Last night I attended a panel discussion held by two inspiring young women and was reminded of the importance of having a few characteristics while being an entrepreneur: You must deliver an equal amount of Passion, Persistence and Patience in the culture of entrepreneurship. While I’m still cultivating all three, it is truly motivating to see these in action from other successful people. Tonight I witnessed a panel of four people willing to share their experiences and tools needed to pursue this lifestyle.
Diamonds in the Rough was a first time annual event for local and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Omaha, Nebraska area. Panelists included Julia Parker, Tunette Powell, Aisha Okudi & Mark Carpenter. Of course there were common themes throughout each panelist, but what stuck out for me was the passion for giving back. The panelists all were dedicated to sharing insight and guidance for new and old business owners. I did not agree with everything that was said but even still it sparked an interest in me to do more research – which is a an important quality to have for anyone willing to start or own a business (Don’t believe everything you hear).
Some of the best advice from the panel:
– Tunette Powell (Author & Motivational Speaker) on setting goals – Be able to project where you want to be in a year. Be willing to reach out to strangers. Get over your fears and be willing to ask for help. Stay committed to your passion long enough to get paid for it.
– Julia Parker (Executive Director of Omaha Small Business Network & Marketing Consultant) on the steps to success – The successful entrepreneurs are willing to build and grow. You should have a great idea, but be excellent at execution, committed to developing a plan and then you can focus on obtaining the financial assistance or start up funds. When you do this in reverse, its hard to keep your business afloat.
– Aisha Okudi (Owner of Sha Luminous organic shea butter products) on promotion & perseverance – Word of mouth is the best advertising. Always trust your gut. Not everyone wants to see you succeed. Have faith and patience with yourself. “I have been homeless countless times and God has seen me through every time!”
– Mark Carpenter (Vice President of SKAR Advertising) on advertising – Save your money on advertising by securing a brand promise – stay TRUE to who you are as a business. Your customers will always remember that.
After the event I was also reminded of the significance of a supportive audience. Putting on any public event is not easy. The two women who put in hours of dedication to see this event through were grateful for the attendance and crowd participation. Let me tell you first hand how important it is to receive feedback from a live audience: it changes your perspective on the reason you host an event in the first place. I can recall events I’ve produced that were only rewarding because of the feedback I got from participants who revealed how it was all worth their time and money and that they were inspired!
Every person in the audience of this panel was hungry to grow and this support can really inspire the event producers as well. If for no other reason than to encourage someone else, this is why you move and serve as an entrepreneur. It is the inspiration that drives one to act; those actions and dedication lead to results and hopefully unimaginable success.