#Smallbizchat Podcast LIVE is a monthly video interview show where small business owners can get answers to their questions. The focus of #Smallbizchat is to end small business failure by helping participants succeed as your own boss. Please join us live every third Wednesday of the month from 8-9 pm ET Live on my SmallBizLady Facebook Page, YouTube Channel, and LIVE on Twitter.
How to Make Bold Business Moves and Embrace Change
Jane Bolin is a successful attorney and entrepreneur. She is the founder member and managing partner of the real estate law firm PeytonBrolin and is the first female Chair of the Global Governance Committee for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global non-profit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed. For more info visit https://www.peytonbolin.com/ She is discussing how to make bold business moves.
SmallBizLady: You have a very diverse career background; you have reinvented yourself at least four times. What drives you to keep growing yourself to take on new career and business challenges?
Jane Bolin: I always keep an open mind about trying new things, be it sports, TV production, law, or public service. When I was earning my bachelor’s in political science at Radford University, I was offered an opportunity to join their newly established women’s rugby team. I didn’t know anything about the sport, but I the idea intrigued me, and so I agreed. Soon, I became a member of the first Women’s Professional Football League in the United States. Our team even became part of a documentary called True-Hearted Vixens, which was what also sparked my interest in TV production.
It was the same open-minded approach that led me to take on producing such hit TV shows as MasterChef and Top Chef. It is often extremely intimidating to agree to something you haven’t done before, including starting your own business, but if your intuition tells you to take the leap of faith, my advice is to listen to it. Being a business owner is an incredibly challenging endeavor, but it can be just as rewarding. As long as you do what you love and what you’re passionate about, you will always have the energy to keep growing and take on whatever challenges may come your way.
SmallBizLady: How did you start your first business?
Jane Bolin: I started my first business – a property management company – while in law school. This was what sparked my interest in entrepreneurship for the first time. Soon after, I realized that rather than working for another law firm, I want to start my own real estate law practice. There were people who told me it wasn’t a good idea, but that only motivated me to prove to myself that I can run a successful business. I met my business partner Mauri Peyton at the same law school, and that’s how PeytonBolin was born. Since then, PeytonBolin has become one of Inc.5000’s fastest-growing privately-owned companies in the United States and serves hundreds of community associations across South Florida, Orlando, and Tampa.
I’m a strong believer in the power of entrepreneurship to uplift people, transform communities, and renew economies worldwide. And this is why what you and your team at #Smallbizchat LIVE do is so important – by helping entrepreneurs get answers to their small business questions, you inspire entrepreneurship and empower people to start their own businesses and create opportunities for success, prosperity, and upward social mobility.
SmallBizLady: You ran in 2018 for City Commission and now you are the Mayor of the City of Oakland Park, Florida. What lessons did you learn from being mayor that have helped you run your company?
Jane Bolin: When you run your own business, you get to call the shots and change things from the operational and strategic point of view. Things are different when you’re a mayor and need to work with your commission, constituents, and city manager to get things done. You learn to step into a new kind of power, shaping and forming consensus. Serving as a mayor is in part procedural because you preside over the meeting. This requires that you follow parliamentary order. Running an efficient and impactful meeting is critical to any business.
Marketing Mess to Brand Success
Scott Jeffrey Miller currently serves as FranklinCovey’s senior advisor on thought leadership. He is the host of the FranklinCovey-sponsored On Leadership with Scott Miller, the world’s largest and fastest-growing leadership podcast. He is also the author of the award-winning multivolume Mess to Success series. For more info, visit https://marketingmessbook.com/. He joined me to discuss his new book, Marketing mess to brand success.
SmallBizLady: What is the main points you want people to take away from your book Marketing Mess to Brand Success?
Scott Miller: After my first book came out in 2019, I knew that this type of writing was striking a chord in individuals and executives alike. People read my ‘Mess to Success’ style of writing, knowing that I was vulnerable with my mistakes in my 25+ leadership career, and saw it as a breath of fresh air in the leadership world. I decided to use my experience as the Chief Marketing Officer at FranklinCovey to write my next book dedicated to those in marketing positions throughout all organizations. The main point I would like your readers to understand is that sales and marketing aren’t meant to work separately, but together. In fact, one of the main audiences this book applies to are those with a sales background, because throughout the manuscript I explain in detail how sales and marketing must work together for the betterment of the organization.
SmallBizLady: Why is it so important to stay close to the cash?
Scott Miller: You can’t staple brand equity to the back of a bank deposit slip, so when it comes to marketing, you need to put the proper processes and strategies in place to effectively turn a profit in the division and throughout the organization. In addition, as those in marketing understand, one must constantly be aware of how much money is going out vs. coming in. It’s always more exciting, more stimulating, and more energizing to be working on the next campaign, brand slogan, or logo — but if there aren’t clients attaching themselves to those ideas and bringing money into the company, then it is all for nothing. Staying close to the cash means understanding at all times how much is going out, vs. coming in.
SmallBizLady: What is your biggest marketing mess?
Scott Miller: I would say not hiring people smarter than me for many years of my career. I was always intimidated by people who were smarter than me for many reasons, but I didn’t want to feel like as the Chief Marketing Officer, I was being shown up by younger colleagues. For years I made a deliberate choice to hire those who were smart, but not those who I feel like would have more intelligent/rewarding ideas than I did — I know, how terrible a mindset is that? But, I know others in marketing have felt the same way because we are constantly concerned for our own job tenure and timeline, but by hiring those smarter than you the division will do better, the organization will do better, and you as the leader will be compensated more than enough for your efforts. Not hiring people smarter than you is doing a disservice to the firm and to your clients.
Corporate Contracts after Covid
Kathey Porter is a nationally recognized small business strategist, supplier diversity expert and sought-after subject matter expert/collaborator. As President of Porter Brown Associates, she provides Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services for governmental agencies and corporations. Her books have been a reference guide for thousands of supplier diversity professionals and small businesses. She also has an online training program. For more information businessfabacademy.com She is discussing how to secure corporate contracts after covid.
SmallBizLady: Many businesses have been impacted by the pandemic. Why do you think this has disproportionately impacted minority businesses?
Kathey Porter: A recent McKinsey & Company article, which examined COVID-19’s effect on minority-owned small businesses in the United States, stated of all vulnerable small businesses, minority-owned businesses may be most at risk. Many were financially precarious positions even before COVID-19 lockdowns began
The crisis could disproportionately impact minority-owned small businesses for two critical reasons – they tend to face underlying and systemic issues that make it harder to run and scale successfully and they are more likely to be concentrated in industries most immediately affected by the pandemic, making them more susceptible to disruption
This is why when I’m working with businesses, I do not prescribe to that “follow your passion” model. Entrepreneurship is strategic. When your passion and strategy align, it can be great, but that rarely happens. Having an institutional strategy, doing business with large customers is the best way to diversify your customer base and scale.
SmallBizLady: Can you explain supplier diversity? Has it changed Post-COVID and since the George Floyd murder case?
Kathey Porter: Supplier diversity is the internal advocate and the catalyst for small business growth within institutions. When I was a practitioner, I was involved in all contracts and was able to advocate for businesses to win multi-million dollar contracting opportunities.
Since the activities of last summer, I think this biggest change has been the intentionality behind companies are starting or reviving programs. It all starts with intentionality. When you take action on purpose, you are more likely to get results.
SmallBizLady: Prior to COVID, Supplier Diversity programs had really become a place where people submitted information into a black hole and never got opportunities? Would you think that a fair assessment?
Kathey Porter: I recently heard from someone that supplier diversity is only responsible for janitorial and landscaping contracts. However, effective supplier diversity leaders with robust programs are involved in all facets of their organizational procurement activities which can include construction, professional services, goods and services, and more.
It is this misperception that prompted me to create the Supplier Diversity Training Institute in partnership with the University of Central Florida. We work with supplier diversity practitioners, procurement professionals, and diversity stakeholders on what it takes to start, build and grow a sustainable and effective program. I found that many “professionals” do not really understand the supplier diversity function. When you are not clear on your role, it becomes difficult to effectively work with and advocate for small businesses. Additionally, it marginalizes our effectiveness and gives the industry a bad name. My program trains professionals to become effective entrepreneurial resources and change agents for small and diverse business development.
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