He’s About That Small Business of Smart Hustle
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Serial entrepreneur Ramon Ray could be called, “The Small Business Whisperer.” Using his technology and business savvy, Ray advises and assists small businesses.

He is a speaker, event organizer, magazine publisher, and a small business evangelist for Infusionsoft.

With Ray, the subject of business is anything but boring. He is well known for his high-energy presentations at conferences and getting audiences pumped about unglamorous topics such as financial tech or digital payments.

An Entrepreneurial Obsession

The former United Nations employee always had the urge for entrepreneurship. After leaving his post at the U.N., Ray launched four businesses and sold one. In addition to his current work as the publisher and executive editor of Smart Hustle Magazine, Ray has written three books on small businesses, including the Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing.

In May, he testified before Congress on ways the government can help small businesses thrive. Below are excerpts from Ray’s testimony:

“Based on input from the small business community I represent, there are three things our government, this Committee, can do for small business owners…”

“First, continued reduction of burdensome and unnecessary regulation.”

“Second, reduction and simplification of taxes.”

“Third, foster small business education–”smart hustle.”

A Unique Business Conference

Ray recently held the Smart Hustle Small Business Conference in NYC, which was sponsored by a number of companies including Intuit QuickBooks, YP Marketing Solutions, Microsoft, and others.

The all-day conference was preceded by a networking event that featured a presentation by Jen Slaw. Slaw, a business speaker and trainer, is also a professional juggler. She juggled an astonishing number of balls and other items while providing sound advice for entrepreneurs. Slaw used the acronym “BALL” to sum up her advice for business owners:

B – Break it Down. Set goals and break them down into achievable steps. Focus on one thing at a time.
A – Ask for Help. Build a strong support team and utilize each member’s unique strengths. Communicate and build trust.
L – Learn from the Drops. Mistakes are stepping stones to success and can lead to creative solutions you never considered.
L – Let it Go. Just do it! Let go of perfectionism and delegate. You can’t learn to juggle without throwing the ball!

It was truly a novel approach to the concept of business conferences and exemplifies Ray’s out-of-the-box approach to small business evangelism.

 

 

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Samara Lynn

Samara Lynn is a technology journalist, covering the industry for a decade. Her work appears in The Wirecutter, Tom's Hardware, PC Mag, and other online outlets. She's the author of "Windows Server 2012: Up and Running" and previously worked in the IT industry. She's currently the digital manager at Black Enterprise.


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