John Ready, BA’04, grew up a lob­sterman — with a strong inde­pen­dent, entre­pre­neurial streak.

For his co-​​ops, he’d go back to Maine to catch as many lob­sters as he could, then use his busi­ness school edu­ca­tion to market his catch and resell the bounty to whole­salers — for profit.

During his senior year at North­eastern, Ready entered — and won — an annual business-​​plan com­pe­ti­tion. He used the pro­jec­tions and analysis he put together for the com­pe­ti­tion as the frame­work for his first busi­ness, Ready Seafood.

The busi­ness plan, cou­pled with what he’d learned in his busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion classes over the years, cre­ated just the right for­mula. Today, Ready’s com­pany has close to a 10 per­cent share of Maine’s lob­ster market, with more than 100,000 pounds of just-​​off-​​the-​​boat product shipped each week to cus­tomers far beyond New Eng­land, reaching far­away locales in Asia and Europe.

Looking to expand his multimillion-​​dollar busi­ness even fur­ther, Ready also launched Catch a Piece of Maine, which lets lob­stermen sell the freshest seafood, har­vested according to sus­tain­able prac­tices, direct to con­sumers around the United States.

Although the company’s growth means Ready isn’t out on the water hauling in lob­sters, it hasn’t made the job any less hands-​​on or less rewarding.

I’m not on the boat any­more,” Ready said. “I’m not on the floor packing boxes. But we run our busi­ness as a team, so we all work together to do what­ever needs doing.”

You grow a busi­ness for more than just making money — you have to do this because you love it.”