Wayne Rogers may be best-known as the prank-loving, moonshine-swilling doctor Trapper John on the acclaimed television series “M*A*S*H,” but in real life, he’s an enormously successful entrepreneur and financier who serves as the managing director of a convenience store chain, a Broadway producer, a bank owner and chairman of the legendary Kleinfeld Bridal.
Rogers told BusinessNewsDaily about the connection between acting and entrepreneurship and what business owner he’d most like to make a movie about.
BusinessNewsDaily: How did you make the shift from being in front of the camera to being "behind the camera" as an entrepreneur? In other words, before, you took direction, now, you give it. How was that adjustment?
Wayne Rogers: I think those who have taken direction from other people are more easily gifted to give direction to others in that they understand what is expected and what is necessary to accomplish something. Not unlike the military, which presupposes a hierarchy wherein rank determines who gives and who takes direction, experience, intelligence and hard work are the ingredients that should constitute the reason for rank.
BND: What are the three most important strengths that make you a good entrepreneur?
W.R.: The passion one has for the endeavor, meaning the willingness to investigate and do your homework is probably number one. This includes the product or the service, the selling of that product or service, and the accounting of all the details that can make it profitable or not. Understanding and taking risk in a calculated way is not far behind. Thirdly, the people factor: knowing upon who you can and cannot depend, who can help both financially and with experience.
BND: What do you wish you were better at in terms of business?
W.R.: Allocation of time.
BND: What is the single most important piece of advice you would give a new business owner?
W.R.: Always ask questions, not only why but why not. If you are constantly learning, you will eventually get there.
BND: How do you determine what is a good business idea and what is a good idea, but may not be profitable?
W.R.: Generally, the free market tells you what will work and what will not, and to what extent. Competition is the arbiter of success.
BND: If you could make a movie about one business owner's life story, who would it be?
W.R.: Felix Zandman, the chairman of Vishay Intertechnology. Unfortunately, someone has already beat me to the punch.
Wayne Rogers is the Managing Director of Stop-N-Save, a privately held convenience store chain based in Tallahassee, Fla., a Broadway producer, a bank owner, and chairman of Kleinfeld Bridal, the largest bridal retailer in the country. He is a regular contributor for the Fox News Channel’s business shows, including their top rated weekly Saturday morning program “Cashin’ In.”
He has also occasionally returned to acting and producing over the last several years.