Winning business strategies and some “boss” financial moves will be offered to hundreds of aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs convening Saturday at the Black Box Entrepreneur Symposium.
Featured guest speakers Kenneth M. Boggs II and Chris Bush of the Kenneth Boggs Group will headline an array of men and women who have mastered the ever-evolving world of business entrepreneurship.
Boggs and Bush are principals of the Kenneth Boggs Group and have an impassioned commitment to world-changing projects that vastly improve the quality of life for people across North America, Africa and Asia.
This work includes developing mentorships for those who envision establishing their own business.
“It is better that a person thinks early on in terms of creating their own business opportunity rather than simply preparing to step into an opportunity created by someone else,” said Bush. “There are so many other components to building a successful business. Spirituality is essential in everything. We are very spiritual, but we make a distinction in being religious and being spiritual.”
Both agree that a particular mindset is important when an entrepreneur seeks to come into their own enterprise.
“When I received a full scholarship running track at a college in Utah, my grandfather told me something very important,” said Boggs. “He said, ‘Never let school interfere with your education.’ You see, education indoctrinates rather than teaches one how to create his or her own business opportunity.
“It wasn’t until later on that I discovered you can buy things – things like ATM machines – and make money. I was thinking in terms of getting qualified for an opportunity when a White man told me to ‘create my own opportunity.’”
For the Kenneth Boggs Group, success in business is deeply rooted in philanthropic endeavors. They have partnered with nonprofit organizations serving marginalized people across the globe who are equally committed to making a difference in this world.
Their team is involved in the construction of public restrooms, schools and affordable housing in Africa and Asia. In the U.S., they have a mentorship program in which they speak to and mentor youth throughout the country.
“I wish someone black had come to my school when I was young and talked to us about creating our own business,” said Bush. “I would have totally changed my thinking.”
Boggs, also founder of Kenneth Boggs Suits, said entrepreneurs must invest in the success of other people.
“Some of that mentoring has to do with teaching a man how to dress like a man. A lot of them are getting tattoos on their face. Obviously, this is not the best decision for someone thinking long-term about future success.”
Both Boggs and Bush feel one of the greatest challenges of helping aspiring entrepreneurs is getting them to unlearn what they have been taught.
“Having the right mindset is critical,” said Boggs. “What do students in America study in college? Things like criminal justice and psychology. What do African students come here to study? Engineering, medicine and law. It is a matter of preparing to build and create. That is the difference.
“Africans meditate. Black Americans use prayer. They pray about something and go on about their day. Meditation is different. The two mindsets are different.”
Bush offers sound advice for success.
“Invest one-third of your income each year,” he said. “And also, invest in the success of others with your time, resources and talent. Teach and guide them. This adds value to them and their vision for success. Metaphysics, history and psychology are important factors in business. Your IQ is important, but your EQ – your emotional quotient – is more important. Developing a high EQ helps you connect with people. Communication is currency.”
Exclusive Financial Strategies and Pinnacle Bank organized The Black Box Entrepreneur Symposium, which was founded by power couple Jerry and Winter Bobo who are entrepreneurs, motivational speakers and business coaches.
“This inaugural event, we felt, is vital to the city of Memphis,” said Winter Bobo. “We wanted to create a platform for people to come and learn from some of the best. Our people need to know about business credit, personal credit and so many other aspects of establishing their own business.
“They will have an excellent opportunity to learn, share information and network with those who are like-minded.”
The symposium also has a community focus and will be awarding three single mothers who are aspiring or emerging entrepreneurs with a grant valued at $3,000 each, which includes business mentoring and coaching. Seven additional single mothers will receive free tickets to the symposium.
The event will be held at the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, 3663 Appling Road, in Bartlett. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit stepintotheblackbox901.com.