational and encouraging to everyone but especially entrepreneurs, after all, he and his partner sold Cranium to Hasbro for $77 million. Richard offered up eight principles that have helped him grow successful businesses and absorb the challenges of being a successful entrepreneur.




  1. Have a mission. Tait felt strongly that companies should be mission driven. This mission should be shared and understood by every employee in the company.                                                                                                                                                                                  
  2. Change the rules. Richard suggested that entrepreneurs and businesses need to be nonconventional and not afraid to break new ground. The iPod is a good example of how a product changed the music and recording industry for good.                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  3. Know what you’re good at. Entrepreneurs and businesses should focus on creating world class products and services. Find a niche where you are the best and then commit to constantly perform at this level.                                                                                                       
  4. Make hiring priority #1. Tait felt strongly that good employees are the backbone of a successful enterprise. He suggested that people hire for smarts and rent experience. Tait got a chuckle when he admitted that this principle doesn’t work for staffers in operations and finance. He learned the hard way at Cranium that you cannot take shortcuts in these staffing areas.                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  5. Your customers are your sales force. Richard told great stories about the loyalty his customers had to Cranium and how it transferred into brand loyalty and sales.                                                                                                                                                                                 
  6. Avoid hairballs. Tait recommended Gordon MacKenzie’s book “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” and suggested that entrepreneurs need to be proactive rather than reactive. Avoiding problems is a key to business success.                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  7. Do good as you do well. Richard reminded people to give back to the community and help others as you succeed in business.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  8. Lead with passion, a sense of discovery, and speed. Tait suggested that “Speed is your friend” and to push yourself hard toward success in business.

Tait finished his talk by introducing Golazo, a new energy drink that he dreamed up as a result of witnessing the Latino community’s passion for soccer. Richard reminded everyone that life and success is not about how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up.

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