Braunability! Inspirational thoughts on how to build a multimillion dollar company by solving your own difficulties. (Ralph Braun #1)

“The money was a by-product and perhaps evidence that if I gave to society, society would give back to me.”
-Ralph Braun

Ralph Braun
Ralph Braun had been told his entire life that, if he survived, his muscular dystrophy, would be a burden to his family and society and that he would never be able to do anything for himself or for others. This was in the 1940s and 1950s, and due to medical and technical realities, thousands of physically challenged people accepted these conditions. Generations of individuals before Ralph were forced to stay at home and make whatever life they could at a time when television was a new technology.

There were no computers. There were no cell phones or Internet. The world in which Ralph was disabled offered him very few opportunities. Or did it? There was this large population around the world with all types of physical disabilities with no way to leave their immediate surroundings. It was an untapped market of intelligent, talented people who couldn’t get to school, work, or any family or social gatherings outside their home without great difficulty.

Identify a Difficulty
Living a restricted life confined inside his family’s small house in rural Indiana was unacceptable to Braun. Even though he had been told all his life that he wasn’t going to be anything more than a burden to others, he was unwilling to accept that “reality.” Ralph had incredible difficulties to deal with, but his goal was to be “self-sufficient and in the mainstream of society.” In order to accomplish that goal, Ralph needed to envision something different. That vision was the seed of a company with $200 million in annual sales that has helped revolutionize mobility for people in wheelchairs, as well as others with disabilities.

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