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Billionaire Shares Keys To Success with EFSC Students

February 25, 2020
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Insurance industry leader Hyatt Brown brought the story of how he became a billionaire to Eastern Florida State College on Tuesday, telling students the secrets to his success include self-discipline, his family and a seven-day-a-week work habit.

Hyatt Brown speaking to crowdIt’s all part of what he called his four cornerstones of happiness: family, security, health and discipline.

“This is not scientific, but this is me after 50 years of work every day and on Sundays,” Brown said.  “It’s the goal posts of life, measuring your happiness in life. Family, security, which is how you feel about yourself, health and discipline.”

Discipline, he added, is the most important.

“If you don’t have discipline, you can’t have good health, you can’t be secure, and you can’t have a family. Life is simple, we make it complicated.”

Brown is the chairman of Brown & Brown, Inc., the sixth largest insurance brokerage in the nation.

He told the story of how he turned a family business into a major firm and became a billionaire in the process as part of the Simpkins Speaker Series on the college’s Melbourne campus, an event open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Brown has been named one of the "50 Most Influential People in Insurance" by Business Insurance Magazine and received awards for industry leadership from Investor’s Business Daily, A.M. Best and the Insurance Federation of New York.

He shared quotes that have helped shape his life and work, including this one:

“In the morning in Africa, a cheetah awakes knowing it will have to run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. In the morning in Africa, a gazelle awakes knowing it will have to run faster than the fastest cheetah or it will die. In the morning, when you get up, whether you are a cheetah or a gazelle you better wake up running.

Scholarship recipient with large check
EFSC Foundation Donor Relations Coordinator Tonya Cherry presents the latest Simpkins Scholarship to Joshua Allen.
“It sounds harsh, but it ain’t. It’s like any athletic team, you get up and you do it, and you do it, and you do it, and if you do it well, you will last.”

At the event, EFSC student Joshua Allen was named the 2020 Spring semester Bernard Simpkins Entrepreneurial $1,000 Scholarship recipient from the EFSC Foundation.

Allen, who is pursuing an Associate in Science Degree in Engineering Technology, has a passion for music and wants to start his own business designing and building guitar pedals.

The Simpkins Speaker Series is named after Bernard Simpkins, a highly successful entrepreneur and Brevard County business leader who established the sessions that have brought some of the nation’s top business innovators to Eastern Florida State College.