SBA Delivering Success: Entrepreneurial Spirit

Uploaded by sba on 29.06.2009

>> The US Small Business Administration
and the United States Postal Service present Delivering Success.
Turning your passion into a business is an entrepreneur's dream.
In this chapter we'll discover how passion and business coexist.
SBA's 2006 Washington DC small business person of the year, Warren Brown,
shows how his passion for baking has made his business rise.
>> For me being an entrepreneur means owning a bakery and running a cafe.
Making all our desserts available for our customers and have a good time with it.
I studied American History in college.
I was interested in like Foreign Policy type of stuff.
After that I went to law school, and I graduated with a degree
in Public Health, and a law degree.
My focus was health care law, so I went into that as a litigator
for the Department of Health and Human Services.
It was a really good job.
I had a lot of responsibility and its just a good thing for a young new lawyer,
but it didn't really speak to me on the inside.
Didn't answer like the different passions I felt I had.
And also didn't feel like I was able to use the talents that I have.
Everything was black and white on paper.
Arguments before the court.
While I loved public speaking, I couldn't make anything that was three dimensionally
at a point to and you could share with people really by way of eating.
So I wanted to do that.
I wanted to find myself in that field.
And I wanted to be in the food business you know, since I was in college
but I for a variety of reasons like just didn't think I could do it.
I didn't think that it was something I should do, so it took me a while before I could get
over the hump of saying like, just follow your heart.
And starting my business, I knew I needed to get capital.
You know, I needed access to funds so that I could go buy a store and buy ingredients
and get started and things like that.
My first round of financing came from CitiFirst Bank in DC.
It's a local community bank and they were closing with the SBA
to package loans that are SBA guaranteed.
And are with people who are in the community that need that first round
of financing or that type of financing.
And the thing is that like lot
of people don't understand what the SBA does, its function.
It acts as collateral.
I mean, it acts as an insurance company, it acts as a guarantor of your loan.
It a lot of ways to think about it.
But basically they offer security to the bank.
They offer this guarantee to the bank saying that this bar or Warren Brown,
if he isn't able to pay his loan the SBA will step in and pay the loan off.
So I don't take a loan from the SBA.
Lot of people think that you get the loan from the SBA.
Its from the bank.
SBA just stands in the background and says like as a big brother,
don't worry, if he can't do it I will.
You know, and I had to really just spend time with it.
I invested myself tremendously, not just financially,
but like with spirit and heart and work.
And re you know reforming, revising, changing my life.
And I realized as I was doing it that, there's no going back.
I am not going to go back to practicing law.
And if I do, like its certainly not going to be after just 4 months of trying.
I have got to really give it a go.
And that just meant that I kept on getting myself you know,
further and further committed to opening up a store front financially and everything else.
Its not so clear exactly what the path is.
I mean, yes you have to have a plan, yes you have to have money and yes you have
to have research and know what the product is.
But determining exactly that process was very, it became very clear to me
that it wasn't written in stone as to how to get to the point of owning
and running, operating a business.
You have to remember that like, when you are the business owner,
there is no one behind you.
You know. You are the backstop.
So that means, not only do you have to be prepared for, you know,
the worse case scenario, you also have to be the cheerleader.
You got to be the one that's really kind of saying, this can work.
This is why.
All these different reasons.
Don't worry, we're going to make it.
Failure is not going to happen.
You know. And I am not saying be like you know, don't be negligent.
You always have to do to make sure your product is doing well,
your sales are on target.
Your staff know what's going on.
But you have to not...
You have to balance between, you know, realism and very hopeful projections.
For me I followed my passion.
I followed my whole, you know, inner drive.
And its lead to things that are successful.
And I think that other people can find out what is inside them and push for it
and enjoy the same or similar or better success.
[ Music ]
>> For more information from SBA
on entrepreneurship, click on the provided links.
And for business tips log on to the United States Postal Service at