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10 Things America Must Change to Turn the Country Around by Kelly D. Price

bald eagle and american flagAmerica is facing many problems, leading to a downward spiral towards economic collapse and colonialism (by foreign control). Most Americans are oblivious of the facts, but need to know them if we are ever to recover as a nation. Here are just ten problems America is currently facing. Be warned–this list may shock you! 1. Our Pledge of Allegiance states we are “one nation under God” therefore if someone is offended by the word God that isn’t our problem: it’s theirs!  We aren’t asking anyone to accept our ways, but one person’s problem is only one person’s problem, not the rest of society. 2. Thanks to NAFTA many of our other trading partners have relocated facilities to Mexico to circumvent other trade agreements with the U.S. 3. Illegal immigrants in the U.S. have increased to 12 million today from 3.9 million in 1993, accounting for an overall increase of over 300 percent. 4. Thanks to the WTO, since 1993 we have lost jobs: 561,000 in computer and electronic products; 153,000 in apparel and accessories; 139,000 in administrative support services; and 128,000 in professional, scientific and technical services just to name a few. (Numbers current as of 2008) 5. We give China free reign to enter our county to sell its products to us as cheaply as they want until we can’t compete in our own country due to Chinese mercantilism. 6. The U.S-China trade deficit is exploding, and more job losses are forecast every year. 7. American manufacturing has lost over 3 million jobs in the past 10 years as U.S. companies have also moved to Mexico, China and other foreign countries for lower wages and lax regulations 8.  300,000 American family farms have been put out of business. Overall, net farm incomes are down 13 percent 9. States fight each other to the benefit of foreign companies. We give foreign owned companies subsidies to insource their production in the United States. These foreign owned factories provide very few American jobs in relation to their output since nothing is produced in these factories – they are merely assembly facilities that put together imported foreign parts whose total cost winds up being much less to produce. We are shooting our own American-owned auto facilities in the foot for a few menial jobs in foreign-owned car plants. American subsidies give foreign car companies an even greater advantage against our few remaining companies 10. Be Proud to be a AMERICAN! We start becoming Americans again and telling our elected officials who is the boss, and who is the employee.  Somehow this has been “lost in translation” and we need to change this quickly.  It starts with the American idea of  Democracy! , because if it doesn’t then they wouldn’t be in office.  This one recognition will start the turn around, which we desperately need in our nation today! American ideas and products were valued around the world because of their quality that came from our ingenuity & hard work, as well as our values, traditions and customs. America you can’t simply give up on our youth and children. When my  generation has left this world we would have been the generation that could have saved and turned this nation around. We must not let other nations act with predatory intent as they currently are now, which prevents us from competing on a global scale. Our “free trade” agreements are only giving our competitors the freedom to deliver their goods to our country with prices deliberately devalued to predatorily put our companies out of business. This has made us jobless – a servant economy reliant on foreign debt and foreign products. It is time we started negotiating new trade deals with these foreign nations, ones that will benefit American workers and American employers. We need new deals that will make it profitable to manufacture and produce in the United Sates again. If we do not, our nation may never recover from the damage we are doing to ourselves. God Speed!   Continue Reading

How One Black Entrepreneur ‘Powers’ Obama’s Africa Strategy by Derek T. Dingle

jessica-matthews[1]President Obama’s Africa strategy has moved forward as other countries invest more into the continent. President Obama just ended his whirlwind multi-country tour of Africa. Traveling to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania over six days, his first major trip to the continent included moments both powerful and poignant: The First Family’s tour of the famous slave trade memorial, Maison Des Esclaves (House of Slaves) at Goree Island where millions of enslaved Africans passed through the “Door of No Return”; a trip to Robben      Island, the former prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of incarceration for defiance of apartheid; and Obama’s visit to comfort the Mandela family as the revered leader fought for his life in a Pretoria hospital. The historic meeting between the first black president of the United States, the son of a Kenyan, and the first black president of South Africa would not take place though. As expected, Obama’s trip was chock full of meetings with dignitaries and business leaders as well as speeches designed to deepen US-Africa relations. But his visit, along with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, to the Ubungo      Power Plant holds special relevance to entrepreneurs. It was at that facility — a public-private partnership between the Tanzanian government and General Electric Africa — that Obama witnessed a demonstration of the Soccket ball, a soccer ball that harnesses the kinetic energy generated during play to provide a source of renewable, off-grid power. In fact, a single bulb LED lamp can be plugged into the ball to provide hours of light. This revolutionary portable generator was invented by 25-year-old Jessica Matthews, co-founder and CEO of Uncharted Play Inc., a two-year -old company that grossed $1 million in 2012. Matthews, a dual citizen of Nigeria and the United States, developed Soccket with her partner Julia Silverman when she was just a 19-year-old Harvard University student. She’s no stranger to BLACK ENTERPRISE. This year at our Entrepreneurs Conference in Columbus, Ohio, Uncharted Play received the Innovator of the Year Award for using Soccket to bring power to rural, off-grid areas of Africa as well as Latin America and the United States. Matthews represents the type of tech innovators the president believes can help advance one of his major strategic initiatives for the continent: Power Africa. In an address to students at South Africa’s Capetown University a couple of days before the Soccket demonstration, Obama pledged $7 billion in U.S. investment, along with gaining $9 billion from the private sector, for electricity projects to bring “light where there is darkness.” The energy program seeks to impact as many as 20 million new African households and businesses in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania. Power Africa was the centerpiece of Obama’s message: “Let’s do business.” But he didn’t stop there. He also announced another  initiative — Trade Africa — to increase commercial exchanges with and within Africa, starting with the East African  Community. As part of that effort, he maintained his administration would negotiate a  regional investment treaty with the EAC and work with countries to modernize customs and reduce other barriers obstructing the flow of goods to market. Moreover, he pledged to convince Congress to support extension of the 13-year-old African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows Southern African countries to ship certain products to our country tariff-free. The act expires in 2015. The president has made such moves as China has increased its footprint in Africa. Since 2009, China’s trade with African countries has grown to roughly $200 billion a year, surpassing America for the first time in history. And other foreign countries that ignored the continent only a decade ago have discovered the profit potential in its emerging markets. In 2010, South Africa  joined the industrialized growth economies known as BRICs, which includes Brazil, Russia, India and China. As of 2013, the five BRICS countries reportedly represent almost 3 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product — output of goods and services — of $14.8 trillion; currently South Africa chairs the group. During his trip, the president said: “Africa is home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Sectors like retail, telecom and manufacturing are gaining speed…The world is investing in Africa like never before. In fact, we’re  close to reaching a historic milestone where foreign aid to Africa is  surpassed by foreign investment in Africa.” So what does all of this mean for you? In a word: Opportunity. African American businesses can no longer afford to shun global trade. Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative during the first term of the Obama Administration, told me a few years back that “the United States represents about 5% of the world’s consuming population now. That means as a practical matter, 95% of our opportunities lie outside our own borders…What a lot of people don’t know is 95% of our exporters are small to medium-sized businesses.” In fact, during his tenure, he used the annual AGOA to connect African senior representatives and some African American entrepreneurs. Although there continues to be great reluctance for African Americans to access global markets due to perceived risks, African government officials have come to the U.S. to seek out their ingenuity. Two years ago, I met with Mpho Parks Tau, mayor of Johannesburg, who came to the U.S. to identify a diverse group of entrepreneurs to help create a “green” presence within the city. BLACK ENTERPRISE has also covered entrepreneurs who have profited from global exploration, many who have spread the gospel at our events. For instance, former Goldman Sachs investment banker Teresa Clarke, a speaker at our Women of Power Conference, has built Africa.com into the fastest-growing Africa-related website, with about  5 million page views per month from visitors in more than 200 countries  throughout the world.  (You must read her blogs on the president’s trip.) Critically-acclaimed actor Jeffrey Wright spoke at our 2011 Entrepreneurs Conference about the creation of Taia Lion resources, a company that owns rights to land targeted for gold exploration and mining in Sierra Leone and devotes a percentage of its operating budget to local economic development efforts. Entrepreneur Briggette  Harrington, who appeared in our December 2009 cover story on global business, launched successful golf pro shops in Ghana as well as brought a group of entrepreneurs from the country to the Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge to build cross-continental relationships. Those represent but a few opportunities connected to the motherland. Before taking the plunge, heed the advice of Rick Wade, former deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Commerce who now heads a global business development firm that bears his name. As a part of National Small Business Week, he told entrepreneurs who want to join the global supply chain to partner with other small and  mid-size companies that know the international business terrain to leverage human, technical and financial resources. Establish  close relationships with trade agencies such as the United States  Department of Commerce and Export-Import Bank. Moreover, minority-owned firms “must fight for a seat at the  foreign investment table” and acquire funding from sources in China and other countries. From sectors ranging from agriculture and energy to technology and energy, American entrepreneurs can indeed gain a foothold in Africa, but, to paraphrase, fortune favors the audacious and innovative. Ask Jessica Matthews. She continues to grow Uncharted Play while developing solutions that can drive business development and reduce poverty over time. Her company’s next venture, Ludo, is a “smart ball” that uses an internal motion sensor to track playing time and convert it into points in which consumers can donate items to communities in need.  Given Matthews’ orientation, it is destined to become an international play. I strongly believe that more so than any group of businesspeople, African Americans, use links with Africa from a cultural and business standpoint. We must take advantage of new initiatives and emerging global trends to grow thriving businesses. At the same time, we can bringing innovation and entrepreneurial hustle to address some of the continent’s most critical challenges. Continue Reading

Business Strategist Reveals How to Attract & Retain Corporate Contracts by C. Daniel Baker

Diversity-Business-Strategist-Shayna-Rattler[1] Only 2% of women and minority owned businesses break the $1 million revenue mark One week after the national celebration of Small Business Week, Diversity Business Strategist Shayna Rattler is waving the flag for women and minority business owners.  She shows them how to attract and retain lucrative corporate contracts. Rattler says that only 2% of women and minority owned businesses break the $1 million revenue mark. Of those, 56% of their sales come from corporate clients. The trouble is, most women don’t know how to make a winning approach to earn or retain the business. Guiding clients on both sides of the equation – corporate decision maker and small business owner to make solid connections to advance profits, gain efficiencies, and support economic development – is Rattler’s focus. As CEO and founder of Supplier Diversity Academy, her speaking and training programs have helped create scores and scores of winning connections to invite new possibilities, enhanced performance, and greater rewards since 2008. “The list of things to start, stop and keep doing to earn serious consideration and rewards is long, and the upside for those who take action is huge,” Rattler says. For example:
  • When pitching new business, stop tossing your needle in the haystack with hopes of scoring pay dirt. Narrow your search for the right decision maker by visiting the “Contact Us” section of the website and finding the right name and department to make your first point of contact. For example, training and human resources departments are good places to start to pitch indirect purchases. Procurement and supplier diversity are good places to start to pitch direct purchases.
  • Pay attention, customize, and personalize. That means watching the news media, reading the corporate communications, and reviewing the corporate social responsibility report to determine how your services, philosophy, and approach are a great fit before making an approach.
  • Timing is everything. “The urgent issue always trumps the important,” Rattler says. “A company contending with sexual harassment lawsuits is going to be in the market for training to solve that problem right now.”
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your business financial health when pitching corporate contracts. Rattler says that corporate clients will check Dun and Bradstreet and other risk profiles to determine that potential vendors pay their bills on time. This is especially important for small business owners with fewer than three years of operations.
  • Take care to demonstrate sound operational health, as well. The tools, systems, and staff supporting the enterprise need to be well honed to execute flawlessly. “Be prepared to describe and demonstrate processes and results in specific, terrific terms to earn client confidence that you have what it takes to deliver as promised,” Rattler advises.
  • Price your proposals fairly to be taken seriously. “Steer clear of being the low cost provider. Be the BEST VALUE and BEST RESULTS provider so you never leave good money on the table.” Rattler suggests.
  • Start communicating your value from the first point of contact so the benefits you offer your client are crystal clear.
  • Practice the fine art of follow up. This applies to both pitching the business and servicing the client after the sale. Get clarity around how much communication, reporting, and follow up the client expects from the start, and aim to meet and exceed that expectation with winning results.
  • Deliver a unique experience that is memorable, remarkable, and worth talking about. In doing so, you earn the privilege to obtain repeat business and referrals to new business.
  • Continue to invest in your own professional skills and development to bring best practices to life for your client.
Continue Reading

Berry Gordy, Motown Founder, Explains How He Started a Company With $800

s-BERRY-GORDY-MOTOWN-HITSVILLE-USA-OPRAH-OWN-large300[1]By 1959, Berry Gordy had become known for his songwriting talent, helping churn out hit after hit for popular performer Jackie Wilson. But Gordy had his sights set on something even bigger: owning his own record company. Despite his songwriting success, Gordy says he still wasn’t in a financial position to go into business for himself. In his appearance on “Oprah’s Master Class,” the now-mega-successful founder of Motown remembers those early days in which he had the dream of opening up a record company, but didn’t have the funds. “I was not making any money,” Gordy says. “I borrowed money from family savings, which my sister Esther had set up… I asked for $1,000. They only gave me $800.” Armed with the cash, Gordy found a small Detroit photo studio that he was able to purchase. “[It had] two big windows in the front, which I loved,” Gordy recalls. “The garage I made into a recording studio — we called it Studio A.” This location became known as Hitsville USA, Motown’s first headquarters. From the outset, Gordy was determined to make his record company a success. “Hitsville USA was a place where hits were going to be made. Only hits. No flops,” he says firmly in the video. “My job was to get the hits.” But, how? In the video, Gordy reveals the revolutionary approach he used to create some of Motown’s biggest stars, explaining what he valued even more than an artist’s voice talent. “It turned out to be magical,” he says of Motown and its musical approach. “We knew that we would win. And we did.” Continue Reading

Disrupting the Status Quo by Sonia Alleyne

04PP-AdrianeBrown-1a-e1336162582107[1]When Adriane Brown left her position as president and CEO of Honeywell’s transportation division in August 2009, she had spent most of her career in the highly structured, integrated corporate world—in companies that had long histories and specific operating cultures for performance. But when the prospect of working for a small private firm was presented to Brown, she felt that by taking the position she’d not only use the best of what she had learned as a corporate executive, but she’d also get to stretch and develop as a leader. “What drew me to Intellectual Ventures after 30 years in a corporate environment was my thirst for demonstrating and finding the energy and excitement that come from walking in unfamiliar places and doing new things,” she explains. “It’s perhaps a fearlessness, the thrill of the challenge that makes these new opportunities and adventures possible.” Founded in 2000 by three technology professionals and an attorney, Intellectual Ventures is a patent portfolio and licensing company that supports inventions through research, funding, and partnerships in a variety of areas including technology, medicine, automotive, energy, communications, and security. Today it is a global company with roughly 825 employees. Its work has drawn fiery criticism in recent years from software firms, watchdog organizations, economists, and others as taking a predatory approach in the acquisition  of patents. Yet its client base and revenues continue to grow. It lists more than 30 licensing customers and $2 billion in cumulative licensing revenue. Brown believes that controversy in business is a natural course for untraditional companies. “I recognized that IV was controversial,” she offers, “but I also felt the integrity of what we were trying to do. I’m on the inside, so I know exactly what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. I see our customers, I see our investors, and I see the kinds of solutions that we’re bringing to the marketplace and I’m OK with that.” Here Brown discusses how she’s managed transitional challenges and how she keeps her team and the company on track. What has the transition to a private company been like? What I found interesting was people didn’t want me to do things because that’s the way corporations do them. I could take the principles, but I had to let it take its own path here. And so I love the fact that I don’t have to do things by rote. I had to make it our own. Would you give an example? I have had corporate town halls for years, and after I talked with one of my colleagues he shared with me that it could have been any company’s name on the door. What we needed was something that was cooler, quirkier, something that was a little bit challenging. That moment really solidified for me this notion of not taking things for granted, but to make it fit our culture, to make it fit our unique gathering of talent, and make it work for my new company. If you’re not willing to listen and hear, you can sometimes miss those little things that help employees understand that you are part of their world—instead of making them part of mine. How has your role here evolved? When I first came to Intellectual Ventures, the leadership team and I talked about the fact that we needed to have a stronger sense of our operation cadence. So I established a management operating system and things were starting to run smoothly. In this more entrepreneurial environment I have brought a good level of mastery to the COO part of my job. I’m now leaning more heavily on the president side of my job. I can step away from the day-to-day things and think broadly about some of the more strategic challenges and be that guidepost and strong piece of steel that goes down the back of the organization, versus being the glue. That seems like a delicate balance. How do you figure it out? For me it starts with how I set my personal goals for the operation. What the organization needed most when I started was the operational cadence to drive results and ensure that we were delivering on our commitments to our investors. Now that we have a real strength having gone through two calendar years, what does the organization need to take us to the next level? The pace is very fast. Agility is important. Many leaders talk about the importance of agility, but it doesn’t seem easy to manage for most organizations. Change management is necessary. And I’m not talking about the function of an organization—I’m talking about a mindset, a willingness to change. But you cannot change without communication. It’s about talking to people, it’s about engaging. During the course of the year, we know there are things that will happen that we cannot contemplate today. It’s important as our priorities shift that we change the goals and are willing to substitute that which we said we were going to do—once we all buy into it so that the organization can keep the accountability culture, but at the same time be responsible to the things we now know to do. It’s hard to have agility and accountability at the same time and not have them conflict, but it’s possible. What happens when you make a wrong turn? I always say, “We’re gonna make mistakes.” Risk management means you don’t do it in isolation. You establish what you’re trying to do, what you think the risks are—and you stay close enough to it so if you have to retreat or make a change you actually have not surprised anyone with the outcome. It’s important that this notion of agility and risk taking is one in which you learn the lesson and then move on. But if your organization can’t fail in a reasonable way, it will be stuck. Continue Reading

Race Matters in Funding Small Businesses By John Tozzi

0417_sb_lending_190x127[1]Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs start their businesses with less money than whites. Minority businesses rely more on the owner’s personal wealth than on outside lenders or investors. These companies are less likely to apply for bank loans for fear of getting turned down. When they do seek credit, black and Hispanic business owners are less likely to be approved than whites, even after controlling for characteristics like credit score or the type of business. The differences persist for years after companies are founded. These findings, from a new research paper commissioned by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, add to the growing body of evidence that the playing field for entrepreneurs is tilted depending on the color of their skin. “These disparities at startup follow through the operational life of the firm, and they’re not disappearing,” says author Alicia Robb, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. Robb used data from the Kauffman Firm Survey, which followed about 5,000 companies started in 2004 over several years. The difference begins with America’s wide gap in wealth between whites and Asians on one side and blacks and Hispanics on the other. The median net worth in black households in the U.S. was less than $9,000, compared with $114,000 for whites, in 2004, the year the firms in the survey were started. That gap has widend  since the recession. Despite starting with less wealth on average, black and Hispanic entrepreneurs rely more on their own money to start their businesses: On average owners and company insiders put up 56 percent of initial capital, with external debt and equity making up the rest. At white-owned businesses, which started with double the capital on average, internal funds made up only 39 percent. (These figures don’t account for differences such as credit score and type of business, which might account for some of the disparity.) Even after controlling for credit score and type of business, however, Robb found that minority entrepreneurs were more likely than whites to avoid applying for loans because they feared they’d be turned down. This was significant in every year Robb studied, and her paper calls it “perhaps the clearest recent evidence of continued borrowing constraints for black and Hispanic business owners in the United States.” The fear is justified. Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to have loans approved, even after controlling for credit score and other factors, a disparity that got worse through the financial crisis, Robb found. It’s not direct evidence of bias (whether deliberate or not) in the financial system, and Robb is careful to note that there are always factors or variables which surveys can’t properly measure. But if the results are right, all else being equal, a white entrepreneur is more likely to get a loan than a black or Hispanic entrepreneur. Robb also looked at how gender played a role. Like minorities, women entrepreneurs were more likely to be discouraged from borrowing for fear of rejection than men. When they did seek credit, loan applications were generally approved at similar rates as men, except in 2008. It’s worth remembering that all the data about disparities in funding measure only the companies in business. Researchers call that survivorship bias. The survey doesn’t count the firms that shuttered when they couldn’t get a credit line, or the would-be entrepreneurs who never started companies because they didn’t have and couldn’t get the needed money. The companies in the survey “are actually relatively more successful than firms on average,” Robb says. Counting business failures, she says, “the downside can actually be worse and [it can be] the reason for why other businesses actually close.” Continue Reading

Memphis Entrepreneur Academy

313750_449892245097739_1322106670_n[1]Memphis Entrepreneur Academy (MEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting summer program class that transforms young students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of business owners, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Complete with dynamic guest speakers from the local business community and exciting trips to local companies, the fun, projects-based MEA! MEA approach empowers youth to take charge of their futures in a profound way. Our mission is to inspire children to thrive for higher goals, good citizenship, to conduct themself as to bring credit to themselves, family and community. To develop future leaders for our community and nation to build a better economy for the future. Memphis Entrepreneur Academy is a summer program for ages 10 to 16. The program will be in in session from June 3rd till July 19th 2013. A draft_lens2342808module13124299photo_1230058518kids_in_business[1]program where children are inspired to develop a healthy lifestyle, develop creative initiative, entrepreneurship agility and civic literacy in a community environment. * What is the MEA? A program where children are inspired to develop a healthy lifestyle, develop creative initiative, entrepreneurship agility and civic literacy in a community environment. * How did you come up with this concept?  I wanted to be able to develop future leaders for our community and nation to build a better economy for the future. * What will this do for the students who enroll? Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of business owners, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. * Why is this important for young people? To be able to develop the necessary skills not only contribute to community but also able to develop a partial product that can be used. * What can business owners do to help with the MEA? We would like business owners stop by and just talk with kids and share their knowledge.

* As a city, what would you like to see Memphis doing to make a bigger impact in the lives of young people? Allow our youth to develop into leaders, future business leaders and also have a stake in their community.kids-lemonade-stand[1]

*You have been spending your Friday mornings with a class of young men; tell us about what you are doing, why, and what impact you hope to have? I have been talking with young men about their future and how they can control their destiny.

*How parents can get their kids involved? For more information on the Memphis Entrepreneur Academy, please contact Kelly D. Price, Founder/CEO (901) 451-2900 memphisacademy1@gmail.com www.mymeakid.org Continue Reading
Business-Technology[1]

WHAT IS NETWORKING?

Every time I turn around people want to start a networking group or a meet and greet. I have written something’s down to help you and tell you why Networking in Memphis and Networking in Atlanta has been such a great success! (This is a great read for everyone!!) First what is Business networking? It is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential a handshakeclients and/or customers. Notice that I don’t say anything about meeting people in this definition; the ever-increasing slew of businesses networking meet-and-greet events has given business networking a bad name. The key to true business networking is the establishment of a mutually beneficial relationship, and that’s an incredibly rare event at the standard shake-hands-and-exchange-your-business-card events that are touted as business networking “opportunities”. The purpose of business networking is to increase business revenue one way or another. The thickening of the bottom line can be immediately apparent, as in developing a relationship with a new client, or develop over time, as in learning a new business skill. The best business networking groups operate as exchanges of business information, ideas, and support (NO MATTER THE BUSINESS). The most important skill for effective business networking is listening; focusing on how you can help the person you are listening to rather than on how he or she can help you is the first step to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship. Jim learned a lot about how to improve his customer service through his business networking group. Networking is a lot of fun! Business networking is when a group of likeminded business people gather and help each other. If you check, you will surely find a networking group in your area. The networking group can meet as often as they wish, as is convenient for the participants. Regrettably, most people start with a networking group by looking for immediate gains, that is, for favorable results for themselves. If this is what you are trying to achieve, you are networking for the wrong reasons and will be sticking out like a sore thumb. Many people think that the size of a networking group makes the difference in networking. When groups start falling in size, members will say, “We have to build up our numbers.” Now, what numbers are they referring to? Is it the number of participants? I would rather belong to a networking group of two people who can help each other on a regular basis then have a large group of business people not following the Ten Commandments of Networking. It is not the quantity, it is the quality. “I haven’t got any leads yet!” Well excuse me; have you given one, ever? Or, have you made a suggestion that might help a fellow member? Did you call anyone with a compliment and say, “Just wanted you to know, Jim, that your comments on the XYZ expansion was right on the money.” One must be willing to put in time waiting also. It might take a while before people feel comfortable with offering you a referral. Networking groups will entrepreneur-network-women-300x232[1]come and go. To get the most out of your networking experience, you need to build a relationship with people who you want to have contact with. Not all members will be able to help you, nor will you be able to help them. That doesn’t mean you should snub them! I still have strong relationships with my networking friends from groups that are long gone. When networking, spend most of your time and effort on people who can help each other out, for the long term. That is right. This is a long term project. Countless times I have been to business networking events and have seen people actually run from person to person, with the expectations of first giving away their card and hoping to gather the other person’s. How can you possibly build a relationship with a person when your objective is to get out there, and collect cards? Some networking groups make a game out of it to see who can collect the most in a certain time. What a waste of business cards! You will find that a highly effective networker will “work the net”. What I mean is that they will go into a function with a goal in mind. My usual goal when business networking is to have the expectation that I will “meet” and “understand” only three people per event. I know what kind of person that I can help and expect that this person will be able to do the same for me. A win/win situation is what I am talking about. The highly effective networker will take the time to cultivate a rapport. After the business networking event is when the real work begins. After all, you are only at the networking event to meet and build rapport. Follow up ASAP. Now is the time to send a nice customized card, and call a few days after to arrange a time to meet for a coffee or to have lunch. That is when you can listen to the details of what your new “friend” requires. You might even have the chance to offer your goods and services, only after listening. If you want to gain the most out of business networking, follow the Ten Commandments of Networking! 1) Thou shalt drop the “what is in it for me?” attitude. 2) Thou shalt listen. 3) Thou shalt build a relationship. 4) Thou shalt give the first referral. 5) Thou shalt not tell others of the referral you require; thou shalt “show them” with a story. 6) Thou shalt be specific of the type of referral. 7) Thou shalt reciprocate when appropriate. 8) Thou shalt participate in the network executive, functions, and network time. 9) Thou shalt thank the person who gave a referral. 10) Thou shalt follow up on the referral within 24 hours. Business networking is productive and fun, and that is why it will always be part of the Bigger Picture. Thank you Kelly D. Price DSC_2655[1] - Copy   Continue Reading

Balewa’s Vegan Gourmet

Balewa’s Vegan Gourmet specializes in organic, raw vegan cuisine. They serve fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and juices, raw soups, and the infamous “live” burger. 3496_444225708976062_1401867291_n[2]It’s a place you where you can return your body back to its natural state. Memphis now has a place you can eat and be healthy and not feel bad about eating there. So go visit Balewa’s Vegan Gourmet at 394 N Watkins St , Memphis, Tennessee 38104 Balewa Bayete is a 35 year raw vegan, nutritional consultant, and wholistic health practitioner who specialize in the treatment, prevention, and maintenance of illness and disease through nutritional therapy. Aside from providing Memphis with delicious raw vegan meals and snacks, Balewa Vegan Gourmet offers a variety of services including herb walks, sprouting classes, detoxification, and seminars on the benefit of raw foods and wholistic living. At Balewa’s, they are changing lives one meal at a time, which is where it all counts.538447_444223938976239_934672823_n[1] 208009_146163818782254_5369334_n[1]Call Balewa Bayete for general information regarding cafe hours and location, call in orders, services, programs, classes and seminars: call 901-859-0590. You also can schedule an appointment for nutritional consultations and counseling, detoxification information and session please call the number above. Analysis and lifestyle transformation guidance: contact Indigo @ 901-674-8139. Continue Reading

Taylor Brown Apothecary(Drug Store)

12-97-050-Apathecary-1_0[1]Taylor Brown Apothecary operates as a full-service retail and long-term care drug store with two locations 568 Poplar Ave. Memphis, TN 38105, 3333 E. Shelby Dr. Memphis, TN 38118 that is focused on meeting the Memphis and surrounding counties healthcare needs by:  applying quality management and leadership principles to foster continuous healthcare development, holding integrity and honesty as the most important principles and performing at the highest level of ethical standards.  Taylor Brown Apothecary offers disease management service programs to its clients.  The disease management service programs will address health issues, including but not limited to, cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, behavioral health issues and other wellness issues.  Taylor Brown Apothecary features: Dollar front end, beauty care center, four dollar prescription plan, disease management and wellness center, and discount card program for brand and generic medications.  The company’s principles activities are to sell prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as other healthcare and beauty needs. Dr. Ivory L. Taylor and his wife Dr. Joyce Taylor are providing a great service to the Memphis community and the people that people that are underserved in the downtown area. Taylor Brown Apothecary has been recognized for being an award winning facility by the City of Memphis and the State of Tennessee. Taylor Brown Apothecary is a local business and we ask you visit and support our local business here in Memphis, Tennessee. Visit Taylor Brown Apothecary online as well @ http://taylorbrowngroup.com/home#   Dr.IvoryTaylor[1]Dr. Ivory L. Taylor Chairman/CEO Dr. Ivory Taylor has serviced as the Chairman/CEO of Taylor Brown, since July 2003. Dr. Taylor primary focus is to ensure that the company continues to meet the healthcare needs of the Memphis and Shelby County community. Dr. Ivory Taylor offer over thirty-five years’ experience in Leadership/ Administration. He was a successful and highly respected educator/administrator at both the University and Community College levels and served in the military as a first sergeant of combat soldiers. Dr. Taylor possesses a strong background in leadership and human relations skills with excellent interpersonal skills, and a strong motivation to excel. Education: A Doctor of Leadership (Arkansas State University, Jonesboro) Master of Leadership and Master in Higher Education (The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS) Bachelor of Science (The University of Louisville, Louisville, KY) Retired U. S. Army – 20 years of service Awards
: “Business Community Service” in Memphis TN., by the City of Memphis Tennessee (2008).
One of the “Top Men of Excellence” by the Tri-State Defender Newspaper of Memphis Tennessee (2010).
Company of the Year by the Black Business Association (2010).
Rising Star Company of the Year Award by State of Tennessee (2010).   Dr.JoyceTaylor[1]Dr. Joyce Taylor Executive Vice-President/Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joyce Taylor has served as the Executive Vice-President/Chief Medical Officer since January 2004. Dr. Joyce Taylor also planned and designed Taylor Brown from the ground-up. Dr. Joyce Taylor has over twenty-five years’ experience in leadership and management as a Pharmacist. Dr. Joyce Taylor is responsible for the overall operation of the pharmacy. Her responsibility include: investigating and securing pharmacy related business opportunities; assisting in the selection, training, and development of pharmacy personnel; and protecting all pharmacy assets. She also assures compliance of all records and documents required by DEA and State Board of Pharmacy regulations. Education: Pharm. D. (Doctoral of Pharmacy) Xavier University of Louisiana
R. Ph. (Pharmacy) Xavier University of Louisiana
B.S. (Chemistry) Xavier University of Louisiana
Licensing in the state of Tennessee and Louisiana
A member of the Professional Compounding Centers of America Awards: “Best Small Business Facility” in Memphis TN., by the Black Business Association (2007).
One of the “Top Women of Excellence” by the Tri-State Defender Newspaper of Memphis TN (2009). Continue Reading

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Celebrate our 4th year of Networking in Memphis

This month September 24th, 2014 we will celebrate our 4th year of Networking in Memphis promoting an environment that gathers business professionals, entrepreneurs, community and civic groups within the Memphis area!

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