One of the joys of teaching is the opportunity to invite guest speakers who bring their experience and insights alive for the class. The speakers have the added advantage of being a “guest” lecturer and their message not only sounds new but resonates well. I was fortunate to have Bea Wolpert, an amazing entrepreneur, lawyer and woman leader. Over an hour, Bea in her inimitable style—reality laced with humor and self-deprecation—shared her own experience as a lawyer and entrepreneur as well as the stories of some of her entrepreneur clients. I realized her stories and insights serve well as advice for most prospective and practicing entrepreneurs. Here they are
- Purpose Be purpose-driven – It’s well worth figuring out what are you passionate about. Pursue that passion rather than money alone – be it dog-walking, raising Labradoodles or being a chef or lawyer (all examples she illustrated)
- Relationships Work on building authentic relationships – these take time and will pay off in spades
- Give forward Focus on giving something of value first – people will automatically seek more and become customers. This could be a blog, seminar or webinar, free consultation, or samples at farmers markets – make it easy to buy from you.
- Sales Recognize your job is selling – not just being a chef, designer, lawyer and learn to become good at it.
- Numbers Business is about numbers – so the more you learn to understand numbers – costs, profit & loss the better off you will be
- Commitment Be all-in. Don’t expect a bank (or anyone else, except a parent possibly) to fund your company or you, if you are not willing to be all-in and
- Plan Whether a business plan for a bank, succession plan for yourself or a marketing plan for the company, planning is both important and will help.