“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” (John Barrymore) I have been asked the question on many occasions; “When should you stop pursuing a dream?” Is there an age cutoff, should a health issue stall or stop you, maybe just participate in someone else’s dream…? I always felt you should pursue a dream until the day you die, but this quote from John Barrymore really makes a ton of sense to me. If we allow mistakes, shortcomings, our past or any such thing to hinder us we have invited regret to stunt our growth and extinguish our DREAMS. Many of you have heard this old saying, “pick yourself up by the boot straps, dust yourself off and try again.” I will say again and again, “the DREAM has possibility as long as we try!”
#4) Create a vision, then get out of the way
*Create-to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
*Vision-the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be:
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
#3) Managing Less is Managing Better
*Managing-to handle, direct, govern, or control in action or use:
*Less-to a smaller extent, amount, or degree:
*Better-in a more appropriate or acceptable way or manner:
-Quotes on Managing…
“Management is nothing more than motivating other people.” -Lee Iacocca
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” -Peter Drucker
“Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.” -Colin Powell
“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” -John D. Rockefeller
#2) Face Reality
*Face-to look toward or in the direction of:
*Reality-a real thing or fact.
(Learn to make tough decisions… cutting cost, spending on marketing and advertising, changing locations, adjusting products or services, whatever it takes face the reality and make the necessary improvements)
-Quotes on Reality…
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” -Albert Einstein
“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” –Edgar Allan Poe
“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”-John Lennon
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” ― Philip K. Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon the book
#1) Harness the Power of Change
*Harness-to bring under conditions for effective use; gain control over for a particular end:
*Power-ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
*Change-to become different:
***Stats from 2006…The U.S. Department of Labor estimated the average U.S. worker will have 10-14 jobs by the time he or she is age 38. There are 540,000 words in the English Language which is 5 times more than during Shakespeare’s time. 3000 books are published every day. Technology is being upgraded daily if not hourly.
-Quotes on Change….
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw-author and play write (Irish)
“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” ― Eckhart Tolle-author and speaker (German)
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
…how to grow and nurture relationships with your customers.
(Be a resource to your clients; recommend software, conferences, networking events or continuing education opportunities)
Know Your Customers!!!! Know means to be intimate. (Focus groups, best practices, think tanks, etc.) Large companies and Government entities host and sponsor these events to understand the people they serve.
***Baby Boomers, Generation X and the Millennial Generation
*Baby Boomer- a person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965. (A characteristic of this group…either liberal or conservative in their philosophy)
*Generation X-the generation born in the United States after 1965. (A characteristic of this group…they hold certain values individually not as a whole, may have conservative as well as liberal views)
* Millennial Generation- young entrepreneurs who are changing the world and sharing their opinions with others. (A characteristic of this group…they believe very highly of themselves and will not be Holden to any traditional ideals)
Knowing your customers will allow you to better understand their needs and desires.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” (Paulo Coelho)
I remember when I first began to play organized baseball at the age of 12. I was afraid in my first few practices and intimidated by pitchers; I was afraid to catch fly balls, ground balls or line drives. My grandmother attended my first game and said to me, “Play like you have a future in this game!” I stepped to the plate and hit a double. Two years later I was MVP of my team and on the All-star team. If I had allowed fear to grip me my growth would have been stunted. So, go and swing for the fences my friends! You have a future and maybe the best or one of the best in your chosen field. You won’t know unless you put your best foot forward.
What are the issues surrounding entrepreneurship and being a minority business owner?
1) You must differentiate yourself from the competition or you just look, sound and feel like everyone else.
2) “Where’s the beef?” If you remember the old Wendy’s commercial that asked this question it slaps of one thing, bring fullness/wholeness/completeness or stay out of the game.
3) Where will your support come from? What Industry or corporate brain trust can see and appreciate your value or contribution to not only Corporate America, but successful daily living.
I believe with my whole heart this country is the greatest nation ever! The greatest collection of individuals under one flag reside in the U.S.A. As we say in New Orleans, “Ya heard me”? I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and almost everyone I meet has respect and admiration for our great land. Are we perfect? No. Do we get it right all the time? No. Is life a utopia? Absolutely not. But, we love life, we support the less fortunate and we give tirelessly. What does this have to do with being a minority business owner? Everything my friend.
You look different from the moment you walk in the door. You sound different from the moment you open your mouth. We get a different feel or vibe while in your presence. Now you have to make it work for you on paper and among the nuts and bolts of getting down to business. Your operation must be efficient, operable, concise, excellent and trustworthy. Looking, sounding and feeling different may get you in the door, i.e. Supplier Diversity, but winning in the game of business requires the traditional parameters, hard work and integrity.
The days of fluff, pageantry and blowing smoke is over. Corporate America has a bottom line and its all dollars and cents. Can you help me make money, grow my business and make my brand the best in the market place? That frozen patty will not work; I need a fresh patty off the grill. Take the time and do the homework necessary to compete at an elite level. Education is never a bad idea. Networking is a must and good Mentorship never hurt anyone.
Corporate America, please look at our track record, motivation and quality. If it lines up with your vision, support our businesses with you dollars and your sense, not cents. For far too long we have been getting your cents or scraps and if we are truly to be competitive we need your dollars and sense. Sense equals=S-Strategic thinking, E-Eyes on the prize, N-Never discount our worth to your company, S-Stay until the job is finished and E-Equal Opportunity for all.
“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” (Robert Frost) Change the world this week. How? I don’t know, but do something Executive Level Thinker!
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” (John Lennon) It’s a personal mission of mine to encourage as many people as I can to chase the dream through my speaking engagements, blog, networking and personal contact. Unfortunately many only see a 9 to 5, paying bills and surviving when a DREAM allows us to thrive, excel beyond natural borders, change the lives of loved ones or simply create a happy space in time. I’m a huge fan of John Lennon and boy did he strike a chord with that song!