A 27-year-old entrepreneur who built a million-dollar business with clients like Drake and Lil Wayne says a game he played at age 10 taught him 2 lifelong lessons about money
- Larry Morrow is a well-connected entrepreneur in New Orleans.
- From booking Floyd Mayweather to Mary J. Blige, he handles everything from party and performances to his new restaurant, Morrow's.
- The 27-year-old says he learned to take big risks as a young kid shooting dice behind a barbershop.
At 27 years old, Larry Morrow is a rising star in the entertainment and restaurant industries in New Orleans, a city known for both.
He's has booked high-profile celebrities like Drake, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Floyd Mayweather and Mary J. Blige for parties and performances - and earlier this year, he opened a popular restaurant called Morrow's.Morrow says he learned to take big risks as a young kid from an unlikely source of inspiration: shooting dice behind a barbershop.
"I was 10 years old shooting dice! I walked over to the store with my mom's store money. She would send me to the store to get bread, and I would gamble the money. And I remember one time I lost her money," Morrow said on an episode of Business Insider's Podcast "This Is Success."
After losing his mother's money, Morrow said he cried to get it back and buy what she sent him to get. At first, shooting dice behind a barbershop kept kids out of trouble, Morrow said, but as they got older, it turned into gambling bigger bets.
"And I feel like that molded me to the young man I was and grew me into a man. Because I became numb to risk at an early age, you know, shooting dice, gambling with guys twice my age, and with friends," Morrow said. "It also showed me the value of a dollar, because we cherished those dollars ... I would lose, and I would go home hurt."
As he grew older and built a company, Morrow explained that he turned a potentially dangerous love of gambling into a more constructive approach to assessing business risks. As he started getting into the promoting business, Morrow realized he had to stop making reckless bets and take ones that still weren't guaranteed successes, but were more likely to pan out well. And instead of happening in a game behind a barbershop or in a casino, these bets were made in talks with agents and other promoters.
"I had to ... stop gambling in a game where the odds were stacked against me and start investing in myself where the odds are more in my favor. I know more about my industry than I knew what was under that card," he said."But I can tell you the odds and the projections of what I may do by bringing Drake, or doing this party, investing this money, because I know more about it," he added. "So, I decided just to gamble in the industry I'm in."
It wasn't always pretty. Morrow said he lost a lot of money doing it.
Morrow noted that people don't always understand how much he is investing in his company. And not everything he does is for a profit: When he hosted Drake, people thought Morrow made money, but he actually lost $25,000 on that party.
"I was able to endure those things because I lost in the past," Morrow said.
The monetary loss motivated Morrow to push his business farther and harder. After the party, Drake came back into town and visited Morrow's restaurant.
"When I lost that $25,000 I'm, like, 'You know that? It's done something bigger for me. It built my brand. It added to my résumé,'" Morrow said. "And not too many people can say they brought Drake to town, and worked with him, and have been able to build with him."