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Use Your Resources

August 23, 2012

When I pledged the fraternity in 1991, the brotherhood gave us the mantra “use your resources.” A couple of months ago, the “use your resources” mantra resurfaced in an interesting way.  I happened to spot a name pop up on my LinkedIn account for recommended people that I might know.  I instantly knew the name… it was legendary.  It was the person who re-founded our chapter.  While we had only met once, years ago, it turned out that he has worked in some of the same product areas as my company, albeit at a much higher level – as the former CEO of a $200 million a year company.  We have now re-connected and begun meeting regularly on our respective business ventures, as we’ve found some mutual ways to work together.

We went on to discuss some of the challenges I was having with a new off-shoot venture from my main business, and how he had dealt with some of those same challenges in his larger firm.  I learned a lot, and it was learning that you can’t really get with a web search on Google.  It was great that this particular resource turned out to be the brother who drafted the lesson over 25 years ago.  Using my resources was one of the most important life lessons that the Fraternity taught me.  It is something I use on a daily basis to problem solve, develop new business, or find an answer to a difficult question.


 Paul J. Shrater (Beta Nu, Pennsylvania)


Paul Shrater is the co-founder of the consumer products e-commerce company,, which launched in 2004 as a boot-strapped family start-up and is now considered the 725th highest grossing e-commerce business in the country (Internet Retailer).  Shrater has appeared on such networks as CNBC and been quoted in such publications as Forbes and USA Today.  Additionally he is a partner in the tattoo-care brand Ink-Eeze, and is in the midst of launching a consumer products packaging company, Minimus Products.  In the past, Shrater authored business plans for the likes of media mogul Quincy Jones, and several other film-finance related startup ventures as part of his career as a film and television producer and writer.  He was an invited speaker at the Internet Retailer conference, as well as previous speaking and lecturing engagements in film finance, marketing, intellectual property, and screenwriting at several conferences and universities.  He resides in Simi Valley, California, and is married with two daughters.

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