HI, I’M DWAYNE K. SUTTON, bestselling author, Podcast host, and founder of Parrish Street Press.
AS A STARTUP ADVISOR AND ENTREPRENEUR, I feel incredible when an entertainer I advise make his first million dollars online or when one of my businesses goes live.
HOWEVER, I DON’T TAKE ANY OF THESE WINS FOR GRANTED. That’s because I’ve had my share of losses. I know what it’s like, for example, to watch a startup fail before it even began. It’s heartbreaking. Real lives and money are at stake. But, it’s also eye opening. That’s because as an entrepreneur, you learn what works and what doesn’t. You also learn why it works and why it doesn’t.
SO, HERE’S WHAT I’VE LEARNED: you can’t become a successful entrepreneur by dreaming. You have to bring your ideas to life. There’s just no getting around this fact. Sure, formal education, like my training in journalism and mass communications at the University of South Carolina and business training at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (MBA), help tremendously. However, in the end, you must do the work.
WELL, I’VE HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE OF LEARNING BY DOING. By planning and making over 7,900 medical presentations as an award-winning pharmaceutical representative and designing pitches for $100 million-plus merger and acquisition engagements while a management consultant at Ernst & Young, I learned how to sell million dollar ideas.
BUT, IT WASN’T UNTIL I LAUNCHED MY FIRST STARTUP that I learned one of the biggest lessons of all: in the end, an idea doesn’t mean anything unless you eventually bring it to life. Here’s what I mean: my company was given the opportunity to pitch for a coveted multi-year contract offered by the state of South Carolina. The competition was well-funded and politically connected. I, frankly, didn’t have the funding or deep political connections. What I did have, though, was the experience of bringing ideas to life. I won the contract.
BASED ON THIS PROJECT AND ME ADVISING A GRAMMY AWARD WINNING MUSIC EXECUTIVE, I quietly became the go-to startup advisor for hundreds of well known musicians, filmmakers, record producers, songwriters, and comedians who were launching entrepreneurial ventures. I had the honor helping them start highly successful music production companies, launch million-dollar ecommerce platforms, and win major sponsorship deals.
WHILE I WAS HELPING THEM LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES, I WAS ALSO BUSY LAUNCHING MY OWN. I started one of the first web design firms in the U.S. and a company that invented a new model for music industry workshops and showcases. By partnering with organizations like Cox Communications, Universal Music Group, and Columbia Records, we provided over six thousand people in small markets with the opportunity to learn the business of music from and showcase their talent to the top minds in music and media.
AS MY REPUTATION GREW, I WAS INVITED TO DELIVER KEYNOTE ADDRESSES to organizations like Marriott, Keller Williams, the Department of Transportation, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. I was also invited to teach marketing and entrepreneurship as a university professor. It was teaching, however, that literally changed my perspective and life. After winning several teaching awards, it became clear to me that I had a gift for helping people awaken their creative soul and bring their ideas to life.
TODAY, MY MISSION IS TO EDUCATE AND INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENTREPRENEURS. That’s why I created the blog, host a Podcast, publish books, produce live events, and develop online courses. In fact, during the past 11months alone, I have helped over 11,800 people from 129 countries start and grow businesses. By the end of 2016, I expect this number to exceed 20,000. Yes, it is an incredible revenue opportunity. But, it is also life changing to help thousands from around the world realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
ENOUGH SAID. THE BALL IS NOW IN YOUR COURT. It’s time for you to awaken your creative soul and bring your ideas to life. So, here’s what I suggest: read a few blog posts and listen to The Entrepreneur Inside Podcast. Next, read one of my books and enroll in one of my courses. Finally, if you really are serious about your career, attend one of my live events. They don’t happen often. But, when they do, I hope to see you there. Take care.