Kelly and Gregory explore how he was born and raised in one of Chicago’s poorest and most violent neighborhoods. His family moved from there into a public housing apartment, a.k.a. the projects. He mentions where he grew up because there seems to be some mystification with people who “made it out” of the ghetto. He has spent most of his life working in finance in one form or another. In 2005 while working in accounting, he started attending DePaul University, majoring in business and marketing. Every subject spoke to him; it was like all the abstract ideas, and one-off methods he has learned working in accounting and sales had finally given solid form, and now he was able to use them at will.
He immediately went to work for himself as a business coach. He would canvass the neighborhood shops and restaurants around the places he had grown up and ask questions about how they ran their businesses in exchange for marketing and business advice; this is where he learned one of the most important lessons about entrepreneurs.
Most of them had no genuine business understanding, and they were good at cooking to open a restaurant. They were good at fixing cars, so that they would open an auto body shop. Most had no marketing plan or expertise. No business plans. No financial plan. They were going what they knew and making just enough to avoid closing and would help in any way he could, mostly in Planning. It eventually moved him into assisting other people to start businesses.
Then a few years later, Ernst and Young. It was the same thing he had seen with the start-up businesses. Many of them were miserable; they had chased their dream down. They were supposed to be happy; but none of them were.
It led him to dig deeper. He wanted to know why these people were getting the things they asked for but were not fulfilled. The answers came when he went back to school for psychology. It opened a whole new world of understanding about people and their motivations. It turned out to be the case that the unhappy people were unhappy because they had not tapped into their root “why.” They had no idea what they wanted. They were too busy listening to outside sources and chasing money to know what was driving them. And that is what I do now with B.E. Consulting. I help people get to their root “why” so we can discover what will truly bring them joy and fulfillment.
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