I was paid/compensated by AT&T to be a digital influencer for the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Summit. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. They are just giving me a little more access to share certain parts of the summit with you.
Okay, let’s start with AT&T and learn a little about how they can help your small business before we jump into the BE Summit.
AT&T is committed to helping entrepreneurs especially black owned businesses utilize the resources necessary to create, build and sustain thriving businesses. I personally use AT&T as my internet provider. And the customer support and service has been much better than my previous provider. AT&T hosted 3 events at the BE Summit and a really cool photo/video booth. I had fun in there.
You can check out my photos and video below.
Okay so let’s get to the 3 events AT&T hosted then I’ll share my takeaways from the BE Summit.
- AT&T “Going Up! Elevator Pitch Competition”: The pitch competition was great. I really wanted the bib company to win because I worked in daycares so I know how profitable that idea is. We heard some really great pitches of ideas I never even thought about before. Each of the ideas are something that the marketplace needs and people are willing and ready to pay for. I’ve never pitched in front of an audience but I have won money from investors. There are 3 things you should do when you pitch.
- Speak to the profit that the investor will make from investing.
- Have a product/service that has a marketplace that is willing to pay for what you’re selling.
- It’s not a commercial to sell but to get the funds to scale. So know how that money will be used to grow the business.
Watch the winners reactions.
- Spotting Trends & Opportunities in Tech – Hosted by AT&T: This session shared how to stay in the know about current trends and how to implement those trends in your business. I personally am not an early adopter on tech anything. But if I want to succeed in business I do need to know the trends, watch the trends and adapt the trends to benefit my business. There were a lot of questions about getting money. We all want money. Getting money is not what the focus should be. Being able to handle the money when you do get it is the focus. You have to position your business to handle more than 1-2 clients at a time. This is where adopting tech trends comes into play. Tech helps you scale which makes your business more efficient and effective.
- AT&T “Culture + Code” luncheon: This luncheon was beyond my wildest dreams. It wasn’t so much the content or people persay (which by the way, all of them are top in their fields), it was moreso I made it into a room I worked to get into. This room had people who are solution oriented. They are NOT complainers, whiners and blamers. They all have/had ideas and made them happen. But along the way they learned that working with others and not alone would help them succeed much quicker. They also learned that supporting the businesses in their community would create a new economic opportunity. My biggest takeaway from this luncheon is to listen to people who have the success you want and learn. Then go home and begin to implement. I know what you’re thinking, we all do that. But this is different. The people in that room created or run million dollar companies. They have done the work. They have blazed the path. And they are not teaching and learning at the same time as some of the people you follow online. IJS. They gave simple advice such as…
- Support 10 black professionals such as doctor, dentist, CPA, etc.
- To merge with another company so you’re big enough to handle the bigger contracts.
- And most importantly, don’t keep the culture you’re creating isolated. Go from place to place and share your culture while picking up some new things along the way.
There’s more I can say but let’s leave you with this: Watch the people you know and see who ACTS and who just POSTS on social media. That’s how you build the culture that will create shifts in your business.
Whew….that’s a lot and I still have to share my overall experience with you. You can glean that from my tweets. But there are 3 takeaways from the BE Summit you can utilize today that will shift you in the direction of building a successful business.
For some reason, I couldn’t find my tweets from Jonathan Sprinkles session. Which was one of my top 3 by the way. The other two being Hill Harper and Black Banks Matter. So here’s some great ways to master winning a business presentation for Jonathan’s recap and check the tweets for the other 2 sessions I enjoyed.
So now to my 3 takeaways:
- I learned more about the entrepreneurial community in Houston reading the March/April issue and attending the summit than over 5 years of mindless networking in the same circles. Takeaway: Go to new circles. It’s okay to make new friends. Especially in business.
- Persistence reaps rewards. I wanted to attend the BE Summit as a blogger and I wasn’t making much progress. But AT&T contacted me the week before and I was beyond ecstatic. Takeaway: Continue to put out great quality and stay visible in your niche. You never know who’s watching or when you get the phone call that will change the trajectory of your business.
- It’s true when they say your reputation can and will precede you. People I didn’t know where coming up to me and they knew I was a blogger. No, it wasn’t just my tweets either. I have worked over 5 years establishing myself as an influencer in Houston. I made myself known, visible and trusted. So to have people who were impressed with my accomplishments humbled me. I do what I do because I’m full of information and just want to share with you. Takeaway: You won’t always be a nobody. (Not to say you’re not but in your niche, people don’t know you.) Keep your head down, make strategic moves and reach out to people so they know you exist. You want to be able to enter rooms and people know of you. About you. That’s when you can take the influence you’ve built and begin to establish collaborative business relationships. And that’s exactly what I plan to do with the connections I made.
The BE Summit is definitely in another dimension when it comes to entrepreneur events, black or white. I truly didn’t feel it was just a pep rally. Nor was it just boring content. It was a perfect mix of everything you need to make the best gumbo (and I don’t eat gumbo but Houstonians swear by the dish) to elevate your business to higher levels.