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Life is good because you know more, not necessarily because you have more

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Life is good because you know more, not
necessarily because you have more.



While a student at Georgetown in the early 90's, I took the class I now teach called Entrepreneurship. It was taught by a great man and mentor, Walter Benson, the creator of the "mini-bar." The class changed my life.

Like most young business school students, upon graduating college my eyes were set on investment banking and/or consulting. However, it's because of that class, I decided to take the road less traveled and embarked on a less certain, more entrepreneurial path by building a practice in Private Wealth Management that serves entrepreneurs and their families.

Now almost 20 years later, I've had the opportunity to share those lessons with hundreds of students and to open their eyes to the possibility of following the road less traveled.

Get to Know me

About the Course


Download a Copy of the Syllabus Here


Course Description

Welcome to one of the most rewarding and challenging courses that you will take during your collegiate years
  • Entrepreneurship is the practical art of creating a new organization, whether that's an independent start-up, an internal corporate venture, a for-profit or not-for-profit entity.
  • The first step in the process is development of an operating and fundable business model.
  • In this class, students are broken up into groups in which each group is responsible for conducting market research, identifying a new business opportunity, and developing a complete business model.
  • In the process, each student will learn to apply his/her skills entrepreneurially, i.e., with little time and few resources.
  • At the end of the semester, each business idea will be presented, both written and orally, to a panel of real entrepreneurs and investors for their review and critique.
  • In addition, successful entrepreneurs from a variety of industries visit each class, week to week, to present his/her experience and interact with each student.
  • The course is designed for students who would potentially like to pursue an entrepreneurial path, whether immediately after graduation or later in their careers, as well as any student who may become involved with start-ups, whether as an employee, investor, or corporate venturer.
  • The only requirement to this course is a willingness to work hard and to take the business-planning project seriously.
  • Course methods and materials—e.g., readings, lectures, the occasional case, speakers, and assignments—are all designed to help students in the practical art of starting a business.

About the Course

About Professor Finnerty

William Boone Finnerty was the top finance graduate of Georgetown University's Class of 1994 and has been an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business since 2000. In 2009, he was awarded the Peter W. Gonzalez Jr. Award for Excellence in Adjunct Faculty Teaching from Georgetown.

As a life-long student of entrepreneurship, Professor Finnerty is passionate about the ideas, commitment, work and even the setbacks that go into starting a business. That is why, in his classes, he focuses on the individual learning and development that goes hand in hand with growing as an entrepreneur. In fact, several of Professor Finnerty's students have gone on to lead successful careers as entrepreneurs.

In addition to his professorship, Professor Finnerty spends his days as a Managing Director of Private Wealth Management at a leading investment firm in Washington D.C. His team, The Finnerty Team, is composed of six full time specialists working under him on different aspects of the business: asset management, financial planning, client services and concierge. Together, they run a boutique operation only working with a few dozen ultra-high net worth families with $10million+ in investable assets. More specifically, his team's sole focus is helping entrepreneurs organize, plan, and manage all aspects of their wealth.

Outside of the office and classroom, Professor Finnerty resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife, Anna, two sons, Jameson and Jackman, and dogs, Rugby and Tahoe.

So, please consider this site yours. It is designed as a resource for students and entrepreneurs to share their dreams, experiences, lessons learned, and what works and doesn't work.

And, please feel free to get in contact with Professor Finnerty through this site. He loves keeping in contact with his students and he is always looking for entrepreneurs who are willing to share their stories with his class each semester.

About the Course


Tim O'Shaughnessy
(Class of 2003)


Nic Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru,

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Max Durovic
(Class of 2005)

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Jeff Stefanis
(Class of 2011)


Luke Holden
(Class of 2007)


Tammy Cho & James Li
(Class of 2011)

About the Course


Student Testimonials

"Ever since I took your class I started thinking about things differently and realized the benefits of entrepreneurship. While I am not doing either of these endeavors full time I have learned a tremendous amount about starting a business and the risks/ stress that come with it, met amazing people and had experiences that I would never have dreamed of (among many other things). "

-Louis Aronne (Class of 2010)

"My son Jared is a senior in the Business School and has been a student in your Entrepreneurship class this semester.  Jared has shared much of the class with me, including the curriculum.  I want to tell you how impressed I am with your approach to teaching and the life lessons you are imparting to these students.  These skills are priceless, and I only hope that other professors at Georgetown are adopting a similar approach to giving their students these skills they need to succeed after college.  As Jared may have told you, I am a licensed facilitator for Franklin Covey and have been teaching “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” class to Georgetown University staff for about 12 years.  It is now an official part of the Management Certificate Program offered by Training and Development.  So much of what I teach in that course is mirrored in the “Five Pillars” you emphasize."

-Larry Center, father of Jared Center (Class of 2012)

"Of all the classes that I took at Georgetown during my four year career, your entrepreneurship course continues to be the only one that I think about on a daily basis... Your class truly brings students closer together than any class at Georgetown. At a school with as much talent as Georgetown, this may be
the most valuable asset your class provides"

-Neal Dennison (Class of 2013)

"Best class ever. Will Finnerty was my best teacher."

-Irina Varela (Class of 2013)

"First of all, I wanted to thank you for providing me with an absolutely memorable experience in that class. I've never experienced anything like it before or since at Georgetown.During the course of the class, I not only learned something about business plans and entrepreneurship, but I also learned even more about myself."

-William Dwyer (Class of 2014)

-"I just want to thank you for such a wonderful semester! It was such an honor taking your course. I learned so much and it was so enjoyable... I really admire your work ethic and perspective on life. I have learned so much from you this semester and will be employing many of the 12 Pillars and other pieces of knowledge learned in class into my life."

-Ava Arroya (Class of 2014)

"I truly believe that the material I was able to glean from the class I took with you nearly 3 years ago has had and will continue to have an inconceivably positive impact on my life. I find that I am a happier and more optimistic person than many of my peers and colleagues, and feel that I have been given invaluable tools for which I have used and will continue to use in the future to expand my knowledge, and build not only a successful career, but a successful life."  

-Ken Ryan (Class of 2014)

Are you an entrepreneur?
Professor Finnerty is always looking for entrepreneurs who are willing to share their stories with his students each semester. If interested, click on the + button to get in contact with Professor Finnerty regarding available speaking dates.

Previous Speakers

Bill Doucas – Founder and Chairman, ELUTIONS, Inc.

Tim Keenan – Founder, High Performance Technologies Inc.

Lani Hay – Founder, President, and CEO of Lanmark Technology, Inc.

Eric Adolphe – President and Founder,

Bryan Ashby – President and CEO, Nine Yards Media

Evan Burfield – Co-Founder, 1776

Michael O'Neil – Founder, GetWell Networks, Inc.

Michael Chasen – Founding Member, Blackboard Inc. and Current Founder, Social Radar

Joel Holland – Founder and President, VideoBlocks.

Ryan Begelman – Co-Founder, Summit and CEO, Bisnow Media.

David McCourt – Founder and Chairman, Granahan McCourt Capital LLC.

Robert Kiyosaki – Renowned Author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad" and American Investor, Motivational Speaker, Financial Literacy Activist, Financial Commentator and Radio Personality.

Benjamin Miller – Co-Founder, FundRise.

Matt Curry – Founder and CEO, The Hybrid Shop.

Erik Koester – Founder, Zarly Inc. and Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Main Street Genome.

Larry Robertson – Founder and Principal, Lighthouse Consulting and Author of "A Deliberate Pause"

Charlie Thomans – CEO, Razorsight

Win Sheridan – Founder and Co-CEO, Apex Systems, Inc.

Brad Nierenberg – President and CEO, RedPeg Marketing

Tien Wong – Chairman and CEO, Lore Systems, Inc.

Gene Samburg – President, Kastle Systems

John Kane – President, Kane Inc.

Gordon Bijelonic – Film-Producer

Richard Toren – Chairman and President, CodeRyte

House of Equilibrium

quotesI believe the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the relationship you have with yourself.

quotesI believe the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the relationship you have with yourself.


The value of a relationship is directly related to the amount of time you spend on it. Relationships are a core part of your identity. They have a direct impact on who you are, what you do, and everything you will become. Without strong, loving relationships, none of the other "stuff," like money, a house, or a car matters very much. I believe the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the relationship you have with yourself. That’s what The House of Equilibrium is all about—having a balanced, joyful and abundant relationship with yourself, and bringing that to all your other relationships—your marriage, your kids, your community, your career and the world.

quotesI believe physical health—how you feel—is directly related to mental health.


A contributing factor to your success is your physical AND mental health. You cannot succeed in life if you don't take care of yourself. This includes: getting plenty of rest, a good diet, regular cardiovascular and weight training exercise, and meditation/deep breathing combined with regular doses of good, old-fashioned play. This is the best way to safeguard your overall health.

The key, as it is in most things, is to get started and commit to making healthy habits a regular part of your life.

quotesI’m a big believer in lifetime learning, if you’re not growing you’re dying.

Personal Development

I believe everyone has their own unique skills, talents and power, and that committing to a life of personal development—of looking inside yourself, of asking questions, and seeking answers—is the only path to bringing your unique gifts to the world.

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manI believe money serves a purpose. Your purpose.


Almost everything you hear about money is negative, and that's a shame. I believe money makes you more of who and what you already are. If you're a good person, money gives you the opportunity to help others. If you're dysfunctional, money only amplifies that behavior.

I believe money serves a purpose: your purpose. Whether that's philanthropy, travel, starting a new business, or pursuing a passion, money can enrich your life, but only if you make money serve you. That means NOT making money the focus. It means keeping the focus on your passions and being paid as a result of that.

In addition, look at money as a relationship whose overall dynamic includes managing, growing, saving and spending. Again, as in most areas of life, balance seems to be the key.

manI teach, I write, I learn and I share


Over the course of your life, you'll spend about half of your waking hours at work. Yet, for many, if not most Americans, work is more like prison. When 5:00pm comes (or 6:00pm or 7:00pm) they're like a six-year old waiting for the recess bell, and who can blame them?

Is your work fulfilling? Do you look forward to going to work onMonday morning? The answer really depends on whether your passion is aligned with your career. For me, the answer is "YES!" Alongside teaching, I'm an advisor to wealthy families and institutions, but that's NOTwhat I do. I help people manage their lives so they feel in control of their futures. I teach, I write, I learn and I share.

If you want your work to be more creative, more fulfilling, and more fun, align it with what you love to do.


  • Personal Development
    Successful people are always the first to act on their desire to continually grow. Personal Development is becoming the person you truly desire to be by engaging in a life-long strategy of skills, knowledge and self-improvement (which will also place you in a the upper echelon of your particular industry)

  • Hard Work
    “Most don’t conquer their dreams because it’s hard—hard freaking work.” Never expect anyone to give you what you want. Work hard and go get it yourself. No one said it would be easy, but nothing in life worth having is easy to obtain.

  • Time-Management
    Developing a philosophy of time management requires you to establish your priorities and values. Time management is basically priority management. It is the act of determining what is important and then living out your life in a manner that will help you fulfill your priorities.

  • Networking
    You must develop an attitude for networking. The old saying is true that our "attitude determines your altitude." You will only go as far as your attitude will carry you.

  • Selling and Negotiating
    There are five parts:
    (1) Attitudes of successful salespeople
    (2) Prospecting
    (3) Building relationships that position you as an educator/consultant to your clients/customers
    (4) Getting referrals
    (5) Negotiation skills

  • Communication
    Communication is powerful – for good and for bad. Communication must be purposeful. What you say must match what you do. Improve the "Big Two:" Speaking and Writing.

  • Money and Finances
    Money is a tool that, depending on how we use it, can either bring much joy to our lives or destruction.

  • Leadership
    Leadership is the challenge of being above average. If you want to be a leader, you cannot be average. You must not be ordinary, but extraordinary. “Getting by” is not an option, but excelling is a mandate.

  • Goal-Setting
    There are three components to a power goal:
    (1) It must be inspiring
    (2) It must be believable
    (3) It must be one that you can act on. When your goals inspire you, when you believe them, and when you act them is when you will get them!

  • Success
    Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. It encompasses:
    S – Seeing your goals
    U – Understanding your obstacles
    C – Creating a positive mental imagery
    C – Clearing your mind of self-doubt
    E – Embracing challenge
    S – Staying on track
    S – Showing the world you can do it

  • Leaving a Legacy
    “A Life Well-Lived." Think of all the people in your lives and how they will remember you: your parents, your grandparents, your sisters and brothers, your aunts and uncles, your friends, your co-workers, your schoolteachers, your coaches and your neighbors. Give them something to remember. BE MEMORABLE.

    These Pillars were inspired by Jim Rohn, America’s Foremost Business Philosopher

Entrepreneurial Resources


Will Recommended Resources

  • Books
    "Books, together with the connections you form and the relationships you grow, are simply the best way to learn."

    I’m a bookworm. Maybe not on the same scale as Teddy Roosevelt, who supposedly read a book every other day, but I love books, just the same. For me, it’s one of the best ways to learn. You may not retain everything you read, but over time, you integrate it into your own personal value system and knowledge base. I’ve found that while reading a book, if you underline important/meaningful passages/sentences with a red pen, you remember more. And, if you itemize the most important pages in a binder, you’ll have a great reference tool for the future. Make a commitment to yourself to read a book at least twice a month. You'll be thankful you did.

    The bottom line? Leaders are readers.

  • Ted Talks

    TED ("Technology, Entertainment, and Design") is a global set of conferences based off "Ideas Worth Spreading." TED's mission statement states: "We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."

    Whatever it is that you're interested in, TED talks offer insight and knowledge from industry experts around the world. By listening to Ted Talks, the ability to expand your knowledge base, be inspired, and open your mind to the unimaginable is truly endless.

    Therefore, be a "curious soul" and visit:

  • Strategic Coach

    "Choose the future you want. Decide what part of the past gets to come along. Utilize the present to make the best possible progress"

    Strategic Coach is a coaching program for entrepreneurs dedicated to 10x growth. Working closely with over 16,00 0 entrepreneurs from more than 60 industries over the past 25 years, Strategic Coach is a complete and proven support system that helps entrepreneurs transform their businesses and overall quality of life. I have been a member of Strategic Coach for many years now and it truly has had a major impact on my life, both personally and professionally.

    For more information visit:



My Library

Following is a list of authors and books that have shaped my life. Many of these books are classics in the fields of management, negotiating and selling, personal development and how to lead a full and balanced life. I hope you enjoy them.

Author Title
Soundview Editorial Staff Skills for Success
Ailes, Roger You Are the Message
Albon, Mitch Tuesdays With Morrie
Alder, Mortimer J. and Charles van Doren How to Read a Book
Alexander, Caroline The Endurance
Allen, James As A Man Thinketh
Allen, Robert G Multiple Streams of Income
Anderson, Mac Motivating Yourself
Armstrong, Alexandra On Your Own
Baber, Ann Great Connections
Bachrach, Bill Values Based Financial Planning
Badowski, Rosanne Managing Up
Balridge’s Letitia Complete Guide to Executive Manners
Belskey, Gary and Thomas Gilovich Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes
Berglas, Dr. Steven Reclaiming the Fire
Bernstein, Peter L. Against the Gods
Blanchard, Ken Empowerment Takes More than a Minute
Blanchard, Ken Putting the One Minute Manager to Work
Blanchard, Ken The One Minute Manager
Bloomberg Bloomberg
Bobo, J.B. The New Modern Coin Magic
Boe, Ann Networking Success
Bortz II, Walter M. Dare to be 100
Bridges, John and Bryan Curtis A Gentlemen Entertains
Bridges, John and Bryan Curtis As a Gentleman Would Say
Buckingham, Richard Customer Once, Client Forever
Buford, Bob Game Plan
Buford, Bob Halftime
Butler-Bowon, Tom 50 Success Classics
Carter-Scott, Cherie, Phd If Life is a Game, These are the Rules
Clason, George S. The Richest Man in Babylon
Coelho, Paulo The Alchemist
Cohen, Herb You Can Negotiate Anything
Collins, James C. and Jerry I. Porras Built to Last
Collins, Jim Good to Great
Cook, Wade Real Wealth
Cooper, Robert K The Other 90%
Corcoran, Barbara Use What You’ve Got
Cottrell, David 12 Choices That Lead to Your Success
Cottrell, David Monday Morning Leadership
Covey, Stephen R. First Things First
Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Cowley, Robert What If? The Worlds Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been
Crainer, Stuart The 75 Greatest Management Decisions Ever Made
Crews Michael w/ Ed Sweet Hard Work- Success Made Easy
Darst, David M. The Art of Asset Allocation
De Vries Kets The New Global Leaders
Deporter Bobbi w/ Mike Hernacki Quantum Learning: Unleashing the Genius in You
Doman, Glenn How To Teach Your Baby to Read
Dominguez, Joe Your Money or Your Life
Donald, David Herbert Lincoln
Dr. Suess Seussisms
Durant, Will The Story of Philosophy
Edelman, Ric The New Rules of Money
Emerson, Ralph Waldo Essays and Lectures
Enrice, Roger The Other Guy Blinked
Exupery, Antoine De Saint The Little Prince
Farrell, Chris Right on the Money
Ferrazzi, Keith Never Eat Alone
Frankel, Lois P. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office
Frankel, Victor A Man’s Search for Meaning
Friedman, Thomas L. The Lexus and the Olive Tree
Fulgram, Robert All I Learned in Kindergarten
Galloway, Jeff Galloway’s Book on Running
Gardner, Howard Leading Minds
Gerber, Michael The E-Myth Revisited
Gerber, Robin Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way
Gilweath, Jim Recruit the Best
Gladstone, David Venture Capital Handbook
Gladwell, Malcolm The Tipping Point
Goleman, Boyatzis, McKee Primal Leadership
Gray, John PhD Mars and Venus on a Date
Gray, John PhD Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
Gross, William Everything You’ve Heard About Investing is Wrong
Hansen, Mark Victor and Robert G. Allen The One Minute Millionaire
Hargrove, Robert Masterful Coaching Field Book
Helmstetter, Dr. Shad What To Say When You Talk to Yourself
Hill, Napolean Think and Grow Rich
Hill, Napolean Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude
Hopkins, Tom How To Master The Art of Selling
Iacocca, Lee Iacocca
Johnson, Spencer MD Who Moved My Cheese
Jung, C. G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Kawasaki, Guy The Art of the Start
Kennedy, Danielle Hot To List Real Estate in the 80′s
Kirkendoll, Roy All Works
Klein, Maury The Change Makers
Kouzes, James Encouraging the Heart
Krass, Peter The Book of Entrepreuneur’s Wisdom
Krzyzewski, Mike with Donald T. Phillips Five-Point Play
Kurlansky, mark Salt
Kushner, Harold Living A Life That Matters
Lansing, Alfred Endurance
Lebow, Rob and Randy Spitzer Accountability
Lencioni, Patrick The Five Temptations of a CEO
Levine, Stuart R. The Six Fundamentals of Success
Levinson, William Henry Ford’s Lean Vision
Lewis, Michael Liar’s Poker
Loehr, Jim and Tony Schwartz The Power of Full Engagement
Longaberger, Dave Longaberger
Lusk, John The Mouse Driver Chronicles
Lynch, Peter Beating the Street
Mackay Extraordinary Popular Delusions & The Madness of Crowds
Mackay, Harvey Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive
Maxwell, John C Attitude 101
May, Matthew Absolute Impact
McCourt, Frank Angela’s Ashes
McCullough, David Truman
McGraw, Phillip C. Phd The Relationship Rescue Workbook
Mobius, Mark The Investor’s Guide to Emerging Markets
Montoya, Peter and Tim Vandehey The Brand Called You
Naisbitt, John & Kikyan Wilder Megatrends
O’Reilly, Bill Who’s Looking Out For You
Peale, Norman Vincent The Power of Positive Thinking
Peters, Tom & Waterman In Search of Excellence, A Passion for Excellence
Phillips Hedge Funds
Phillips, Wayne R. The Concise Guide to Executive Etiquette
Piven, Joshua The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook
Piven, Joshua The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex
Powell, Colin My American Journey
Pusateri, Leo J. Mirror Mirror on the Wall am I the Most Valued of Them All?
Ralston, Aron Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Reynolds The Gift
Robbins, Lynn G. Uncommon Cents
Roberts, Wess, PhD Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun
Rohn, Jim The Treasury of Quotes
Rohrback, Jim M.Ed. Business Success Skills
Ruiz, Don Miguel The Mastery of Love
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye
Salmon, Michael Super Networking
Samalin, Nancy Loving Without Spoiling
Sark The Bodacious Book of Succulence
Scarborough, Norman M. Effective Small Business Management
Schneider, Jerome The Complete Guide to Offshore Money Havens
Schwartz, David J. PhD The Magic of Thinking Big
Scott, Steven K. Mentored by a Millionaire
Sculler, Robert Tough Times Don’t Last- Tough People Do
Seligman, Martin E. P. PhD Learned Optimism
Serure, Pamela The 3 Day Energy Fast
Sever, Sal PhD How to Behave, So your Children Will Too
Shealy, C.Norman The Creation of Health
Shemin, Robert Esq Secrets of a Millionaire Real Estate Investor
Shook, Robert The Real People
Shriver, Maria Ten Things I Wish I’d Known
Siegel, Jeremy J. Stocks For the Long Run
Slater, Robert Jack Welch and the GE Way
Sommer, Robert The Winning Spirit
Stack, Jack The Great Game of Business
Stanley, Thomas J. PhD Selling to the Affluent
Stanley, Thomas J. PhD The Millionaire Mind
Stevens, Mark Your Marketing Sucks
Stewart, Steve All Works
Stone, Douglas, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen Difficult Conversations
Stumpf, Roy All Works
Svensson, Tony The Total Triathlon Almanac
Tanous, Peter J. Investment Gurus
Tanous, Peter J. Investment Visionaries
Thomas, Marlo The Right Words at the Right Time
Thoreau, Henry David Walden; Or, Life in the Woods
Tice, Lou Personal Coaching for Results
Tracy, Brian Focal Point
Tracy, Brian Goals!
Tracy, Brian Million Dollar Habits
Trump, Donald J. Trump: How to Get Rich
Trump, Donald J. The Art of the Deal
Useem, Michael The Leadership Moment
Watson, Lucinda How They Achieved
Wayman, Lynne How to Work a Room
Weiss, Brian L. MD Many Lives, Many Masters
Welch, Jack Jack Straight from the Gut
Werth, Jacques and Nicholas E. Ruben High Probability Selling
Wickman, Floyd All Works
Wilder, Lilyan 7 Steps to Fearless Speaking
Wiley, Allan All Works
Wilson, Larry The One Minute Salesperson
Winston, Stephanie The Organized Executive
Wooden, John Wooden
Wooden, John A Lifetime of Reflections
Zigler, Zig Secrets of Closing the Sale
Zigler, Zig All Works

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