5 Steps to Long-Term Business Success

Rodney S. Sampson has many titles. Angel Investor. Author of the Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired financial freedom book  Kingonomics (BenBella Books; $17.04), and TV executive overseeing diversity and inclusion for One Three Media, a Hearst/Mark Burnett Productions company (the executive producers of Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice, The Bible Series, Son of God, and Space Race). His appearance at Black Enterprise’s 2014 Entrepreneur’s Conference included candid tips on long-term business success. Healthy professional habits lead to effective results. Here are 5 reminders of Sampson’s tips to keep you focused.

1)  Understand the Entrepreneur Ecosystem of Today. Knowing the movement in the market you’re in, the stories of those you’re pitching to for capitol, the research on consumers and potential investors, and what value you’re adding in return is essential. It’s not the investor’s responsibility to teach you what you don’t know.

Related: 8 Vital Components of a Winning Entrepreneur’s Pitch

2) Shift from being a consumer to an investor. Entrepreneurs should see themselves as investors. “I saw myself raising capital and investing capitol in firms.” This can include investing in other concepts or trends that are related to the business that you conduct, such as co-working spaces or tech inventions.

3) Be disruptive. This allows you to create something that has long-lasting revenue potential and that can create a legacy. The term “disruptive innovation” often refers to the application of transformative technology that creates new markets and modes of commerce while uprooting existing business models. I’m challenging each person to challenger their definitive business model.

4) Partner with other innovators. Incorporate a strategy that fosters engaging and partnering with other innovators to create diverse streams of revenue. It’s fine to be a person whose motive centers on being self-employed, but creating a model that involves you in other projects that relate to your business goals and being a partner where there is a fit is ideal.

5) Show up: A lot of women and minorities just don’t reach out to angel investors and venture capitalists. In part, this has to do with a lack of knowledge as well as inherent bias in the investing community. “We aren’t pitching.”

The 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 13-16, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Be sure to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition to qualify for the $10,000 grand prize. To register and find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/ec/