March 2016 Entrepreneur Night (Flagler Beachfront Winery)
16 Apr 16
March’s Entrepreneur Night was the place to be!
On March 22nd, hundreds of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and advocates for small businesses gathered at the Flagler Beachfront Winery.
Flagler Beachfront Winery is a phenomenal venue to host Entrepreneur Night. In fact this was the third time Entrepreneur Night event was held here. Not only does it hold a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and an array of quality wines from a boutique winery, but the co-owners of the venue, Kelly and Ken are the type of entrepreneurs every one roots for to be successful: kind, hard working, likable.
146 people from all types of industries came together, creating a synergy that can only be produced by yet another successful Entrepreneur Night.
But what is it that makes Entrepreneur Night so successful? It’s you!
It’s entrepreneurs, it’s people who love entrepreneurs, it’s investors – and yes, sometimes, it’s even those people who are there for the free food (joking). It’s the makers and the doers of the world. The people who turn their passion into a living.
Those are the people that make Entrepreneur Night what it truly is.
And one person in particular is Akil Yisrael, founder of Focus9Enterprises, a managerial financial consulting firm. He’s transformed his love for people and passion for numbers into a fully-functioning business. Passion number one: working with individuals who’re trying to achieve their goals. Passion number two: solving problems through the use of numbers.
Much of his work ethic today is derived from his family. In fact, his mother was an accountant and his father was a business consultant, which ultimately means that he has a background growing up in this industry. He mentions that, “They gave me strong leadership and they gave me solid guidance.” He recalled how he would often observe the way his father managed other businesses, and would carefully consider the bits of knowledge his mother gave him.
Since the year 2000 he has been professionally working in this industry, and has run his own firm since 2003, and has since expanded into Palm Coast, Daytona, Deltona, Orlando, Kissimmee, and two locations in New Orleans. So how was he able to accomplish this? He explains,
“First, we had to invest in people, be ethical to our customers, and give people a polished product.”
He further explains that, frankly, people won’t pay for something tarnished or unsatisfactory. So, each and every day he would work hard to ensure that his service was top-of-the-line. And this is a story that many entrepreneurs can relate to – wanting to give your clients 110%.
It’s interesting to see how similar business owners are, despite their industry.
Not everyone is willing to sacrifice the security of their current job to chase after their passion. Not everyone can handle the responsibilities that come along with being your own boss. And certainly, not everyone has what it takes to turn their passion into a successful business. It takes a special person to do that – a driven, creative, and critical thinker. It takes…an entrepreneur.
The amount of sacrifice that comes along with being an entrepreneur is incredible, but if it’s done the right way: the reward is for more incredible than anyone can ever ask or imagine.
Take Kelly and Ken for example – the owners of Flagler Beachfront Winery.
“What we are doing is a little outside the box here in Flagler Beach.”
Most people in Flagler Beach do not think of this place as the wine mega of the world, but did you know that Flagler Beachfront Winery actually makes their own wine? That’s right! They bring in the grapes, compress them, bottle them, age them, sell them, and drink them all right here in Flagler Beach.
“We have been able to make good wine and also fun products such as wine slushies. We are able to make our products down to everyone’s level – that anyone would like. We are able to do what we like while looking at the ocean in a wonderful small community.”
After starting a winery in Ohio a few years ago, in Ken’s 16th year his wife said that if he wanted to stay married then she had to see the ocean. So, they chose to move to Flagler Beach because of who they were, and the types of people that were in an area, and it seemed like the perfect place to raise their kids. “We were lucky enough to realize our dream though a lot of handwork,” Ken stated, “and a lot of energy.”
Ken feels blessed to have people that work and live in the area bring their families here. He’s fulfilled his desire to create a place for people to come, which doesn’t feel like a restaurant, doesn’t feel like a bar, but more of a family setting, where people can get locally made products. He says,
“Sometimes the dream finds you as much as you find the dream.”
And that statement could be no closer to the truth. Sometimes you don’t have to go searching for opportunities because the door of opportunity is opened up you – but who opens that door?
Say hello to Tom Hellman of SCORE Chapter 87- one of the sponsors of Entrepreneur Night. They are a non-profit organization that is here to help small business is to get started, prosper, and thrive to go forwards. They’re more than just consultants – they’re mentors. SCORE has been around for quite some time, and out of 300 chapters across the nation, the Flagler/Volusia chapter is one of the most highly rated chapters across the entire country!
“This means that we are in the business of developing client’s confidences.” Hellman says, “We think of it as a way of transferring knowledge to our clients.”
Hellman has worked in corporate America for nearly 40 years, and the way he was brought up is that people moved every three years. “What i found coming to Palm Coast, is that I can become integrated with this community, and SCORE provides me with a chance to do just that.”
He’s had the opportunity to meet several people after retiring from corporate America , and thought it would be a good idea to give back some of the knowledge that he acquired throughout the years. As he looked at different organizations, SCORE stood stood out because of their quality and the quality of their workers. “It is really a way to give back.” Hellman mentions, “We don’t get paid, it is a completely volunteer organization, and our payback is looking at the glint in our client’s eyes when we connect with them in a way that is positive and help them become more successful in their businesses.”
And that is what this event is all about. Entrepreneur Night is a support system, it’s a network, it’s a family. So whether you missed last month’s event or you absolutley loved it, come out to next month’s event – every last Tuesday of the month!
Entrepreneur Night is a grassroots event for and by Entrepreneurs, which takes place the last Tuesday of each month – except July, August, and December at a different location and venue. It is free to attend. Complimentary appetizers are provided by the venue hosting the event as well as a cash bar. In each event you can expect to meet many new entrepreneurs, investors and service providers; and have meaningful conversations. You can check out the previous Entrepreneur Night events | or RSVP to the Next Entrepreneur Night Event