These Men Mean Business


When you gather seven of Charlottes most successful business men in one room, knowledge just flows.

These men shared their business strategies as they apply to hostess Lu Ann Barry’s seven step, 360 degree approach to success.

Having met half the men on the panel before and seeing their success grow through the years I knew there would be some powerful messages.


Knowledge is Wealth. DJ Chuck T did not attend college. He gained all his knowledge from life experience.

Ryan Jor El did not get his degree in fashion. However his on job training gave him more knowledge than a book ever could. Fashion became a launching pad for all his other endeavors.

Sport E Odie echoed a belief I’ve always had. After graduating, kids are too young and immature to decide what they want to do in life. Leading to so many people not doing what they have a degree for.

He said “Failure makes you learn”. Losing money is the best way to ensure you never repeat that mistake.

Sport E stresses the importance of holding on to your knowledge


Terry Budget, a highly decorated military veteran, spent a lot of time reading. Books are a main resource in his career.

After losing everything not once, but twice, he’s now very successful. With his speaking engagements bringing in $10,000 an hour, he still focuses on those with nothing. Playing a game of chess with a prisoner, sharing his insight and encouragement.

He told us we have to change the way we think in order to change the way we live.

“If you can stand to lose it all you can stand to have it all”.

His words have become a valuable resource to me.

When George Acheampong talks, I listen! This is the second opportunity I’ve had to hear him speak. And his words have changed me in many ways. He has taught me the importance of teachability. Willingness to learn. And accept change.

“Behave your way into a certain skill set”.

3. TEAM:

Your team doesn’t have to be physical. It can be virtual. Not even from the same city.

Learn to utilize your Team. Know when to let a member go.

Sport E Odie said “Keep the ones that watched you build. The ones that see something in you not just what you see in them”

Curtis Walls told us he’s not always the biggest guy in the room. But always the one to command respect.

So much of what he said during this discussion has stuck with me.

He said we need to ask of our team “What is their why?”

What is their energy level? How are they acting and moving?

“A team is only as great as their leader’

Lonnie Davis feels teamwork is essential in his real estate business. They need to ask questions. Share ideas.

“Closed mouths don’t get fed”


Our network is not the same as our team. Associate with what you do.

Curtis Walls told us if people see you casually in that space then they will take you seriously when you start to build on it.

Ryan Jor El knows one of the most important parts of networking is getting your brand noticed.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to be out there. People can’t critic what they don’t see”

Sport E Odie drove the point home.

“Until they see your actions, no one will take you seriously.”


How we package ourselves, our brand, is major. The panel pointed out that the average person has to see something seven times before they take notice.

“Your marketing isn’t working unless people are seeing it” said Sport E Odie. Sometimes you have to go back to the old school way. Print up flyers. Make T-shirt’s. Pound the pavement and get your brand out there.

With social media being the main source or marketing, you’re brand has to stand out from the masses.

DJ Chuck T believes in Dressing the part. Image is everything. Be known for doing something well.

George Acheampong said “Be authentic in your moves.” Things go wrong when you try to be something you’re not.


The panel all agreed you have to find the balance between your personal and professional life in order to succeed.

Lonnie Davis learned balance after recently taking up boxing. It physically and mentally prepared him for his success in business.

“You’ve got to take a lot of hits. Get beat up. Only then can you succeed”

DJ Chuck believes balance is different for everyone. “Face the fact but keep the faith.”

Your intent must align with your goals.

Ryan and Sport agreed on learning to say “No”.

Sometimes it’s ok to turn things down. Sport stressed the importance of Praying on your No’s after a ‘No’ almost cost him a lucrative deal.

A No can be important and imperative.


Terry believes in going after purpose. And purpose will get you paid.

It’s not enough to just go after money. Share with others. He has seen the inmates grow as he’s worked with them. He’s shown them what’s possible and built their confidence.

Many of the men have rebranded. Grown. Merged. And it’s made them even more successful.

George believes in evaluating your timing. You can’t see every angle when you’re in the middle. Sometimes it’s best to zoom out and look at the full picture.

A 360 degree view.

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