Categories: News Date: Feb 2, 2012 Title: Interview Featured in: Beauty Girl MagazineBonika Wilson shares her motivation to succeed.
Interview Featured in:High Achiever – BGIRLMAG.COM- Aug 2011
From outstanding banker to successful entrepreneur, Bonika Wilson shares her motivation to succeed.
Wilson Capital Management
1) Briefly tell us about your business.My organization specializes in organizational development consulting and training. Our primary areas of focus include: change management, leadership development, diversity, performance management, financial, strategic and business planning. Our teams of consultants are professionals who have years of experience in banking, legal, and human resources fields.
2) What inspired you to step out as an entrepreneur?
I have wanted to own my own business since my collegiate years. I had several business ideas, one after the other. There was a burning desire in me to be innovative, creative and, more importantly, to leave a legacy for my children and my community. After 14 years as a commercial banker who helped my clients run successful businesses, I decided to continue helping clients run successful businesses on my own!
In addition, I had a few long talks and coaching from some really great people! First, my husband and best friend gave me the support and confidence I needed to get away from my conservative banker mentality. He encouraged me to pursue my dream. I also accepted the advice of two friends, who are very successful businesswomen: Wanda Alexander of Horizon Consulting and Janet Smith of The Ivy Group, LLC. I still call them for advice today and consider them both a part of my team of advisors.
3) What has been the greatest reward, so far, of calling your own shots?
The greatest reward of business ownership is being able to control the direction of the organization. In an economy that is so volatile, it is refreshing to decide your own business model, strategy and markets. Despite the economic challenges the U.S. has faced, our organization has experienced increased revenues year after year and we have not had to terminate employees. This is something I am very proud of.
4) What keeps you successful?
Prayer, persistence and passion! I really enjoy what I am able to do for my clients. What’s made us successful is being able to become “a part” of the organizations we work with. It is a very seamless process. External partners see us as a stakeholder of the organizations we work with—this is by design.
5) You are a business owner, a wife, a mother and a community volunteer. How do you balance it all?
I am still learning how to balance it all! I have learned to set boundaries. There are clear lines and limits. When my boys or husband have things scheduled, they are my priority and I allow nothing else to intrude in that family time. When I am working with one of the organizations I serve, that is where my focus lies. I keep a calendar for EVERYTHING! I have even learned to schedule spa time and reading time.
6) What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Before you go into business, do your homework! Start with a plan. Know what will make your business different from your competitors and know what your clients want and need. Also, get a team of advisors. My husband always uses this analogy: If you are getting married, get advice from a SUCCESSFUL married couple that has several years of marital experience, not your girlfriend who is on her third marriage. Business is the same. Get advice from a SUCCESSFUL entrepreneur, not someone who is working for the third company in five years. True advisors will tell you the truth and maybe even give you a nice shove to help you along, like Wanda and Janet did for me.
7) Sometimes it takes making mistakes to get it right. As an entrepreneur, what mistake taught you the biggest lesson?
In the beginning, I did not have someone who kept me accountable. A partner is good for that. But even if you don’t have a partner, someone should be auditing your goals and keeping your feet to the fire. When you work for yourself it’s easy to say, “This can wait until tomorrow.” But if you keep deadlines and have an accountability partner, or team, to check in with weekly, it will force you to be diligent in your work ethic. Having a partner is a true necessity, especially in the beginning.
8) What does success mean for you?
A great man once asked me, “What will you do that will outlive you?” This is the true measure of success! True success means that the work I do today will be meaningful tomorrow. If I can change a life today, grow a business today to pass to my children, make a donation today that will build a life center for children, give a scholarship today that sends someone to college, employ a person today who is able to put their family in a home, this is success! I am planting seeds today, so that others’ tomorrows are blessed… SUCCESS!
By Chianti C. CleggettFollow Chianti on Twitter at Chi2life