#MillionaireMovesMonday: Relationships Are Key

For the past several weeks, business mogul William F. Pickard, Ph.D., has shared excerpts from his new book, Millionaire Moves: Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship, as part of our #MillionaireMovesMonday series.

Here’s a look at the topics he has discussed thus far:

This week, Pickard explores the concept of “success by association.” As he explains, oftentimes who you know that will give you more leverage and power than what you know, as you build your business.

Read an excerpt from Principle Four: Relationships below:


Principle Four: Relationships


Just look at it this way: Let’s say you have a degree in marketing, and your college roommate works in the human resources department at a Fortune 500 company. If you need a job, who are you going to call? Then there’s your former biology lab partner. Pretend, for a minute, that he’s now part owner of a fabulous, five-star hotel. What if I told you that you’d get cool points, and your business worth would increase exponentially every time you and this brother were seen together?


Not convinced? Well, let me break it down further.


There was once a rich investor in New York, who I’ll call Joseph Thompson (not his real name). During the Great Depression, he lost everything. So, he decided to reach out to his friend, John D. Rockefeller. Because he had fallen so low on the social totem pole, Thompson was kind of worried that, perhaps, Rockefeller wouldn’t bother to take his call. He phoned his office anyway and told his secretary that he wanted to invite Rockefeller out to lunch.


Rockefeller accepted and agreed to meet with Thompson the following day. As the two strolled down Wall Street to his private club, heads turned and people began to whisper: “That’s Joseph Thompson with John D. Rockefeller, but isn’t Thompson flat broke? I don’t know, that’s Rockefeller with him. Rockefeller always knows what’s going on.”


Both men entered the club and Rockefeller was shown to his private table. The buzz continued among those gathered. Immediately, Rockefeller excused himself to go wash his hands. At that moment, several people of wealth and influence approached Thompson and began showering him with requests to meet to discuss potential business deals. When Rockefeller returned and asked Thompson what he wanted to talk about, all Thompson could do was smile.


“Don’t worry,” he said. “I have it all taken care of.”


We’ve all heard of guilt by association. Well, this was a case of success by association. When the other club members saw Thompson with Rockefeller they automatically assumed that he was someone worth getting to know. This has often been referred to as “birds of a feather flock together,” which is one of the oldest and most common expressions ever uttered. It’s also one of the truest. We are judged by the company we keep, in good ways and not so good ways.



Pickard currently serves as CEO and chairman for six different enterprises, owns several McDonald’s franchises, and co-owns five black-owned newspapers. He also sits 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).  Stay tuned to see another excerpt from his book titled next Monday!



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.