We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Howells and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, how do you think about risk?
Every day in our personal lives and our professional lives, we take risks. Using Peter Drucker’s definition of an entrepreneur, “the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” To exploit opportunity, one must take risks. The margin of risk is what we try to manage every day. In my professional and personal life, I take calculated risks. I would never jump out of a plane without a parachute, but I would risk investing in my employees. We as modern human beings do a wonderful job at mitigating daily life risks through things like seat belts, safety switches, and medications. We can never completely eliminate risk, but we can do our best to build in safety measures and plan to reduce the negative repercussions from risk.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Tara’s Chance is dedicated to promoting the physical, cognitive, and social well-being of those with special needs through equine assisted activities and therapies. We change the lives of our clients, their families, our volunteers, staff, and community through equine therapy. Tara’s Chance was established in November 2012 when a little girl diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy came down to the stables in her wheelchair with a wish to ride a horse. Today, Tara’s Chance annually provides 1,505 30-minute sessions or 752 hours of equine assisted activities and therapies to 35 individuals with special needs throughout the calendar year at their facility located in Fullerton, CA. Our program has grown organically because there is a demonstrated need in our community. We have always faced the adversity of fundraising to cover the high costs of our program but we have succeeded because of amazing community support from gracious foundations and individuals. Tara’s Chance has persevered through the pandemic and emerges ready to grow our program to meet the need in our community with the support of our partners.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend Bryce was visiting me, I would take him to Catalina island. My wife and I own a 32′ Catalina sailboat in Alamitos Bay and we love taking the 4 hour sail across to Catalina island. Once we arrive in our special little cove we head to the beach, hike, snorkel, or just relax in the water. Spending a week out at the island can totally refill your energy. I have been fortunate enough to take Bryce there once but there is never too much time spent there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I believe everyone’s success is attributed partially to skill and partially to luck. Both of which are impacted by those around us who help encourage and guide us. For me, my wife will always be my strongest supporter. I know she will always be in my corner and love me through adversity. I am also very blessed to come from amazing parents and a supportive family. My life drastically changed when I enlisted in the Coast Guard and I will forever be grateful for all the men and women I served with for making me a better person. My entrepreneurial spirit, I must give specific thanks to Walt Borland and Dr. Eric Fretz at the University of Michigan for teaching me so much about myself and the world around me. There are so many other individuals, groups, books, and resources that have led me through my winding journey in life that I would like to thank and credit.