I was fortunate enough to attend another “EforAll’ workshop today. It is always exciting to learn and grow, especially when surrounded by a room full of entrepreneurs and mentors that simply want to succeed, or encourage success. One of the speakers was an attorney. He used the term “long arm”. It stood out to me. If I understood the term correctly, it starts by building a strong business foundation based on integrity and character. When a company is true to its mission and purpose it has a stronger chance of longevity, and an impressive “long arm”.
The “long arm”, as I interpreted it, was creating relationships along the way in business that is concrete and true. Those relationships that you trust and that you are willing to share with another. Over time, your business experience, reputation and networking efforts acquire this entity of contacts. I was impressed, that even though at times he had failed, the reputation that my father created in his network was sincere. My father had a “long arm” of contacts that he felt the same way about as well. I often hear his words, “It might take 20-30 years, but was goes around comes around.”
As I watched my father’s business grow, I witnessed the effort and passion that he put into it. He understood his customer segment, he understood how to put a “value” on what services he provided and he believed in servant leadership; a concept of leading from the bottom up, the form of nursing leadership that I have my master’s degree, and I feel, the reason why his business is still successful today. The personal and professional contacts that my father had in his “long arm” was humbling, to say the least and witnessing it personally at his funeral service, watching the lives that he had touched paying their respects was life changing.
As I venture out into the business world, the would of entrepreneurship, I want to base my “start-up” on those principles. I feel that my “long arm” has been strengthened with the acceptance into this program. To be around a microcosm of individuals that are creating positive change, supporting each others dreams, and assisting each other to become our best selves, speaks volumes to the type of program that EforAll has developed.
My hope is that we can create an energy that is uplifting, and even though the business world is competitive, creating a business model that encourages those around us to grow together is even more productive. As we chisel away at our strengths and weaknesses, as we polish the mission and direction of our businesses, I believe by showing the country that we were a cohort of small business that learned how to work together for the success of a future nation is humbling to be a part of.
“LIFE IS BEST WHEN YOU BUILD BRIDGES BETWEEN PEOPLE AND NOT WALLS.” ~ Muhammad Ali