This ad will close in

Coming To America

A Vietnamese immigrant's work ethic is the key ingredient in a good, old-fashioned American success story.

Some would say entrepreneur Thanh Quoc Lam paid his dues a lifetime ago, long before he set foot on American soil. Lam spent his childhood in war-torn South Vietnam. At age 16, he encountered the oppressive policies of the Communist regime ruling his country when he was sentenced to two weeks in prison after he tried to prevent a government official's mistreatment of a girl who lived next door.

"[Being in prison] was terrible. After that, I know I cannot stay there," recalls Lam, 39, in halting English, his second language. "Sooner or later, we'd have to leave the country." Perhaps the dramatic circumstances of Lam's early years left him better prepared than most entrepreneurs to deal with the demands and setbacks of starting a business. Today, Lam's thriving wholesale French bakery and chain of sandwich shops dot Honolulu and ring up gross annual sales of more than $4 million.

Page 1 2 3 Next »

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the December 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Coming To America.

Loading the player ...

Tim Ferriss on Mastering Any Skill

Ads by Google

0 Comments. Post Yours.

Most Shared Stories

1
The 3 Attributes to Look for in Top Talent
2
5 Key Characteristics Every Entrepreneur Should Have
3
14 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read in '14
4
Steve Jobs' 13 Most Inspiring Quotes
5
How to Change Your Beliefs and Stick to Your Goals for Good

Trending Now