In advance of her upcoming Entrepreneur Evolution Seminar at Bass Pro, business consultant Simone Jones says every sacrifice she has made on the road to entrepreneurship has been worth it. (Courtesy photo)

Looking to turn your idea into a six-figure business? Akamai Enterprise wants to help.

The coaching and consulting firm will host a seminar and expo workshop for new and aspiring business owners on Feb. 23 at Bass Pro Shops.

“Starting a new business is always a bit frightening and a bit discouraging when a person doesn’t know what direction to turn,” said Simone Jones, CEO of Akamai and a business development expert. “There is an increasing demand for entrepreneurship and leadership here in the Mid-South, so it is only fair that I do my part to be of assistance in our community.”

The expo will feature vendors and an educational seminar for local business owners to showcase their products and services while networking and, most importantly, attaining knowledge.

The highlight of the evening is the seminar, with a theme that includes “Turn Your Idea into a Six-Figure Business.”

Guest speakers are Mark Kaplan, a finance service professional, Montoyia McGowan, LCSW, and Jones as the keynote. They will be discussing all aspects of business development and building business credit.

Jones doesn’t just talk about the path to six figures; she’s lived it.

“I originally went to pursue my bachelor’s in chemistry to become a chemist, while also working as a cluster manager for a telecommunications franchise company. In the midst of doing so, it was time for my ‘ultimate promotion,’ which was supposed to be a $20,000 raise.”

Instead, the position was given to someone else and she got a 50-cent raise, Jones said.

“I worked my butt off for that raise, that I was ‘promised.’ I felt it was because I was a woman. I had been promoted so many times (but) they didn’t want to move me up to the highest position.”

She resigned in April 2014 and said good-bye to working for corporate America. Two weeks later, she was in full pursuit of her passion, business development, and Akamai Enterprise was the result.

“It was scary to step away from a job that I’ve had for many years.

Jones was her own first client.

“I’ve literally developed a fail-proof process in the last six years, through my own business trials and successes,” she said.

“It is so important to me to assist, especially black-owned businesses, because oftentimes we are put at a disadvantage when trying to obtain commercial loans or lines of credit. People put themselves in debt trying to use personal credit to fund their entrepreneurial dreams, when there is certainly a better way,” said Jones, also the author of the best-selling book, “Built on Self-Success: How to Become a B.O.S.S. in 90 Days or Less.”

Noting that empowerment seminars are plentiful, Jones said, “It is important that everyone knows that the 2019 Entrepreneur Evolution Expo and Seminar is not that. …I am hoping that my attendees leave feeling educated. Empowering is good, but it’s what you’re able to walk away with, to execute in your business, that truly matters.”

(The 2019 Entrepreneur Evolution Expo & Seminar will be Feb. 23 at the Big Cypress Lodge at Bass Pro Shops from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (expo) and 4-6 p.m. (seminar). To purchase tickets, visit www.weareakamai.com.)