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Welcome to the WISE newsletter, a program of
The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University
 

Thursday, April 12, 2007

WISE2007: B. Smith

The final speaker was Barbara “B” Smith, the founder of B. Smith Enterprises. A former model, she now has her own line of furniture, jewelry, and bedding. She owns three successful; restaurants.

“Whatever you do, just do it with style.”

She is from Western Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh). Her mother was a wonderful cook. Her father could build anything.

She went to modeling school in Pittsburgh and modeled there. Then moved in New York City.

She says she is a serial re-inventor. She wants use to be the same. At any age, we can re-invent ourselves and what we do.

Lessons (pulled from her talk):

  • Ÿ Make contacts.
  • Ÿ Tell people what you need.
  • Ÿ Be your own business.
  • Do your homework.
  • Talk to the universe. Tell the universe what you need.
  • ŸContinue to learn.
  • ŸHave balance in your life.
  • Everything you touch will not turn to gold. But there are things that you touch that will turn to gold.
  • ŸNothing is a given.
  • ŸYou are a brand.
  • Ÿ Be willing (and ready) to re-invent your self.
  • ŸGive back to your community.
  • ŸHave fun.
  • ŸTell people your dreams.
  • Ÿ Be fearless.

She recommended the book Think & Grow Rich.

She worked in a restaurant for a year (while modeling) before opening her own restaurant. She convinced those owners to partner with her, which allowed her to open a large restaurant. She’s now been in the restaurant business for more than 20 years.

She met her husband through the restaurant (a TV producer). They are now business partners.

Question – How do we get to where she is? Hard work. But be careful what you wish for.

Question – How can someone start their own line of….? Go to trade shows. Talk to your suppliers. Talk to the reps that visit you. If you have to, close the shop and attend the right trade show. You must ask for it or you may not get it. Invest your time in your business and in growing it.

Question – How do you know when it is time to re-invent yourself? How do you expect the fact that you need to change? Look at the passion in your life. Find ways of exploring the things that bring you passion. Be willing to change with the times. Have people around you that will help you change.

Question – Has she considered franchising? They have thought about.

Question – When will she go back into media? She is working on a TV show. She’s on the radio.

She ended by singing part of a Stevie Wonder song (Child’s Life?).


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