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©Gallo: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

Breakthrough Marketing Technology CEO Pamela Roach was the keynote speaker at this year’s Strategic Steps for Growth graduation ceremony.

In her speech, Pamela shared her own personal experiences and struggles as the owner and co-founder of a minority- and woman-owned small business, and about how an authentic, informed vision leads to success.

“…it is only a clear vision that will motivate the investment of others—that will motivate them to invest themselves in you. Only when you know yourself and what you want can you inspire the investment of the best expertise your team has to offer, inspire the most valuable contracts with customers and business partners, and the most advantageous financial commitments from banks and other funders.”

She compared the journey M/WBE business owners have to go through to make their businesses successful to the journey of Alexander Hamilton, as portrayed in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton.

“Recently I was thinking about the musical Hamilton. […]the brainchild of the writer, composer, director, and star Lin-Manuel Miranda.

I’m not sure how many of you are aware of the fact that in 2009, he performed the first hip hop song from that musical at the White House. When he explained his intention to then President and First Lady Obama to create an entire musical around the life of one of the founders of the United States and first Treasury Secretary, everyone laughed. While the president recognized the idea of the initial song was innovative, he was skeptical. Could anybody really create a musical from the life of Alexander Hamilton?

Clarity of vision is what enabled Lin-Manuel to do what the President of the United States laughed at. Lin-Manuel intended to WIN! His path from that moment to getting Hamilton on Broadway was not straight. It was not easy and it was not filled with constant positive reinforcement. Yet his vision, infused with his experience, best energies and skills, was continually re-fashioned and refreshed. By integrating his experience into his vision, the final version of Hamilton on Broadway was birthed.

Each of you started Strategic Steps for Growth with a vision and experience. What you’re leaving with is the knowledge about how to deliberately manage their integration to organize and measure your best energies and skills.

Hamilton was a quintessential serial entrepreneur with lessons for all of us. He had ideas about all kinds of things. In fact, history tells us not only did he make his mark on the formation of the United States—founding the Coast Guard—but he was also the innovative creator of the first industrial city in U.S, Paterson, New Jersey.[…] His vision for industrial development integrated with the power-generating technology derived from the Paterson Falls.

In the show, you hear the song that tells you everything you really need to know about Hamilton. He was not going to throw away his shot. He was young, scrappy and hungry like his country—like this country! And he was not going to throw away his shot! All of you are here because this country is still young, compared to a lot of others. It’s still scrappy and hungry and it needs you. You are taking your shot.”

The Strategic Steps for Growth (SS4G) program is presented by the New York City Department of Small Business Services in collaboration with the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business’s W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab and NYU Capital Projects and Facilities Division.

“Strategic Steps for Growth is an executive business education program designed for Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) who are looking to grow their business. The program provides firms with an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience through an award-winning curriculum, interactive class sessions, peer-mentoring groups, and advice from business leaders and experts. Since 2010, more than 100 M/WBE owners have graduated from the program.”

Learn more about the Strategic Steps for Growth program.

All images ©Gallo: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau.

About the Author

Pamela J. RoachPamela Roach is CEO of Breakthrough Marketing Technology. She is dedicated to our mission of enabling businesses to make decisions based on fact. She has designed, collected, analyzed, and delivered the intelligence necessary to produce insights into the motivations, attitudes, and outcomes that characterize multicultural targets. In addition to her work at Breakthrough, she also teaches graduate students Integrated Marketing and Media Campaigns at NYU School for Professional Studies.

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