elsewhere. Take a good look at the community in which your business operates, and you’ll no doubt find unmet needs. Lead, use your influence, and work with others to help provide solutions and create opportunities. Set aside 1% or 2% of your annual profits or salary so that you can meet emergency requests from friends, family, associates, or the community at large. If you don’t have money, donate time (say, a day each month), or be prepared to donate your company’s goods, services, or expertise to a worthy cause. When requests for favors come—and believe me, they will—you’ll be prepared with ways to help.
The bottom line is this: Excelling in business goes hand in hand with excelling at creating opportunities, recognizing and meeting needs, and yes, doing favors—both large and small—for others. Any good entrepreneur can make money. The very best, including those leading our 2011 be 100s Companies of the Year, make a difference. I urge you to join me in honoring them at this year’s Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo. More important, I hope you’ll be inspired to follow their example.