Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The "No True Meritocracy" Principle

Wisdom to Take Away

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  • Many Americans believe that our country is a true meritocracy-that the best and brightest always rise to rise to the top and earn their just reward. This view fails to take into consideration the effects of racism, sexism, and classism. These “isms” act as brakes, slowing down the recognition and rewards that should be realized by talented minority and female entrepreneurs.  

  • If you are a person of color or a woman, you no doubt understand and appreciate that America is not yet a true meritocracy. We have no true system whereby true meritocracy. We have no true system whereby the talented are chosen and moved ahead solely based on achievement. Leaders are not always elected or appointed based on abstract intellectual criteria. The meritocracy principle dictates intellectual criteria. The meritocracy principle dictates that minority and female entrepreneurs must work twice as hard and become twice as intellectually agile as their counterparts in order to realize the fruits of their labor.  

  • By working to be twice as good, entrepreneurs will accelerate the time frame required for them to receive their just reward and position themselves for even more exciting entrepreneurial opportunities.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Principle of Trustworthiness

Wisdom to Take Away

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  • Trust is one of the most important qualities in business. In other words, entrepreneurs must be worthy of someone’s confidence and trust.  

  • Many theories exist about how to build trust and confidence, but there are some common themes that an entrepreneur would be wise to remember: 

  1. Stay in touch with your skill set. 

  2. Do not oversell yourself. It is better to undersell yourself and exceed the customer’s expectations  

  3. Manage the customer’s expectations. Constantly assure that what the customer is expecting and what you are delivering are the same. The customer’s expectations can be managed by maintaining frequent and open communication.  

  4. Deliver. Do what you say you’re going to do, consistently.  

  5. Never, never lie to the customer. Lies always come back to haunt you.  

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

 

 

Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Principle of Opposites

Wisdom to Take Away

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  • An accepted principle in the field of magnetism is that opposite poles attract, and similar poles repel each another. The poles are controlled by magnetic attraction. These rules of magnetism can also apply in determining how entrepreneurs build their teams. 

  • The principle of opposites suggests that entrepreneurs building a team must be careful not to look for people like them but instead must actively seek those who will offer diverse talents.  

  • A team that is divers in ideas, background, technical skills, ethnicity, gender, geographical origins, and experience prepares the entrepreneur for handling a myriad of situation and business challenges. More important, a diverse team is one that will be more competitive. 

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

 

Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Invisible Sixth Man Principle

Wisdom to Take Away

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  • Experience has shown that successful entrepreneurs cannot and do not accomplish any great entrepreneurial feat alone. They must become proficient at team building and convincing others to work with them building and convincing other to work with them and for them. Entrepreneurs sometimes tend to build a team based solely on the technical skills (e.g., accounting, engineering, marketing) that an individual can bring to the team or on the individual’s credentials. Technical skills and credentials are necessary and important, but there are other factors that are just as important.  

  • Qualities such as teamwork, loyalty, values congruence, and commitment to the company’s vision will often energize the team to become more than the sum of its various parts. This sum is the sixth-man principle in action. Everything else being equal, these intangible qualities are the tiebreakers that determine if a company will become a consistent, dependable, long-term winner.  

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

 

Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Steps Versus Elevator Principles

Wisdom to Take Away

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  • Many small business owners possess an "elevator mentality" as it pertains to entrepreneurial success and business growth.  Like a person who steps into an elevator pushes a button, and is immediately whisked to the floor the their choosing, they believe that success can be produced with similar efforts.   

  • Others,  prefer the incremental approach of taking small, calculated steps that move them toward a worthy goal. They believe in the value of taking the time to build a foundation before climbing to the next level.   

Taking Incremental steps  

  1. Forces you to condition yourself for the long haul, to hone your skills, and then to steadily improve upon them.    

  2. Allows you to adjust to the ever-changing and variable conditions of the journey.  As you collect more data-and make mistakes-you'll be moving slowly enough to adjust before a mistake can become fatal.  . 

  3. Gives you the opportunity to build an infrastructure, which will support your ultimate success. It does no good to achieve high levels of success only to find that you're unable to handle the demands that success brings.    
  4. Builds your confidence in your ability to overcome obstacles and to achieve.  The more you achieve, the more confident you will become.    

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

 

Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The RAF vs. RFA Principle

Wisdom for Today

 

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  • A military bombardier uses multiple pieces of information to make calculations before he drops his bombs. Rarely does he score a bulls-eye on the first attempt. After dropping the fist bombs, the bombardier quickly assesses how close he came to the target, adjusts his coordinates, and prepares for another try.
  • Successful entrepreneurs are also required to make multiple attempts at hitting their business targets. Unfortunately, many business people follow the technique of RAF (ready, aim, fire) in reaching their business objective. Too often they are proficient at executing the ready and aim steps but never get around to firing (taking action or pulling the trigger).
  • Successful entrepreneurs are adept at utilizing the technique of RFA (ready, fire, aim). They prepare to fire, they pull the rigger and aggressively integrate feedback from these actions in order to adjust the aim, and fire again.  They tend to fire in rapid busts as they quickly move closer and closer to hitting their intended targets.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

Principles of Increasing Returns

Wisdom for Today

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  • Any course on business theory business economics will include a review of the law of diminishing returns. This law states that committing resources to a process to achieve a business objective will typically produce gains up to a point. At some point the gains will peak, and thereafter regardless of how many more resources are added to the process, the gain will decrease and continue diminishing over time.
  • The principle of increasing returns states that for minority and female entrepreneurs, there is a diametrically opposite phenomenon: Their efforts typically will produce little gain for the system until they reach breakthrough, or the first-hit mark. Beyond this first hit, all their efforts produce significant gain that is cumulative and allows the return curve to grow exponentially.
  • The power of this principle is that once you are engaged in an entrepreneurial venture, smaller quantities of effort on your part will start to yield significant gains your business. At this point, your business start to experience explosive growth.   

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

 

Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Bucket Principles

Wisdom for Today

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  • The fist-hit principle suggests there is a time warp in the ultimate achievement of entrepreneurial success. In other words, success usually does not come overnight. This principle works in conjunction with the bucket principle, which suggests that the time warp of success carries with it an opportunity or “bucket” with a cumulative requirement that must be met.
  • You as an entrepreneur have a “bucket” that you must fill to overflowing before you will see any significant returns from your investment or labor. Fill your bucket with the same things that that makes up the investment curve-time, talent, and treasure. You’re only actions will be to add to or take from the bucket.
  • Unfortunately, in America, some entrepreneurs are saddled with oversized buckets because of color, gender, socioeconomic status, or age. Consequently, an African American woman from the housing projects who may be of senior age has a gigantic barrel to fill. While a white male from upper-middle-class roots who has just finished his MBA may have a teacup to fill.
  • There is a silver lining: Although some may have larger buckets to fill than others, the reality is than you can never get more out of bucket than you than you put in. therefore, even though the African American woman is forced to spend more time filling her bucket, if she can stay in the race and endure to the end, her reward will flow like a mighty stream. People will be amazed at her performance, though they may have difficulty understanding the obstacles she had to overcome and the power she gained by being able to persevere.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Breakthrough ("First Hit") Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • Entrepreneurs who have a good idea and the resolve to see it through will experience an event called the “first hit” or breakthrough, point. This event could be a chance encounter. It could also be winning a strategic contract or skillfully handling a difficult and volatile situation under the watchful eye of a prospective client. After this breakthrough point, good things begin to happen-the business turns a corner. Not only do sales increase, but the business also begins-if managed properly-to grow at a steady pace thereafter.
  • For an entrepreneur beginning a venture, there are typically two performance curves of concern: the investment curve and the return curve. The investment curve represents what you put into the venture, time, money, etc. And the return curve represents what you get back. Returns can be either measurable like profits, net income, net worth, and price/earnings ratio or intangible. These immeasurable returns include prestige, power, reputation, influence, and credibility. At the beginning of the venture, the investment is high, and the results are at zero. Although you are making major contribution to the venture, it is too early in the process to realize any signification returns.
  • The breakthrough point is when momentum picks up, and the return and investment curves intersect. The investment is going down and moving toward zero, and the return the return curve is going up and moving towards infinity. At any time beyond the breakthrough point you will enjoy more benefits from the venture than what you are investing. 
  • Every entrepreneur’s objective must be to get to that breakthrough point. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs give up just before they reach it. As always, exercise prudence in your journey, but be careful not to give up too early.   

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Robert Wallace Speaks at Pandora Music Headquarters in New York City

On Wednesday, May 9, Robert Wallace spoke at Pandora Music's Headquarters in New York City about Disrupting Business and Entrepreneurship in an event sponsored by his alma mater, Dartmouth College. Dr. Wallace spoke about creating BITHGROUP Technologies and Bithenergy, two successful companies which have proven business in each of their respective fields. Dr. Wallace also highlighted his rise from the Baltimore projects and the important of developing successful businesses in inner-cities. 

Principles of Entrepreneurship Preparation

Starting Where You Are Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • Successful entrepreneurs lead lives full of continuous tension between the present and the future. These special people are grateful for what they have achieved, but they are always striving to do more. However, they understand that to get to the future, they must start with the present.
  • Some people under the mistaken assumption that “the grass is always greener….” This observation may or may not be true, but efficiency dictates that you must start the journey to your future from where you stand today.
  • Don’t wait until some special event has occurred before you start taking action to achieve your stated objectives. The future happens the moment you act. For example, don’t wait until your firm’s revenues reach a certain level before you attempt to seek out larger and more diverse clients. Go after them now. Don’t wait until you move to a bigger, nicer office before you hire more staff. Start the hiring process now. Whatever you deem the appropriate next steps, don’t delay; start where you are and move forward.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Principles of Entrepreneurship Preparation

Principles of Failure

Wisdom for Today

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  • Business statistics that, on average, entrepreneurs fail between five and seven times in business before they stumble into ventures that ultimately lead them to success.  Failure is an integral part of the process of becoming successful. You cannot achieve true success until you have experienced some level of failure.  Fortunately, each failure provides an opportunity for you to learn more about your character insufficiencies, strategic and tactical flaws, and adequacy of work execution. Once the weaknesses are identified, the plan to remedy the situation can be put in motion.
  • Failure makes successes more enjoyable. Tasting the embarrassment and pain of failure makes the sunshine of success brighter
  • When faced with failure, as all successful entrepreneurs ultimately are, you must decide whether to allow the failure to destroy you or use it instead to motivate and empower. Remember that failure is neutral. It can be your best friends or your worst enemy. Which companion do you want it to be?

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Principles of Entrepreneurship Preparation

The Principle of Perpetual Self-Validation

Wisdom for Today

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•Regardless of how accomplished entrepreneurs may think they are, there will always be someone who questions their competence.  Some successful entrepreneurs believe that  your potential for success is directly proportional to the number of doubters you encounter.  Nevertheless, the challenge for you as an entrepreneur is to determine whether you will view these situations as motivators or as insurmountable impediments.

• Using challenges as a motivator requires constantly being in touch with yourself and your strengths.  Self-validation provides the impetus to stay engaged.  When others challenge you, use your prior successes as a source of strength.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

 

 

Principles of Entrepreneurhip Preparation

Recapturing the Dead Zone Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • The "dead zone" is that block of time in an entrepreneur's day that is completely unproductive.  It can occur at any time of day or night.
  • Entrepreneurs who are attempting to move their business to the next level may find it necessary to recapture this dead zone and turn it into a productive period.  Don't stress.  Allow your thinking to evolve naturally.
  • The first step in recapturing the dead zone is to monitor your tasks over a few days.  Track your time to see at what part of the day you are most and least productive.  After isolating the unproductive patterns, develop strategies that will allow you to make this time more productive.  Concurrently, try to accomplish all critical task during the period you are most productive.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

 

 

 

Principles of Entrepreneurship Preparation

Removing the Power of the Stake Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • The typical entrepreneur, in a moment of weakness, is reminded of some form of a sharp, deep, stake that firmly keeps them in "their place." For some, this stake is racism and bigotry. They have concluded that they are the "wrong" color and therefore cannot achieve true success.  For others, this stake may be sexism.  Women feel that their gender automatically renders them uncompetitive.  For many more entrepreneurs, the stakes that fasten them tightly in place may be age, weight, height, culture, or religion.  The worst case scenario is that too many stakes often mean certain failure. 
  • Usually the stake has no inherent power.  The stake has only as much power as the entrepreneur allows.  For instance, you could let the stake of sexism dictate what opportunities you try to capitalize on, but then accomplished by women.  By focusing on the stake, you automatically divert to it your power, energy and ability to perform.  It is prudent to recognize that the stake exists-and then to recapture the power it appears to possess by assuming full ownership of our destiny.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Principles of Entrepreneurship Preparation

The Principle of Dream Embodiment

Wisdom for Today

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  • Dreams are the forces that help keep us alive.  Usually entrepreneurs who have passion, energy, and drive in their ventures are motivated by a compelling dream. Whether they dream of opening a mom-and-pop corner store or an e-commerce business, dreams of success are the first step toward reality.

  •  Inspiration is vital.  When we see a dream come true for another human being, the dreams we have for ourselves seem attainable.  Where would many of today's most successful people be if not for the trails blazed by others?

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Principles of Entrepreneurship Preparation

The Five Cs Principle Wisdom for Today

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Wisdom for Today

An unfair reality of doing business in America is that minority and female entrepreneurs often get only one chance to impress a customer or a group of investors. Some investors are especially unforgiving in their assessment of the value and validity of entrepreneurs and their ideas.  To increase your chances of winning a customer or an investor's favor, remember these five Cs: 

 

Character: Moral Excellence and firmness

Capacity: Ability to repay what has been borrowed

Collateral: What the investor can seize if you don’t deliver

Capital: Cash, Stocks, Bonds, or any liquid asset resources (usually money) you are willing to put “at risk”

Credit:  Repayment history and level of trustworthiness

 

When approaching investors about committing capital to your venture, be sure to prepare answers to the following questions prior to meeting:

1.      How much capital will you need?

2.      How will investors be repaid or “made whole”?

3.      How will the capital be used?

4.      What collateral can be used to repay the loan if the project fails?

 

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author

Principles of Entrepreneurship Preparation

The No Man is an Island Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • Some entrepreneurs their duties and tasks like the Lone Ranger. They have the mistaken belief that they can achieve their business objectives by themselves, with little or no help. But even the Lone Ranger needed his friend Tonto every now and then.
  • The reality is that that entrepreneurial greatness is realized by working with and through people.  The most successful entrepreneurs depend upon assistance from employees, stakeholders, stockholders, suppliers, consultants, and business partners.  

  • The irony for those who are reluctant to ask for help is that most people who are in a position of power and influence   are normally willing to help others. There are some recommended approaches, though, on how to ask for and obtain assistance.

 

  1. Be humble.  Learn to listen to those who are in the know.

  2. Be sure you approach someone who has the experience and the power to help you.

  3. Be specific about what you need help with.

  4. Be prepared to articulate how the individual will personally, benefit from helping you. Keep in mind that the benefit need not necessarily be financial.

  5. Learn to set aside your pride. Ask for help.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

#entrepreneurship     #business     #consulting     #keynote     #success     #speaker     #author