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In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, I had the pleasure of attending an entrepreneur workshop with a great group of successful entrepreneur panelists. It was definitely an entrepreneur’s dream to be surrounded by a group of talented people who were willing to share the experiences, expertise, and how they made entrepreneurship work for them. It was informative and valuable information to use as I continue my journey. It also gave me that extra push to not give up.

This was a free event at University CoWork. University CoWork is an amazing office space that provides downtown style shared space and amenities to a community of business owners on the south side of Chicago. The event was facilitated by Ella Britton Gibson who asked some amazing questions that incorporated some of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s principles and how they apply to entrepreneurship and following your dream. All the panelist touched on every question and the conversation flowed smoothly. Here is my recap of the business lessons I took away from attending the event.

Mary L. Datcher, Founder/CEO of Global Mixx Media, Inc., touched on my current phase in entrepreneurship which is returning to Corporate America. She talked about her experience returning to Corporate America and what she learned during that process. The truth is you need money to finance your business. Thanks to Mary, I now see Corporate America as a way for me stack my money, get additional training to help me become great in an area where I need improvement and a place to learn the principles of running a successful business. As I move forward with my journey to restart my corporate career, I will definitely use that opportunity to better myself as a business person and see it not as a job but a financing opportunity for me to take my website where I want it to go.

Larvetta L. Lofton, Founder/CEO of L3 Agency, explained the importance of capital and using your capital to invest in your business. I learned about making smart choices with my capital so that my investments go further. She put emphasis on the importance of owning property and how it will always give you access to money. It’s okay to use your own capital such as your home to get your business to the next phase. It’s okay to borrow money but always stick to your plan of action when paying it back. The more capital you have the more money you have to invest in yourself. When it’s your own money and you think about losing everything you own, you will use your capital wisely.

Gregory Hinton, CEO, Gregory Group Advisors, LLC confirmed what I knew about collaboration. He explained how a partnership is not your enemy or competition. It is actually a great resource that could help your company grow. Imagine having a small business but the request for services you are getting you cannot accommodate because you don’t have the staffing. How many times are you going to let those offers go out the window before you collaborate with someone? This is the perfect opportunity to partner up with someone that could help you fulfill that contract and help each other’s business grow. You still need to know your partner and make sure your agreement with each other is fair and lucrative for both parties. Creating great partnerships can help you and your company grow.

Albert Demming, Former Executive Director of 100 Black Men of Chicago, said something most entrepreneurs need to really believe which is that, Faith Overrides Fear. You have to have faith in your business and believe it is your destiny even it when it confronts you with life-changing situations. According to Albert, your thought process should always be to succeed or bust. You may have to leave your comfort zone but the reward will be worth it in the end. The more you put into it the more you will get out. Don’t half do your dream so you only get a partial reward. Love it like your baby and do what it takes to make it thrive. You cannot have a good end game without sacrificing your blood, sweat, and tears.

Constance Sims-Kincaid, Owner/Operator of 5 Loaves Eatery, words of wisdom were to follow first before you become a leader. Find a reason every day to be happy and never be grudgeful. When you can accept the position you are in and the reason why, you will go further. Use that time to be a sponge. Soak up everything you can. Learn everything you can so when your turn comes you are ready. It’s okay to not be the person on top, but while you are at the bottom learn every lesson you need to learn so when you get to the top you can stay there.

Caprice Lindsey, AVP/Branch Manager Hyde Park Bank, explained money and wasteful spending the best way I have ever heard it. She said, Get intimate with your money habits. You should know where every penny of your money goes. Keep track of it, write it down, cut cost where you can so you have more money to reinvest in your company. I am already a good budgeter but I am definitely tracking all of my spendings even how I am spending the weekly allowance I give myself so that I have more money to invest in my business. I am saving more, making small adjustments to my lifestyle and in the 2 weeks since attending this event I have seen a huge impact.

The event was informational and it definitely left me with a different mindset on entrepreneurship. I now have better plans and ideas on how I can take my business to the next level. If you ever get a chance to hear any of these panelists speak, please, please attend. You will definitely be inspired and be blessed with valuable information for your business. If you need a place for business meetings definitely check out University CoWorks. It is an awesome space that will accommodate all your business needs.

I am TonShay Theresa and those were the business lessons I received from Discover The Dream Panelist. Don’t forget to follow TonShay Theresa on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you Cheryl Katherine Wash of Global Executive Media for the invite and collaborating with TonShay Theresa, providing live video coverage of this event. Thank you to all the panelist for all the valuable information you shared with us.

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