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Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program

Being a Young Entrepreneur

Portia White with EMP students

                                           “It's not what you do, but what you do about it

By: Ivana Tjheu

This Friday, the Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program began with a lunch purchased from Ginza Gourmet Teriyaki House. The food included yakisoba and fried rice. The students would like to thank Ginza for the authentic Japanese lunch.

This week, the students had the honor of listening to a lively presentation from Portia White, Certified Financial Planner TM Practitioner, Vice President, and Senior Advisor at Whelan Financial. Ms. White has proudly been employed with Whelan Financial since 2004, shortly after graduating from Fresno State.

One of the first questions Portia White discussed with the students is the cliché question all college students ask themselves, “What am I going to do when I graduate?” Ms. White encouraged the students instead to ask, “What do you need to be happy?” Ms. White stated, "Unless you know you want to be a firefighter or police officer, you have no idea what you want to do". Portia went on to discuss the qualities and differences between entrepreneur and an intrapreneur.

Ms. White advised the students to continually practice being articulate by expanding their vocabulary, speaking with proper grammar, and to continue learning. As an entrepreneur, it is very important to speak properly. When entrepreneurs promote their product or service, without good articulation, it is impossible to leave a good impression. Ms. White stated, “If anyone corrects your grammar, listen, own it, take it, and apply it." Most importantly she said, "If you want to shine, learn how to speak properly".

Portia White also discussed making mistakes. Her partner and mentor at Whelan Financial once told her, "It's not what you do, but what you do about it." Ms. White discussed a story involving a client in which an unfortunate event happened. The event was no fault of Ms. White’s, but yet she remembered the wise words of her mentor and thought to herself, “What can I do about it?” She was able to quickly and efficiently solve the problem which made her client extremely thankful and grateful to her.

Ms. White also discussed the importance of business planning and delegating. She told the students they should always treat their business as a big business from the start and to pursue it seriously. “Run your company or your company will run you. Also, have a vision and a plan”. She said the vision will always be changing, but you need to know where you’re going. She also encouraged the students to aim high. “Mediocre is not good enough. Ask yourself, “Can you do better?”” 

Ms. White left the students with the following words of wisdom regarding their college journeys and futures: “Sometimes you have to delay instant gratification for the benefit of the future”.