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Barri Carian, past president, NAWBO-OC  

Click Here for Barri Carian's Bio

Monday, May 11, 2009
Spirit of the entrepreneur
Thursday, August 06, 2009
The new normal – what is it?
Spirit of the entrepreneur: part 2
In my previous blog, I talked about the spirit of the entrepreneur and my fervent belief that these unspoken heroes are going to lead us out of the recession. Last week, I attended the Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards dinner, and I’m even more convinced that this will be the case.

The men and women recognized that evening shared an unwavering determination to succeed. Some overcame severe financial setbacks, while others just refused to take “no” for an answer. Some revitalized existing companies in “old” industries; others created entirely new markets. They represented a wide range of industries, including technology, construction, retail and consumer products, services, and healthcare.

These entrepreneurs shared several common traits, which I believe landed them as finalists for Entrepreneur of the Year. Those similarities are:

•    Clarity and strength of vision – they could see what success looked like and they knew it was possible, even when people told them it wasn’t.
•    A steadfast resolve to stay the course and follow their dreams.
•    A firm belief in the opportunities created by our free enterprise system and the ability to spot trends and capitalize on them.
•    An understanding that taking care of relationships with customers, employees and the community is integral to success.

I left the event inspired and revitalized by these incredible men and women.

One final note: Two NAWBO-OC members were among those honored that evening. Congratulations to Susan Johnson, CEO of Susan’s Healthy Gourmet, who was a finalist in the Retail/Consumer Products category, and to Henry Walker and the entire Walker family at Farmers & Merchants Bank for the Lifetime Achievement Award. It was a reminder that I don’t need to wait for annual awards to be inspired by and learn from great entrepreneurs. They are all around me at NAWBO-OC!