Have you ever met someone and felt an instant connection? At the Black Enterprise 20/20 Vision forum last week there was a panel discussion for business owners on “Long Term Strategic Planning: Beyond the First Year.” As soon as Valerie Daniels Carter graced the stage and spoke, everyone knew she had this powerful presence, beautifully blessed personality and an unparallelled wealth of knowledge on business building and life in general.

Before I say anymore, let me tell you a little bit about her. Mrs. Valerie Daniels-Carter started V&J Foods some 20 years ago when she opened her first Burger King restaurant in 1982. Between that time and now she has opened 137 Franchise businesses with a number of other well known brands like Pizza Hut and Auntie Anne’s famous Pretzels. Beyond mentoring business owners through speaking at events like this one Valerie wrote a book, Your Business Is His Business: It’s Where Favor Takes You.

Her book is directed towards business people and those in the ministry who want to improve their business or their place of worship. I was fortunate to not only get an autographed copy at the event, but interview Valerie in the video below.

One of the nuggets she shared in the video was this, “You have to have faith. You have to believe in yourself and you have to believe in what you are doing. It took me five years to save my initial down payment for my first Burger King Restaurant. You have to work day by day, step by step, moment by moment. If you can do that, then you can make it.”

Interjecting my SistaSense start up story, I’ve personally been online for over ten years, working at home for 5 years and at this point I sometimes think, “Shouldn’t I have arrived yet?” But as Valerie points out her first 5 years she was solely focused on saving, so in many ways my work has just begun. But it’s a process that requires steps and if you get caught up in procrastination, self doubt, or anything else that deters you from taking steps (even small ones), you delay all that you were meant to create in time.

On the panel Valerie talked about those who might think, “Well you can say that and do this because you already have a million dollar business.” But again Valerie did not create a million dollar business overnight. As she put it, she went from flipping burgers, slicing pizza, to scooping ice cream, handing out pretzels, and managing coffee until the day she was sitting down drinking coffee in the White House! Valerie really used her life as a testament to the power of God and the bigger plan He has for each of us, so long as each of us has the faith to walk on the road to greatness.

After the success Valerie had with the first Burger King she opened 2 more and then 7 more. Soon after she was approached to open (I believe) 60 Pizza Hut Restaurants and told us while she didn’t know where the money was coming from, she knew by the Grace of God that He would help her make it happen. As she spoke I could see faces light up in the crowd, because sometimes we don’t know how its going to work out, but as long as we keep working God will create a way where no visible way can be seen.

My fingers burned taking down notes as she spoke. One the topic of “Where do we get stuck as women entrepreneurs?” she stated, “Passion is something you have to have when no one is looking.” At the same time she impressed the importance of having a profitable business model, something that I talk about all the time. While we need passion to fuel our creative fires, we also need to be profitable in order to establish successful businesses. We can dive into that topic more inside this sistasense audio series / ecourse.

Video: LaShanda Henry Interviews Valerie Daniels Carter Shares

Video: SistaSense Power Circle Shares Lessons Learned from Valerie

In video: Rhonda Nails, Larie Writes, Anissa Barbee and Carol Sankar

Enjoy the videos above, be sure to read Valorie’s book. It is very important that you get excited about networking and attending business events more often. Be sure to read the “BUILD YOUR BRAND ON A BUDGET” issue of SistaSense In Print Magazine which includes my Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Conference Recap and the article “How to Attend Networking Events on a Small Budget.”

Also keep in mind that this particular Black Enterprise event was free! Using my Blogging For Business tips (as detailed inside the power circle audio series) as well as me Social Media Recommendations you can find out how to get recognized by media and established business organizations like Black Enterprise. Plus you can find out how to stay in the loop, so when events are happening you are among the first to know.

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