Bill Farley is a well known name in industrial circles. He is the chairman and owner of Farley Industries located in Chicago, Illinois. An avid follower of fitness he has several leading brands to his credit such as the likes of Munsingwear, BVD and the very popular Fruit of the Loom.
His Humble Beginnings
Bill Farley was born in the town of Pawtucket in Rhode Island. His mother was a factory worker and his father worked as a musician and a mailman. In his early days of struggle, Bill Farley used to earn his living by delivering Sunday newspapers. Later on he switched jobs to work for a toy manufacturer and later as a lifeguard. Farley did his schooling from the Bowdoin College. A proficient scholar as well as an athlete, Farley graduated from college in 1964 with a degree in government. He decided to try his luck in the world by traveling in the United States.
From Rags to Riches
Like many clichés even this one seems to hold true for Bill Farley – the man literally made it from rags to riches. There used to be a time when he didn’t have enough money to eat. At such times he would earn his living by selling encyclopedias from door to door in Los Angeles. This ad-hoc training in door-to-door selling helped him become a leading sales manager and trainer as time went by. He decided that education would play a key role in shaping his career growth. That’s why in 1966 Bill Farley enrolled in law school at Boston College. He graduated three years later with a J.D. degree. Soon he went on to join the famous NL industries in New York and started working in their mergers and acquisitions department. It was after quite a few years that he was sent to Chicago on transfer for the post of regional manager in charge of NL’s metals division. After having worked with NL industries for a good 6 years, he shifted to Lehman Brothers in 1972, as an associate in corporate finance.
The Acquisitions That Followed
Bill Farley bought his first ever company – Anaheim Citrus Products in the year 1976 – just 4 years after joining Lehman Brothers. It was during the same year that Farley became a partial owner of the famous Chicago White Sox. Then a year later he acquired Baumfolder, which happened to be a subsidiary of Bell & Howell. During a time span of five years – from 1980 to 1985, Bill Farley managed a series of acquisitions – from companies such as Coal Creek Mining Company, Health Foods, Inc., The NL Industries’ Metals Group, and Northwest Industries (which included Fruit of the Loom). His companies were at an all time high during the 1990s – during that time his companies employed more than 50000 people and had a turnover of over 4 billion USD.
The Way Things Stand Today
Today Farley has an impressive empire to his credit. He is the proud owner of Farley industries (FI), as well as the CEO of Body Wise International located in Tustin California. Body Wise is a leading marketer of nutritional supplements. Farley incidentally is also the CEO of Unity Group LLC located in Washington D.C. which is a private security force and defense contractor that operates in high risk zones like Indonesia, Iraq and Sudan etc.
Bill Farley has always believed in taking risks. His famous quote says,
“A willingness to take risk is probably a major reason for my success today. Many people could be as successful as I am, or more so, but for whatever reason they are unable to take steps that appear personally or financially risky.”
This just goes to show that Farley has never shied away from taking personal and financial risks. Be it in the series of acquisitions or his steady rise from humble beginnings – everything illustrates his beliefs well. Farley also believes that in general “management and owners sink or swim together”. That could be one reason why Farley has always treated his colleagues, subordinates and acquaintances with utmost respect. He involves all employees and partners in decision-making processes.
Today Farley rubs shoulders with some of the most rich and famous people of the world.
Check out his brand new MLM company called Zrii. The company is on its way to become another billion dollar brand.
See You at the TOP!
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