Principles of Entrepreneurship Maintenance

The Principle of Bidirectional Intelligence Flow

Wisdom for Today

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  • Most companies, governments, and organizations in general have a hierarchical structure that is used to manage the entity. Each position in the company, though varied in size and function, plays a critical role in allowing the organization to meet its stated mission and objectives. Every person in every position in the organization has value. The organization or company is as stronger as the weakest of its links.  

  • Successful entrepreneurs know that because everyone in an organization is valuable and contributes in a unique way, they must seek out and make allies of as many of these people as possible. These people could be as low as janitors or as high as CEOs, but whatever their position, they can either help or hinder your progress. Typically, these people will have access to or be privy to important facts that could determine one's level of success or failure.  Likewise, entrepreneurs should work to provide information to other members of the organization that may need help. This bidirectional intelligence flow serves to benefit everyone involved. 

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Principles of Entrepreneurship Maintenance

Maintaining Congruence of Business and Values

Wisdom for Today

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  • The almighty dollar isn't. Many entrepreneurs send too much faith, time, and energy trying to appease the money god. Wealth can be either a blessing or a curse depending upon whether or not you must compromise your values to earn it.  

  • Entrepreneurs must factor their value system into business decisions. For example, don't open a video store that rents adult videos if that conflicts with your moral values.  

  • Although the object of being a marketer in the marketplace is to gain, remember what can be lost in the process and protect that which is important to you. Each individual is only an event or two away from disaster.  

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The Principle of Entrepreneurship Maintenance

The Grand Canyon Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • Over time, water is stronger than rock. A steady and relentless stream of water will eventually wear away the strongest stone. Likewise, entrepreneur who are confident of their mission and who persist and persevere, even though the most trying of times, will ultimately wear down all obstacles 

  • When you're in the Grand Canyon, you may climb many smaller mountains and hills, but the fact remains that you'll still be in a hole. Successful entrepreneurs must recognize that it is not enough to win the "little battles" in their journey to canvass the canyon or achieve their major goals in business. They must become proficient at scaling the smaller mountains as they keep in sight the larger and grander objective 

  • You cannot jump over a canyon with a series of small bounds. When you leap you must make it count. An entrepreneur must take great care in planning and determining how to commit time and resources to achieve the objectives that really count.   

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Principle of Entrepreneurship Maintenance

The Hannibal Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • Don't look at the bars but instead look beyond them. All of us have paradigms that dictate how we view our world and ourselves. Unfortunately, some of our paradigms have been built on inaccurate data and often become psychological bars that tend to incarcerate our minds and disrupt the creativity of thinking. Some of the obvious bars we construct include racism, sexism, classism, physical attributes, perceived wrong, past injustices, or lack of education, to name a few Our tendency to focus on the bars serves only to empower them, thus diverting valuable human energy from more productive entrepreneurial tasks such as defending our market niche, developing a winning business plan, and identifying sources of capital for our ventures.  

  • Learn to expect great things from yourself and others. The starting point for any human achievement of value is your belief in and desire to achieve the object of your dream. You become what you think about. If you think that all is lost and that you cannot win, you will achieve what you focus on.  

  • Assume full responsibility for your economic well-being and prosperity. Whenever you disown a problem, you relinquish all power to solve it. No one in America has the desire or conviction to fix the economic problems of the minority community but its members. Although the economic quagmire they find themselves in today is not totally of their own doing, the solution and dedication to resolving their perplexing issues must and will come only from within that community. 

  • Aggressively seek to build win-win relationship with other minority firms and with mainstream firms. Very few companies today can stand by themselves for long. Some experts predict that the successful companies for the new millennium will be those that develop strategic and mutually beneficial teaming relationships with other companies.  Minority and women entrepreneurs must not limit themselves to teaming only with businesses of similar ethnicity and gender. They should instead follow a parallel track and develop partnerships with any groups that seek to achieve common goals. Above all, make sure that the relationship is a win-win one so that becomes a lasting and rewarding experience for both parties.  

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Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Roach Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • The bad news for minority and female entrepreneurs is that like the roaches, they are constantly under attack and must fight for their business lives every single day. Many will become casualties of these efforts to reduce their ranks, by the good news is that a critical mass will survive and become even stronger by going through this weeding-out process. The secret here is to survive the screening and become a member of the critical mass.  

  • As businesses and industries go through the natural process of survival of the fittest, the key to being a survivor is to know your business and the industry and to do what you do extremely well. Maintain a passion for success and master your trade.                    

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Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Focus on What Matters Principle

Wisdom for Today

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  • Too often entrepreneurs focus on details that do not add value to the process of realizing business opportunities. They pay too much attention to the type of suit they wear, the type of briefcase they carry, the type of car they dive, and the type of neighborhood they live in, believing that these factors will determine their level of success of failure.  

  • Such items may have a bearing on someone’s impression of you, but it is doubtful that they will dictate your level of success. Your time and resources are better spent focusing on matters that will add value to your entrepreneurial process.   

  • Value-added tasks might include spending more time on market research, hiring a number cruncher to help you hone financial projects, or investing in a quality color laser printer so that your proposals are cleaner and crisper. It could mean investing in a state-of-the-art phone and teleconferencing system that shows your client and prospects that you are a professional, sizable, and well-run company with which they can confidently do business.  

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Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Principle of the White Angel

Wisdom for Today

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  • Business in Americas is conducted through relationship. There are exceptions to this rule, but new entrepreneurs must learn to leverage relationships with established members of the business network they are trying to break into. Someone with an inside track will frequently sponsor a promising entrepreneur.  

  • Some say that “power is never given; it must be taken.” Conversely help can be given only when it is accepted. Learn to recognize when you need help. Be willing to accept it. No one is a self-made success. We all benefit from the support of others throughout the ventures we take on in life.  

  • Minority and women entrepreneurs cannot ang must not restrict themselves to doing business only with other minorly and women business people. You must be the white business commentary. A win-win business proposition exists for those brave enough to change to and who change the status quo.

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Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

Wisdom to Take Away

The Principle of Diminished Expectations

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  • The term “glass ceiling” is often used to describe to resistance to advancement that minority and female executives experience as they work to advance in and organization. The world of entrepreneurship has a “concrete ceiling.” I use the image of concrete because, unlike glass, concrete offers no chance to see what could be achieved. This resistance is often in the form of diminished expectations. Some decision makers, unfortunately, still have a preconceived view that businesses owned and operated by blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and women are not of the same quality and do not have equal capabilities as firms owned and operated by white males.  

  • The key to benefiting from the principle of diminished expectations when you’re faced with this situation is focus your resources on dramatically exceeding the expectations of your client. If your client insists on lowering the bar, you’ll find it that much easier to far exceed the expectation and score points for you firm.  

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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    

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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    

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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    

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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    

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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.