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Have you ever wanted to succeed in through the screen to interrupt a TED Talk speaker or raise your hand during a MasterClass course?
You’re not alone.
Entrepreneurial education has dipped its hand into the sexy jar of sweet offerings never before experienced by knowledge-desperate entrepreneurs in wait. New offerings weave incredible real-life, story-based content with thought-provoking presentations and platforms harnessing iconic names and faces of the brands we love.
Many have wondered what the subsequent iteration of offering might provide that hasn’t already been served as much as an ever-growing marketplace of need.
An A-list of celeb entrepreneurs shared behind-the-scenes experiences for attendees on the Wealthflix business conference’s inaugural event in L.A. earlier this summer. The list includes Magic Johnson, Daymond John of Shark Tank, Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson, branding superstar Shaun Neff, Beyoncé’s father and noted music executive Mathew Knowles, former Virgin executive Jason Felts, and Ashlee Simpson-Ross — all mixing classic tales with never-before-heard nuggets of non-public experiences not often touted in business books.
Related: 8 Important Lessons From Leading Entrepreneurs
Best practices and lessons from the celebs
The classic fourth wall that marks an actor’s acknowledgment of the audience was shattered by the presenters and for good reason. The celebs shared best practices and lessons learned through stage speeches and sit-down interviews to boost the training for audience members. The shared realism of the Magic Johnson’s of the world couldn’t come at a greater time.
The data can not be seen as a cute detail at a cocktail party of those already within the catbird seat. The Kaufman Foundation’s research reveals that 100% of net latest job creation within the U.S. comes from the world of startups. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shines a distinct and compelling light, including the staggering statistic that 37% of minority youth are unemployed.
To meet the moment, Duquan Brown, the previous manager of artists like Tyrese Gibson and Busta Rhymes, has put together an experience centered on dismantling outdated educational practices while infusing networking opportunities and behind-the-scenes interviews and conversations that bring entrepreneurs contained in the mind of a Magic Johnson or Daymond John. “Thoughtful learning options provide all of us an incredible opportunity to support entrepreneurs and the journeys that outline their success,” shares an impassioned Brown.
Recent labor data illustrates an expanding need, especially for Gen Zers, to seek out entrepreneurial education. Approximately 70% are considering a everlasting stage left exit to begin their very own firms. Analysts might scoff on the impact of a labor pool representing just over 8% in 2022. How will the naysayers feel in 2025 when that number jumps to twenty% after which to 30% by 2030? This generation is marked by a must feel connected to their work and the stories that constructed their individual horizon lines.
On the one hand, Magic Johnson, who could also be just as well-known for his business triumphs as an NBA Hall of Famer, believes that an entrepreneur’s pitch ought to be perfect. “When you come into a gathering and pitch your idea, I expect you to have the answers. If you do not have the answers, how can we establish trust,” exclaims a passionate Johnson. When pushed for clarification, a never-nervous and always-prepared Johnson says, “I eat pressure for breakfast — if I ask you five questions and you may’t meet the moment, you then’re not any individual I need to do business with.” It’s this sort of brass-tacks education that audience members clamor for and why an alternate approach is just as welcomed by entrepreneurs.
Daymond John began with $40 in his pocket when he founded FUBU, and even back then, he struggled to seek out his answers in a sea of uncertainty. Fast forward to today, and John works diligently to coach and support those lucky enough to present their business ideas to him. “I’m of two minds. If you come to me acting like you understand the whole lot and I find that you just don’t, we can’t make perfect business partners. Now, when you openly reply to a matter saying you are in front of me since you do not have the reply, well then I respect that,” says John with the regular, steely-eyed focus we have turn out to be accustomed to on Shark Tank.
The semi-structured but moderated conversation allows John to freestyle, sharing that the “hacking” phenomenon plays a major character in his success story. “I used to hack myself, always testing my assumptions against those things which have meaning in my life — kids, family, friends, community.”
The founding father of Sprinkles, Candace Nelson, embraced the family notion of going into the cupcake business along with her husband, Charles and celebrating the profoundly successful Sprinkles exit even after 22 years of marriage and counting. “It just works for us. I do know that individuals say never to enter business with family. We understood our roles and allowed one another to grow in those roles,” shares Nelson whose cupcake empire has sold over 75 million cupcakes.
The challenge for Nelson and countless entrepreneurs comes when success is knocking on the door, and control has to cede if scaling is a practical option. “I struggled to include others into the business at first. Would they know the right way to bake my recipes? Could I trust them? I finally relented, and out of doors of a number of hiring learning lessons, it became an enormous success.”
Magic adds, “We [entrepreneurs] should not be afraid of partnerships. You do not have to own 100%.” A prescient statement by Magic as news now breaks of Johnson’s ownership stake within the NFL’s Washington Commanders, with Josh Harris, because the sale became official on the reported tune of a record-breaking $6.05 billion.
Jason Felts, the youngest CEO of a Richard Branson Virgin company, embodies the notion of Johnson and the lesson of Nelson, constructing KEMPA Home with a family friend and cultural icon, Ashlee Simpson-Ross. “We had been friends for a long time. Our families have been friends, and we at all times shared our thoughts about our careers. I wanted to begin KEMPA, and it dawned on me that Ashlee ought to be an element of this. Now the Creative Director Simpson-Ross is harmonizing her creative and musical muscle to bring “vacation home” with Felts and the KEMPA team.
Related: From Idea to Successful Exit — 8 Lessons Learned From Building and Selling a Startup
Entrepreneurial community constructing
Like many who shared the stage along with her in L.A., Candice Nelson sees collaborating and teaching as essential constructing blocks for the subsequent generation of business owners. “We’ve launched Pizzana, a series of Neapolitan pizzerias, and continued to expand our portfolio of investments with CN2 Ventures supporting early-stage businesses.” Pizzana, in fact, is not just your run-of-the-mill outfit – a collaboration borne out of Sunday night pizza parties with their friends and now business partners, actor Chris O’Donnell and his wife, Caroline.
Shaun Neff, a branding expert whose little black book of influential business partners reads like a once-in-a-lifetime Hollywood Hills summer bash, remembers the times before collaborating with the likes of Kevin Durant and Kendall Jenner. “I still remember the sensation when any individual would hand me a $10 bill, and I’d reach into my backpack and hand them a t-shirt with my name on it. And, then, to see my merch worn by recognizable and global figures. Unbelievable,” a reflective Neff shares.
Neff talked about community and brand constructing throughout his profession, shedding light on the boldness level obligatory to ascertain and produce a brand back from the dead. “I remember Sun Bum vividly. I used to be asked to are available in, invest, and switch it around. I didn’t wish to do it. I woke up countless times convinced I shouldn’t jump in. I’m glad I did,” smiles Neff. You’d smile, too, if the reported sale to SC Johnson of $400 million is accurate. Neff, though, is not celebrating success the best way one might think. This self-proclaimed creative junkie hails the chance to be selective and inventive with projects that align together with his life and family. “I just feel blessed.”
The lessons from the star-studded celeb entrepreneurs were diverse, full of poignant tales and anecdotes, and steeped in a shared passion for giving back to those on the precipice of success. Johnson delivered a pin-point pass sharing the realities of entrepreneurship even when he’s the undisputed champion of optimism. “I don’t desire people to think that each deal I’ve been an element of has succeeded because that just is not true. We all must learn from our mistakes and make sure that they [mistakes] don’t occur again.”
Effortlessly, Magic provides sage advice minus the shine of an over-produced sound bite for an engaged audience to chew on.