Berkeley Today Stories
Berkeley College M.B.A. Executive Speaker Series Prepares Students to Be Successful Entrepreneurs
Berkeley College welcomed Peter Stavrianidis, Ph.D., a successful entrepreneur and fourth-generation family business owner of Venus Jewelers, to its Woodland Park, NJ, campus as part of an ongoing M.B.A. Executive Speaker Series on July 12, 2016. During his presentation, Dr. Stavrianidis spoke to graduate students enrolled in the Berkeley College M.B.A. in Management program and undergraduate students enrolled in an Entrepreneurship course about the key elements required to succeed in any entrepreneurial endeavor, including interviewing and working for an employer other than yourself.
“Money is a symptom of success,” Dr. Stavrianidis said. “It requires enthusiasm, energy and service … with these your team will win, your organization will prosper, and you will be elevated to a higher degree of influence.”
Dr. Stavrianidis, with more than 30 years of business experience, said that only in the past 10 to 15 years, after becoming diligent in studied and learned principles from hundreds of successful and failed business experiences, has he become successful.
According to Dr. Stavrianidis and the results of his studies, three things really count in an interview – first, vocabulary or information, your ability to articulate, listen and communicate; second, your tone of voice; and third, your body language. Of these, the last counts most. Body language is more important than content, he said.
Dr. Stavrianidis told the audience, “You are judged by how you show up, the way you dress, and the way you speak. First impressions are important. Perception is reality.” He added that one’s level of energy, knowledge of a company and its culture (if you are interviewing), product and services, and ‘bedside’ manner are all important.
“Follow up and thank them whether or not you get the position or make the sale,” he said.
In addition to advising about how to make a successful first impression, Dr. Stavrianidis distinguished leadership as necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. While he acknowledged that some people are natural-born leaders, he believes some leadership skills are able to be learned. However, he said that 90 percent of people are unwilling to learn. They are not committed enough as it takes discipline, dedication, passion and vision. That leaves less than 10 percent who represent the competition for successful entrepreneurial leadership positions and become tomorrow’s business and community leaders. This is why most businesses do not make it past five years.
Networking is essential for entrepreneurial success, and Dr. Stavrianidis cited giving as its most essential component.
“By giving you think big and as a result, big things happen,” he said.
In order to succeed and grow, every individual should have a system – a repeatable process that produces a profit. “Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results,” said Dr. Stavrianidis. Not having a system that can always be improved is why most business fail, he said.
Dr. Stavrianidis continued the dialogue, speaking about spheres of influence. “Create impact so somebody knows you. They must also like you and trust you,” he said. He also advised the audience members to increase their energy. “In order to be successful you have to have the energy, socially, professionally, spiritually.”