Dr. William Pickard Discusses the Principles of Entrepreneurship

For the last 45 years, Dr. William F. Pickard has garnered a wealth of knowledge in entrepreneurship and business development. Now, the successful business leader is sharing his expertise in his new book, Millionaire Moves: Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship.

Despite coming from humble beginnings, Pickard became the first person in his family to earn a four-year degree at Western Michigan University. He then went on to earn a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

Today, Pickard serves as CEO and chairman for multiple enterprises, including VITEC L.L.C., Global Automotive Alliance L.L.C., Grupo Antolin-Wayne, ARD Logistics, L.L.C., and Commonwealth Regal Industries. He is also the owner of several McDonald’s franchises and co-owns five black-owned newspapers.

Pickard’s leadership, however, does not end in the business world. He also serves on the board of the National Urban League and is a member of the Detroit Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

(Image: Dr. William F. Pickard | Photo Credit: Myron Watkins II)

In an interview with Black Enterprise, Pickard opens up about his new book, which provides the tools needed to become successful millionaires for those who desire to learn. “If you have an open mind, a vision, and unbeatable faith, you will not only prevail, but soar,” he said, via email.

Below, Pickard shares more insight on his book, as well as useful advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:


BLACK ENTERPRISE: What is one of the most important principles mentioned in your book?

Pickard: I believe vision and attitude are imperative. Your mind has the capacity to unfold what you visualize and verbalize. A negative mind will never harvest positive results. Vision, attitude, and perception help crystalize dreams and motivate productivity, even during those most challenging times. Vision keeps you grinding when others are sleeping. Vision and attitude will bring you to the finish line. The Bible says, “Without vision, the people will perish.”


BE: What is one thing that entrepreneurs, especially millennials, can learn from the book?

Pickard: While grades are obviously important, they should never be an excuse. I was not an “A” student, nor do I consider myself the sharpest knife in the drawer. Yet, all of that made me hungry. It forced me to look beyond my limitations and believe in a bigger purpose and plan for my life.  People determine their own destiny. So, my book is for anyone, especially young entrepreneurs, who seek a roadmap to achieve success beyond their circumstances.


BE: What can people do to enhance their finances?

Pickard: One of the things I mention in my book is, “Wealthy people teach their children how to acquire. Rich people teach their children how to sell. Poor people teach their children how to buy.” To change our everyday financial situations, we must start with transforming our mindset.  That means adjusting our buying habits and educating ourselves on how to build wealth for ourselves, our family, and our community.


BE: What inspired you to write this book?

Pickard: Teaching has always been of love of mine. Years ago, I embraced the mantra, “Each one, reach one, teach one.”  It is an innate part of me to give back to my community. That is why I have been a guest lecturer at HBCUs and other colleges across the nation for decades.  With young people, whether at my McDonald’s or on college campuses, I always find myself in teachable moments. My book allows me to reach a broader audience by sharing the principles that made a difference in my own success. As someone who has been blessed in many ways, I hope my book will plant seeds of inspiration and determination for that person with a great idea, the student trying to find their way, or the employee who dreams of something bigger.


BE: Why is failure an important part of the journey to success?

Pickard: I talk about failure in my book, because nothing in life is foolproof or without risk. You will stumble, as I did, but you need to learn from your failures, and have a faith bigger than your own abilities. This is important because WE [as African Americans] must see beyond our circumstances, and shift our mindset to see success and build wealth. As a community, we continue to get left behind, and we only control 1% of the wealth in our country.  So, it is imperative that we propel ourselves beyond failures to build wealth and create a legacy for our families and our community.


Be on the lookout for more insightful tips based on Dr. Pickard’s seven principles, which will appear on BlackEnterprise.com over the next several weeks!


Selena Hill is the Associate Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and the founder of Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can hear Hill and her team talk millennial politics and social issues every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @MsSelenaHill.