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Goodbye, Mom & Pop

The neighborhood's not big enough for today's entrepreneurs. Only the world will do.

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This story appears in the May 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Jim McCann's father owned a business. "He was a painting contractor," McCann explains. "He had good years and bad. He had ideas for growing the business, but he also had five children to support, which meant his risk tolerance wasn't high." Neither was the burning, irrational desire to push the envelope. "Whether for financial reasons or because of the parameters that his psyche imposed, my father was a small-business owner. He did fine, but he wasn't an entrepreneur."

McCann, on the other hand, is the real deal. The 47-year-old president of Long Island, New York-based 1-800-FLOWERS parlayed a background in social work and $10,000 into a $300 million nationwide enterprise, consisting of 150 company-owned and franchised flower shops, 2,500 affiliated florists, five telemarketing centers, and an online presence that's growing like--well, weeds.

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