The road to successful entrepreneurship can often be long and winding, filled with high highs, and low lows and for many, few people within their traditional circle who understand the challenges of launching and running a new business. In RMA, many entrepreneurs find a camaraderie that had perhaps eluded them elsewhere.

“Sharing with and learning from other local retail professionals,” is indeed one of the most valuable parts of being involved with RMA says RMA Board Member, Steve Barnett, President of Barnett Retail Solutions.

Through networking events and opportunities such as the online community, entrepreneurs find a group of like-minded people who support other entrepreneurs, and eagerly offer advice to those just starting out.

In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week, some of our board members have shared some of the best advice they’ve received:

“Treat others with dignity and respect.” – Patrick Heaney, Mango Salon

“I keep a quote on the wall of my office that reads, ‘A problem ignored is a crisis ignited’ (Henry Kissinger). It reminds me to address staff problems, customer service issues, and vendor concerns quickly, effectively, and with empathy.” – Sarah Paxton, LaDIFF

“Always tell the truth, it’s easier to remember that versus a story you may have made up.” – John Cario, Hilton Richmond Downtown

“Don’t assume everyone has common sense.” – Jenni Kirby, Crossroads Art Center/ buyRVAart

“Live like there is no way you can fail!” – Sarah Nicholas, Ladles and Linens

“Even though there are many outside forces that challenge us, I am in control of my future.” – Stephen Story, James River Transportation

“Oftentimes in business planning, we think ‘worst case scenarios’ and ‘what if this doesn’t work,’ but we have to remember to think ‘what happens when this DOES work?’ I don’t suggest discounting the importance of having a contingency plan, however it’s just as important to plan for, and be prepared, for success.” – Meg Gouldin, Strange’s Florists, Greenhouses & Garden Centers

And our personal favorite:

“When offered corporate promotion with relocation… stay in Richmond!” – Steve Barnett, Barnett Retail Solutions