Monday, December 19, 2011

Dude! We Don't Get Autographs, We Give Autographs!

The visioning process is one of the most essential, but challenging components to entrepreneurship, business and economic development. It forces one or more to actually “see” themselves not as they are, but as they will be!
Earlier this month (December 2011), my wife and I went to Hopkinsville, Kentucky’s historic Alhambra Theatre to hear our 7 year old son’s first Christmas concert performance. He was performing with Belmont Elementary School’s choir. He was nervous because the choir would be on stage singing and being recorded with the Peter Meyar Group and in front of more than 400 attendees.
My wife, youngest son and I sat a couple rows in front of the choir and enjoyed the Peter Meyar Group’s performance. We were also keeping an eye on our son. During the break, we overheard my son talking, which he does just a bit too much, to one of his friends. My son’s friend says, “hey, let’s go get Peter’s autograph,” and my son replies with conviction, “Dude! We don’t get autographs, we give autographs!”
My wife with playful sarcasms says to me, “do you hear your son?” I don’t say anything in reply, but instead I give her a proud Dad look, shrug my shoulders and grin. Why? Because, I understand how important vision is to development. Development is quite different than growth. Growth can occur naturally and without any intention, but development occurs with actions and the intentions of future improvements. I also believe that you are who you THINK and BELIEVE and SAY that you are. This applies equally to startup and existing business owners, entrepreneurs, change agents, career-driven employees and for personal and organizational development.
Starting at the top, God’s Word instructs and guides us to have FAITH and to think, believe and speak in FAITH throughout the Bible. The Scripture reads; “speak those things that are not as though they are” and another “whatever a man thinks about himself in his heart so is he (or she)” and again “say to the mountain, be cast into the sea and it shall be.” I encourage you to THINK, BELIEVE and SAY how great you are, your accomplishments and contributions…this is KEY to your achieving all that you can dream.
In Napoleon Hill’s inspirational classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” Hill describes this principle in detail as “auto-suggestion” or self-suggestion. Furthermore, Hill says that it is a well known fact that one comes to believe whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true of false. It is the FAITH, THOUGHTS (mixed with emotions), BELIEF and WORDS that help you overcome your fears and doubts.
If you are an entrepreneur, then your rationale and probably a few friends and loved ones attempted to persuade you not to try to develop your idea and passion into a product or service. In business development, writing a business plan is needed after you have conceptualized your product or service. Developing a business plan is essentially visioning how your business will succeed or how you see it succeeding tomorrow versus today.
So then the bottom-line is this, what do you THINK about yourself? Are your thoughts about yourself, your business, your career or your performance overwhelmingly positive or unfortunately negative? What do you BELIEVE and feel about yourself as a business owner or employee? Do you believe that you are doomed to poverty or favored to achieve wealth and health? What is it that you SAY to yourself about yourself? Are you your greatest encourager or barrier? Do you say that you suck or that you are most fortunate? What you SAY matters! What you THINK matters! And, what you BELIEVE matters! Most importantly is not only that it matters, but that it matters to the degree that it directly and proportionally impacts who you are today and who you will be tomorrow.
Starting today, give yourself and those around you a chance, not only a chance but the best chance to achieve all the good that you desire. THINK, BELIEVE and SAY who you are, envisioning yourself in the Highest’s light. Let me give you a push, I THINK that you are more and have more in you than you or I will ever come to know or understand. I BELIEVE in you and your abilities to achieve. And last, I SAY that you are a successful business owner, entrepreneur, leader, parent or employee. You have all that you need to achieve all that you desire.
Today, I challenge you to SAY great things about yourself and your future on a daily basis, regardless if you know or do not know how you plan to improve. I challenge you to BELIEVE that God has your best in mind and that your best is yet to come. I challenge you to THINK about achieving your dreams daily. It all starts with what you THINK, BELIEVE and SAY. This is how my 7 year old son THINKS, BELIEVES and SAYS about himself, “Dude! We Don’t Get Autographs, We Give Autographs.”
Henry Snorton, III, CEcD, MPA, CNM is an entrepreneur and founder of Mission Vision Partner (MVP), an economic development consulting firm. For client engagement, public speaking or workshop presentations, contact Henry at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

OK, you want to start a nonprofit...

Last Sunday I had my family over for dinner and my younger sister says, "I want to start my nonprofit...what do I need to do?" First of all, it is challenging explaining in detail the nonprofit startup process to a novist; however, I did my best.

A 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization is its own entity, similar to a for-profit corporation; however, none of its earning or profits can be used to benefit its "Board" or members. The revenue and profit, yes nonprofits can make profits,  must benefit the nonprofit organization itself or those that it serves, typically a charitable group such as at-risk youth, distressed neighborhood residents, the poor, etc. You can review the IRS' description of a nonprofit within chapter 3 of the IRS' Pub. 557

My professional (and brotherly) advice as one with a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Mgmt from TSU (Nashville, TN) and more than 10 years exceptional experience was for her (my sister) to write her plan for the nonprofit. The plan answers questions such as what will your nonprofit do, who will it benefit, what programs/services will it provide, who will it provide programs and services to, how much does it cost and where will the funds come from and where will you deliver these programs and services...this of course is not an exclusive plan.

You should do the same!

Next steps are to incorporate (tech term) your nonprofit in your state, create and identify a board (tech term) and complete and submit the IRS 1023 (another tech term) to gain your tax-exempt status...more information on this "form" is available at This is a challenging form to complete for a novist.

It is not an easy process, but running a nonprofit is noble and rewarding. You are like an extension of God's hand itself. You can also visit and download a neat nonprofit development flowchart tool. Send me an email if I can help you start your nonprofit. it right and do not allow your organization to have its 501c3 revoked like the many that did throughout the US. (picture above is me and colleagues presenting a donation to the Red Cross)

Monday, October 31, 2011

when does the revenue = the effort lol...

In a past entrepreneur magazine article, sometime in the winter/spring 2011 or fall 2010, I learned a new term that really explained the pros and cons of the creativity and innovation that drives entrepreneurs. I beleive that I am taking the long way to introduce you to this great new term that I learned...serial entrepreneur. To my understanding (based on my comprehension of the entrepreneur article), a serial entrepreneur is someone that launches more than one startup and not always after the previous startup has succeeded or failed.

Following this same frame of mind, my cousin, the owner of (Mogul Magazine in Louisville, KY) and I motivate and joke with one another asking when does the revenue equal the effort that we, serial entrepreneurs, put into our entrepreneurships.

Don't stop. We believe in you! Proof that I am a serial entrepreneur lol... and



Friday, April 1, 2011

Traveling the road less traveled.

There are a number of phases and quotes used to justify doing your own thing. For example, I have often heard, "sometimes you have to cut your own path," or like the title to this piece says, "travel the road less traveled." It may be true that you need to take your destiny in your hand versus allowing others to be in charge of your life. However, asking someone with more expertise, who has been there and done that, or has succeeded in an area where you are thinking about traveling is wise (good thinking).

As an economic development consultant, I have always sought out good advice, mentoring, networking and relationship building. Those whose opinions that I think have value and I trust, I ask for their opinion.

My mentors, male and female, black, white, latin, asian, etc. may not work in economic development, but they may be a terrific team builder. I want that skill. They may not be may age or have my particular skill set, but they know how to influence people. There is value in learning from others. So, you may travel the road less traveled, but ask someone that is native to the land or vegetation what is the best route.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Process Leads to Accomplishments

On Friday, Jan. 21, I flew to San Diego to take an exam to become a Certified Economic Developer. During this trip I was most fortunate to be able to tour Corky McMillians BRAC redevelopment project. It was amazing! The real estate development project took 400 acres, a deteriorating naval base, raised about $200-300 million and have created a hell-of-projct. This experience was well worth the 4 hour crammed flight from 20 degree weather to 70.

I returned Monday to Nashville only to drive 2 hours to Lexington, KY to stay overnight for a bid conference on Tuesday in Frankfort, KY. Lord send the harvest is my prayer in response to this bid oppportunity.

I just finished watching our President give an phenomenal State of Union Address and in it he mentioned one firm that I want to mention. Congratulations to CenterRock a rock drilling company in PA. They designed a tool that rescued the miners in Chile and now he has been promoted by the US President. This is awesome promotion which money cannot buy. CenterRocks process has led to accomplishment.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

blog 1

After reading an article in one of my favorite magazines which I cannot recall, Entrepreneur or Inc., I learned that there was a name for my desires, visions and passion...I am a Serial Entrepreneur! Congratulations to me. The names sounds like someone that is a pathological money maker.

From cutting grass when I was a child to being the unofficial apprentice to my uncle at his autobody repair shop, I have been positioned in and around business for most of my life. Now it is my time. One of the most beautiful things about "time" is that no man or woman :-) owns it. So, although it is my time, it can also be your time. As my God says, there is a time for everthing.