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Cultural Transformations by Nick Vaidya, John Mattone

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Chapter 5Eddie MachaalaniCo-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, Bigcommerce, Inc

Have the guts to look inside and admit that while you may be good, you are not the best you can be.

—John Mattone

IN 1975, WHEN FIGHTING BROKE out between the Maronite and Palestinian forces in Lebanon, it launched a civil war that would last 15 long, deadly years. All told, an estimated 120,000 people lost their lives, a devastating blow to the small country. Many who did not perish fled, with a staggering one million people making a mass exodus out of the country.

Eddie Machaalani's family was among those who fled. Immigrants in bustling Sydney, Australia, Eddie, his parents, and both his younger and older brother set out to do what many immigrants do—build a new life. Thrive. As a young boy, Eddie watched his parents work unimaginably hard to create a good life for the family. They worked hard, day after day.

Immigrants don't arrive on foreign shores with a corporate mind-set. Even if they worked for a larger business in their country of origin, many start small, family-run businesses from scratch. It was through this experience, watching family and extended family and even community work together to make a good living, that Eddie Machaalani gained a kind of organic knowledge of the values and grit it takes to build a business from scratch. He saw exactly what it takes to not just survive but to thrive. He learned the values of honesty, fairness, and respect from the elders who came ...

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