embrace and utilize these assets. All of us have been given certain talents that, when used appropriately, can take us to the top of our particular field or profession. And all of us have more treasures than we realize. These treasures are the “stuff in life.” They include not only the things we own, such as our homes, automobiles, bank accounts, stock portfolio, jobs, and businesses, but also our personal relationships.
To ascend to your next level of success and accomplishment, you must depend upon the assets you possess. In other words, you must first recognize and then leverage your assets effectively. However, you cannot leverage that which you don’t value. Consequently, you must value your assets first, then you will be positioned to use them as a stepping-stone to reach greater heights.
Maintaining a true appreciation of everything you have also makes the journey to entrepreneurial success less stressful and more enjoyable.
A Conversation with author Robert L. Wallace
In the introduction of his book , Soul Food: 52 Principles For Black Entrepreneurial Success, Robert L. Wallace tells the story of a U.S. Navy captain’s near collision with a lighthouse during a routine military exercise off the Atlantic Coast in the midst of a major winter storm. The lesson, it seems, is less about the captain’s misadventures and more about the role of a lighthouse. From Wallace’s perspective, a lighthouse is used to guide ships into safe waters and away from the treacherous surf-battered shores.
Wallace, chairman and CEO of the Maryland-based BiTH Technologies Inc., wrote Soul Food (Perseus Publishing; $24) to be a lighthouse for business owners. His mission, he says, is to help provide today’s entrepreneur with safe passage through the tight straits of our national economy. Yet, he is very quick to point out that being a lighthouse alone
isn’t enough. The captains of business have to be capable of making his or her business sail profitably.
“At the end of the day, the only true asset that we have as entrepreneur is our word,” Wallace recently told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “It’s our personal substance. Even though you may acquire the money, the equipment, and the furniture, business is still a person-to-person transaction. So who you are, what you believe in, and how you live your life and treat people become the most important assets that an entrepreneur can have. Those are the things that no one can take from you.”
It’s this sense of integrity, says Wallace, that is the pillar of building wealth and success in business. Karen, a subject in Wallace’s book, was truly grateful to people around her. She always had a positive attitude and a gracious spirit, and it gave her a positive reputation. When opportunities came around, people wanted to help her succeed because she understood that she was her business’ most important asset and she was appreciative to people with whom she interacted.
“Gratitude says, ‘Look, I may not be where I want to be or at the level that I am going to be. I may not even