Jack DeBoer • Founder of four successful hotel brands


Success in Business Without Risking Family, Friends and Reputation


Where does the book’s title –  Risk Only Money – come from?
Hotel magnate Jack DeBoer believes there are things that should never be put into jeopardy: family, reputation, self-respect, friendship and health. But money? To DeBoer, capital exists to risk, gain, lose and reclaim. And then to do it all over again.

He divides Risk Only Money into three segments: striving, success and significance. He highlights lessons learned in quick-read sidebars – from the perils of procrastination to asking yourself why you’re in business in the first place.

What makes this book significant?
DeBoer draws upon personal anecdotes and his many years in the hotel industry to deliver real-world business knowledge and advice. Most of his endeavors have been runaway successes.

DeBoer built four national hotel brands and innovations in the lodging industry from all-suite, extended-stay hotels to short-term, apartment-style hotels. In a marketplace filled with commodities, he understands how to carve out something new.

What’s perhaps most unique about Risk Only Money, DeBoer shares his failures, too.
He built more than 16,000 apartments in 30 cities across 25 states by 1973, earning him the designation of the country’s second-largest multifamily developer. About that time, DeBoer turned down an offer to sell his business for $100 million. He was determined to become number one. Instead, the real-estate market plummeted and DeBoer found himself on the brink of failure. This “aha” moment taught DeBoer a lesson he’s never forgotten. Keep the ego in check.

Who should read this book?
The primary audiences are people wanting a better life – and a better world. This includes adults, but also young people. DeBoer not only speaks to business groups and organizations worldwide, he regularly shares his story with Youth Entrepreneurs, DECA, Boy Scouts and more. Teens love his willingness to share failures as well as wins.

Why did Jack DeBoer undertake this book?
Through the years, whether it’s a reporter or conference attendee, people always ask DeBoer how he became successful and overcame setbacks. This book allows him to answer these questions to a wider audience. DeBoer says that if he can help one person, he’ll feel like writing the book’s been worth the effort.

After spending so much time talking about how to make money, why does Jack DeBoer devote a third of the book on how best to give it away?
DeBoer formulates his business advice through direct, personal experience. That’s also the basis of his philanthropy. After selling Residence Inn to Marriott in 1987, he gave himself a new challenge. To see the world. The real world. His resulting four-month expedition traced 7,000 years of civilization. Taking him and his wife through 39 countries on five continents. It also began his journey to identify world challenges and contribute effectively and meaningfully. As a result, DeBoer has become a major supporter of a global ministry to help children and their families: World Vision. DeBoer makes World Vision’s efforts in Burma his primary focus. All proceeds generated by the sale of Risk Only Money benefit this worthy organization.

“There are many things I wish I’d done differently in my life. I hope this book will help others discover some truths I had to learn the hard way.”

–Jack DeBoer
Author of Risk Only Money and founder of
Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites, Candlewood Suites and Value Place

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