By Terri Echarte
While starting a business is a big undertaking, starting a new enterprise amidst the economic downturn takes a lot of courage.
Two of our panelists at the February luncheon, “Finding Success Amidst the Downturn,” did just that – and wouldn’t change a thing.
Tere Blanca, President and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, left a major real estate firm to start her own brokerage firm. Despite the challenging economy, Tere stayed focused on assembling a strategic team of professionals and pursuing new business opportunities.
She says thinking outside the box is important because owning your own business requires you to be creative.
Panelist Alexa Hartley, a former attorney, realized her calling wasn’t representing clients in the courtroom, but coaching them on how to improve their business operations.
Alexa, President of Premier Leadership Coaching, advises setting realistic goals that are aligned with the times to avoid self-frustration.
While for Marjie Nealon, Chair of Bilzin Sumberg’s Real Estate Capital Markets Group, the real estate market bust led to new opportunities for the firm.
As the distressed market grew, Marjie’s law firm focused on boosting its real estate department, re-training attorneys to tackle cases in this practice area. While other law firms were closing their doors or downsizing, Bilzin Sumberg was experiencing substantial growth.
Our panelists agreed that professionals out there looking for a new direction in their career, or to grow their own business, should tap into their business relationships and realize that people are willing to help.
Angel Cicerone, who served as the moderator, is another example of starting a new enterprise amidst the economic downturn. As President of Tenant Mentorship, Angel consults with retail tenants to help them evaluate and reposition their businesses.
Angel’s closing statement put it best: we are responsible for our own success.