Adrian Bota is founder and owner of Origin and launched a line of A2 Guernsey-cow milk. He wrote an article about five lessons he learned as a refugee wich helped him become a business owner. Those five lessons are:

Smart business article about Adrian Bota
  • Have the courage to face the unknown. When we fled Romania in the dead of night, we had no idea where we’d wind up. We were scared. But my father wanted more for us. Years later, when I left my corporate job to start a business, I needed a similar courage. I had a wife and children to support. I didn’t know if I’d succeed, but I had the courage to try.
  • See an opportunity. My father saw an opportunity for his children to be educated in an open country. After years working for U.S. corporations, I saw an opportunity to become an entrepreneur, to be free from the constraints of a corporate hierarchy.
  • Be intellectually inquisitive. When we started working with an Amish farm to produce milk for our organic ice cream and yogurt shops, I kept asking questions about the milk. I asked about their cows, their farm and their families. I discovered they used Guernsey cows, which had some unique qualities. It sparked an idea that later turned into my second company, Origin.
  • Take a difficult situation and turn it into an opportunity. Escaping Romania was not easy, but my dad knew that the opportunities that lay ahead were worth it. There are many roadblocks in business, but you have to embrace them as opportunities.
  • Failure is not an option. Before we escaped Romania, my father called my mother in the U.S. and told her to apply for political asylum. My dad could have been jailed or killed if the Romanian government caught us. My siblings and I would have been sent to an orphanage. As a business owner, if you fail, the consequences are grave, too. It’s not like working for a company, where often times, if your project fails, you just try again — and still get a paycheck.

Thanks, Smart Business Cleveland, for featuring Origin founder and owner Adrian Bota in your March issue.
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