Most of us do not really want to retire. But if we keep on doing what we already know how to do, we inevitably become less and less interested, excited, and/or effective at it. The story you are about to read describes how one man, Ben Burkholder, dealt with the dilemma. He chose to do something else - in order to keep alive the excitement that comes with working and succeeding.
Ben came to our attention in a rather unusual way: his toffee company was featured in a special on cable TVīs Food Network focused on the unique tastes of Texas. The show described how he makes his unique product – AND how this was far from his first business venture. Just about as far as anyone could imagine.
Prior to his career as a toffee mogul, Ben was an international agricultural consultant who traveled the world to work on a variety of large-scale agricultural projects. Ben began with Diamond A Cattle Company in 1970, where he stayed until 1982. In 1975, while still working for Diamond A, he joined AG International of Houston as a vice president.
He continued serving on the board of Diamond A and on the boards of projects to build a 37,000 acre irrigated farm in Iran and a million-acre ranch in Brazil. He frequently visited these countries and monitored their progress. With AG international, he was responsible for an Egyptian citrus growth project and landscaping projects throughout the Middle East.
In 1980, he joined Hawaiian Agronomics as Vice Chairman. They were also active in the Middle East, particularly in landscaping and wheat farming in Saudi Arabia. He retired in 1986 but continued to consult, and in 1990, he worked on a Pima Cotton project in Northwest Australia, as well as a cattle ranching project with Diamond. Neither project materialized, and by 1992, he decided his consulting days were over.