If you believe in yourself, stick to it and your perseverance will yield success

Charles A. Donadio Jr. | Rhode Island Fast Ferry Inc., Atlantic Wind Transfers president


Growing up in Narragansett, I have been very fortunate to be able to spend my life on the ocean.

When I first purchased the Southland Riverboat in Galilee [in Narragansett] in the early 1990s, I had huge financial setbacks due to unforeseen repair costs and weather. I realized quickly that owning a business was not going to be easy. After trying to secure a small line of credit, and being turned down, I was given this inspiring message: “You are never going to make it – good luck.”

This was the turning point for me. I was going to have to get creative and work harder on my own.

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While trying to grow my business, there have been roadblocks, obstacles and unforeseen setbacks every step of the way and every one of these have become learning tools for the future.

It has been fun innovating new ways to travel. From the days of the Southland Riverboat, we are now in the midst of expanding a new service to Block Island, along with developing crew transfer vessels for the U.S. offshore wind industry.

Owning a business requires you to be strong-willed and determined. You need to learn from your mistakes and from others, as I did. Those who have told me that I couldn’t do it have actually unknowingly helped me become more successful.

If you believe in your idea, stay focused and steadfast; it will come to fruition even though it may take longer than you expected. But your hard work will pay off.