Shout It Out!

“Oh, those dirty stains! You try . . .” You’ve heard all the commercials for fighting stains-you try soaking them out and you try scrubbing them out, but nothing works on those tough spots until you reach for the super-concentrated remover.

Sometimes societal and business situations call for stronger action too.

What we consider the normal processes for removing a “stain” just don’t work sometimes . . . we have to find something stronger . . . we have to scrub harder . . . we have to abandon traditional methods and come up with a super-concentrated solution to take care of those stubborn, set-in stains that we’re dealing with.

On May 17, two individuals visited Kansas City who did just that.

Muhammad Yunus, the current Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Chris Gardner, the rags-to-riches stockbroker whose life was portrayed in the hit movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” were keynotes at local conferences on that day.

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Yunus was in town to speak at the national meeting for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity at the Hyatt Regency Kansas City. He knew that eliminating poverty in his native Bangladesh—and throughout the world—would require a different way of approaching the problem. In his address, Yunus said the challenge is to create opportunities, starting with banking, where poor people can get assistance to help them start businesses at the most basic level. Yunus used the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which he created, to help the poorest citizens there climb out of poverty. An extraordinary challenge, an extraordinary solution, with extraordinary results.

At the MidAmerica Minority Business Development Council’s Business Opportunity Fair, Gardner told his story of the circumstances that left him a homeless single parent in San Francisco in the 1980s. But where many might have given up hope, Gardner wasn’t willing to give up his dream of becoming a stockbroker and attaining financial independence. While trying to care for a toddler and spending nights in a bathroom at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station, Gardner began his climb in the financial industry, starting at the very bottom and pulling his way up. Today Gardner is president and CEO of the Chicago-based brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co., which he founded in 1987. An extraordinary life situation forced Gardner to be resourceful and try stronger, more powerful solutions-with extraordinary results.

Don’t let tough “stains” hold you back. You’re an entrepreneur—when you take a risk or make unusual moves, stains and spills and ground-in dirt are bound to be part of the experience. But if you’re willing to be aggressive in attacking them, you’ll still be able to accomplish extraordinary things.

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About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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