Board Game

The Business Observer asked a dozen accomplished entrepreneurs and business leaders, in a variety of industries, to dispense some advice to other entrepreneurs. Two of the biggest themes: have faith in yourself and your beliefs, and relationships matter.

“Surround yourself with great employees who have a strong work ethic and a positive attitude and treat them like gold.”

– Holly Clifford Corral, president, Press PR & Marketing, Tampa. Firm has wide range of entertainment and hospitality clients.

“The thing about good ideas is that they start out sounding like bad ideas until some visionary is crazy and passionate enough to move forward with it. Adds Diamond: “It’s OK to fail and fail often, but move when on you quickly.” do, fail fast, learn from it, and

– David Diamond, co-founder, DeAngelis

Diamond, Naples. Construction company $366.4 million in revenue in 2017.

“Build meaningful and deep relationships with customers, suppliers and employees/ team members. Your attitude (passion) will

set the tone for your business.” – Rod Hershberger, co-founder and board chairman, PGT Innovations, Venice. Was company’s longtime CEO and president, helped lead IPO in 2006.

“From the very beginning, I knew that establishing a strong set of core values was going to be

essential to our success. Use them as your guiding principles in ever ything we do. Be passionate, give up.”

be focused, watch your cash flow and never

– Michael Saunders, founder and CEO of Michael Saunders & Co. real estate firm, founded in 1976.

“Culture trumps vision and strategy, and is the most important

thing, so be intentional about the culture you want to create.”

– John DeAngelis, co-founder, DeAngelis Diamond, Naples.

Construction company .

“A true entrepreneur has to be all-in, not part way. Be committed, be 100% confident and be totally positive. No compromise when launching something new and exciting. There are no success guarantees, but without true commitment

success cannot be achieved.”

– Ken Pendery, CEO, First Watch Restaurants, Manatee County. Has helped run company for more than 25 years.

” Some of the best education is on the job, so pay close attention to every area of the company. Learn the business inside and out by raising your hand to do things out of your wheelhouse.” To young entrepre neurs: “An overnight success takes about 10 years. Be tenacious but also patient. Failures are successes if you take the time to learn from them.”

– Colleen Chappell, president and CEO, ChappellRoberts, Tampa. The ad agnecy had

more than $18 million in sales in 2017.

“Read the book ‘Star t-up Nation.’ This book (by Dan Senor, about the thri ving startup community in Israel) not only explains the process of prosperous entrepreneurship but also it ignites the entrepreneurial fire burning inside those individuals

who call themselves entrepreneurs. We should all strive to treat our failures in our business li ves in a similar fashion as we celebrate our successes.”

– Ian Black, partner, Ian Black Real Estate, Sarasota. Has been involved in real estate in the area since 1982.

“My advice is don’t settle. Establish a goal you have a passion for and work tirelessly to achieve it!”

– Nick Reader, CEO of MVP Holdings, Tampa.

Parent company of PDQ restaurant chain.

“Don’t ever discount the value of a businesplan. It’s perhaps the single most

important document an entrepreneur needs to help guide them through the first few years of any star tup bus iness. It forces you to think str ategically. You would never consider building a new house without a good set of draw ings, so why should build ing a new business be any different?”

– Shaun Merriman, regional president – west

Florida, CenterState Bank. Has run three banks in Sarasota-Manatee market; founded Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida

“(Develop) good counsel. Entrepreneurs don’t have to know it all, and having a team of trusted advisers, particularly other entrepreneurs with a strong business acumen, can be invaluable.”

– Teri Hansen, owner and president Priority Marketing, Fort Myers, founded in 1992.

“Follow your own gut. New entrepreneurs sometimes lack confidence in their decisions(I know I did) and will look to others

for advice. However, ou tsiders looking in don’t always know the ins and the outs of your business. Always believe in yourself and your ability to rise to the occasion!”

– Savannah Francis, CEO, Elite Property Research, Bradenton. Company has gown

from startup in 2014 to more than 30 employees today.

This article provided by NewsEdge.