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Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program

Tips for Entrepreneurial Success from Richard Spencer

written by: Dante Muniz

The Lyles Center Entrepreneur Mentor Program had the privilege of welcoming Richard F. Spencer as its guest speaker. Mr. Spencer earned his B.A. in Economics from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California and pursued postgraduate studies in real estate finance and development. He is a licensed California contractor and real estate broker and is President and Chairman of the Board of Spencer Enterprises, Inc.

In addition, Mr. Spencer also serves as Chairman of the Board of Harris Construction Co., Inc., is the founder of Equipment Parts Wholesale (EPW), California Manufacturing and Engineering Company (C-MEC), and California Consortium for Agricultural Export. He is the President and founder of Cru Wine Company in Madera, California and President of the Spencer Family Charitable Foundation.

Because of his success as an entrepreneur and businessman, Mr. Spencer is an esteemed member of the Fresno community and sits on the Board of Trustees at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA and California State University, Fresno.

Driven by a unique entrepreneurial vision and unparalleled work ethic, Mr. Spencer’s business activities have created hundreds of jobs for San Joaquin Valley residents, constructed over 1,000 homes, schools, factories, churches and offices and generated millions of dollars in sales activity for the Valley.

During his presentation, Mr. Spencer gave us an inside look into is entrepreneurial journey and shared with us insights he believed would help us with our own success.

Learn to write well. For many, writing properly has become a lost art. The written word has the ability to make or break deals and relationships. Many college students write well below a proficient level. It is important we constantly hone this skill.

You don’t need a big idea.One of Mr. Spencer’s business ventures consisted of packaging rubber gaskets for an engine. He did not invent anything or recreate the wheel. Mr. Spencer was able to identify a pain and solve a problem by doing the simplest of activities.

Be proficient with technology.Mr. Spencer realizes that in our world, technology can be a great asset. Although he does not use a computer, he realizes as young entrepreneurs, we need to take advantage of its uses.

Be honest with yourself.You need to be brutally honest with your business finances and projections. Lying to yourself will only hurt you in the long run.

Be prepared for the big commitment.While owning a business, especially in the beginning, be prepared for the time and attention it will require. Mr. Spencer told us for a long stretch he only had time for family and his business. Everything else may need to be put on the back burner.

People are important.Value people. Projections are just another word for guesses. Invest in good people weather hiring for your own company or providing capital for someone else’s.

Continue learning.Keep your eyes and ears open. Be a sponge. The learning never stops and neither does your personal growth.

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