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Leadership

Kurt Hellweg Talks Giving Back

In 2019, Kurt Hellweg helped sell American Dehydrated Foods and International Dehydrated Foods for a combined $900 million. Since then, he’s been busy giving back to the southwest Missouri community.

by Jenna deJong

May 2021

Kurt Hellweg Advice and Whiskey
Photo by Brandon AlmsWriter Jenna deJong met with Kurt Hellweg at The Finley in Ozark to talk about lessons Hellweg learned in business. Purchase Photo

“You should really focus on your strengths. Not that you want to ignore your weaknesses, but if you focus on your strengths, I think you’ll make a lot more progress in life.”

“I think most people should take a step back and kind of take a deeper look at what the purpose of their life is. If the purpose of your life is to make as much money as you can, that’s really kind of shallow. I think people ought to be looking at a bigger purpose. What is the purpose of money? What’s the purpose of all that hard work that you’ve done?”

“What people go through when they’re building a business when they have challenges to overcome, that pain you go through... is temporary. But quitting is permanent.”

“I think that we don’t own this world. We rent it from our grandkids, so I think we have to always be looking to the future about what kind of world are we leaving. When I say our grandkids, it really extends to the whole community. What is it that you’re leaving behind?”

“What life has taught me is that [you don’t need to] be in such a big rush to get there, because I think that when you get into a rush, you have your blinders on and you’re not living in the moment anymore.”

“When you’re [running] a business or when you start something different, I think you have to really ask your- self what’s the purpose of that, and what are you trying to achieve with that?”

“Why is Boulder such a cool place? Why is Bentonville such a cool place? Why is Austin such a cool place? And why is Nashville such a cool place? There’s a lot of cool cities that a lot of young people want to hang out at, but what makes that so cool? The more we thought about it, Springfield’s got a lot of the things that those other places have.”

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