Recently, I had the opportunity to speak for the kickoff of the Howard University Institute for Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Innovation’s (ELI) Third Annual Freshman Orientation Boot Camp. The Institute is designed to provide interested students, across all disciplines, with the knowledge and skills essential for success as entrepreneurs. In other words, its mission is simply to help young people focus on creating their own destinies!
Traditionally, kids are sent off to school with a mantra from their parents that they are to “Go to school; get a good education; so they can get a good job!” But my Dad said to my brother, Noble and me, “Go to school, get a great education and create some jobs!” I was intrigued that my Dad worked from home. Dad would rise early in the morning, wash, shave and put on a clean starched white shirt and tie and a pair of dark slacks. Then he would go down into the basement, to his office – and begin to work. Dad was a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspaper.
The question then is “How do we prepare ourselves to become successful entrepreneurs and create jobs?” First, we must have a vision; then make tough decisions, like who is in our inner circle of influence; take massive right action toward our goals; and have strong desire – “bull dogged” determination to achieve our goals!
One famous entrepreneur says it like this… “find a problem, create a solution and make a profit.” And remember to work on your “network” as hard as you work on your “net worth!” While money gives you options, the relationships create the right environment to make things happen!
Finally, I talked with the Howard ELI students about passion. Passion for finding what you love to do. When you live your passion, you never really work! Even if you work for another, get a mindset that you are the C.E.O of Y.O.U. Incorporated!
Decide to do more than you are paid to do, go further than you are paid to go and give more than you are expected to give. Act like it’s your own business. And in time, you will discover, you will be paid more than you do!
Make that commitment now, to become the C.E.O. of Y.O.U. Incorporated!
The HU ELI was named as one of the top ten college programs for entrepreneurship, Fortune Small Business Magazine in the March 2006 issue.”
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