Wealth Building & Entrepreneurship

Wealth Building & Entrepreneurship

By: Dr. Pamela Jolly


All across the country, I have been asking the question: What if wealth was a model, and all you had to do was pick one? What if like a car, or a job, or a partner, all one had to do was align their perspective, obey the rules of engagement, and develop strong relationships to build, grow, and expand wealth as they defined it? The patterns in the responses continue to fascinate me. They have also confirmed my belief that the world would be a better place if more of us understood the principles of business.

After 13 years of advising and raising capital for entrepreneurs of color, I can say that wealth is just that — a model. One that is developed over time, grown with an understanding of risk and return on investment, and built upon a strong sense of both the cost and the benefits of deploying your precious time in areas you can excel in. While this is evident to me and evident in businesses with successful performance, it often eludes the thousands of people who choose to pursue entrepreneurship as their way of life. I find for many; it is easy to get lost in their work and forget the business around it.

I started to really understand this reality about business, entrepreneurship and successful navigation between the two while working in the rebuilding effort post-Hurricane Katrina. As I look at the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the city of Houston, my mind returns to the business realities of rebuilding a city devastated by natural disaster. There is no one to blame (although people will try), no one to sue (although many will want to); there is, however, the business around the work of putting individual and collective lives and communities back together. Within that work, there is wealth to be created. Rebuilding post a disaster is in many ways a business that contains many types of work.

The individual success one finds in a rebuilding effort is largely based on the condition of one’s business foundation pre-storm. Rebuilding means returning to its pre-disaster state. If the pre-disaster state was barely making it, the rebuilding at first glance looks like an opportunity, but second glance will reveal there is some work, (that is both relationship and financial) required to ride the wave of long term, albeit delayed progress that occurs in a rebuilding effort. Storms can be useful in that they reveal the cracks in the foundation of personal, community, small, medium, large, federal, state, and local corporate businesses. The confusion around simple business principles and the costly consequences of not looking ahead to the unimaginable, unintentional realities that occur when a storm hits everyone at the same time, in the same way, get intimately revealed in the rebuilding effort post a storm.

The definition of entrepreneurship is one that should not be lost on those who find it interesting to pursue. The elements of the definition I want to concentrate on are as follows: The taking on of financial risks in the hopes of earning a profit. There is a belief system inherent in the role of an entrepreneur. There is a vision, a hopeful strategy, and an expected outcome that if you do the necessary work in the right market conditions, profit will be achieved that makes all the before mentioned worth it.

A successful, risk loving, profit driven, entrepreneur sets up a business in the hopes a positive financial result will occur. They take the time to write their vision and make it plain so that others who read it will hopefully run with it. A successful entrepreneur has the cashflow to afford to wait until the vision comes to fruition, they have the right partners and supporters, bank relationship and clients, they are in the right markets where the product or service can find enough fertile ground to materialize into a harvest worth waiting for. The primary purpose of business is to build wealth for its owners. A true entrepreneur recognizes that income or revenue is but a pit stop along the road to wealth their way, and that profit and investing cash flow are the key determinants of growth and advancement. Being an entrepreneur means you have hope (not blind faith) in your abilities to arrive at the primary purpose of the very nature of business itself — to build wealth for its owner. From my lived perspective, we all are entrepreneurs in some way.

So what is the condition of the entrepreneur in you? Post-Hurricane Katrina, I went on what I call a jolly-journey to identify specific ways wealth could be created with a business approach to community. The result of what became almost a nine-year journey is a proprietary system I designed called the NarrowRoad™. You see, I have come to intimately understand that wide is the gate to life. We all at the surface have so many options to select from when pursuing our purpose in the business of life. However, as you go deeper into the “business of you,” one finds the road to life as you desire it is really a narrow road, with financial decisions that determine just how far along the road to wealth you will navigate in your lifetime. Viewing life from this business perspective has allowed me to notice what often goes unnoticed.

Whether you own a business formally or not, along the NarrowRoad™ anyone and everyone with a financial statement is in business. As a result, everyone is tasked with navigating his or her life in pursuit of the primary purpose of business entrepreneurship which is to build wealth. My prayer is that each storm you find (or finds you) in your life, reveals a deeper understanding of the entrepreneur in you. Elevate your business acumen to take on risks in the hopes of earning a profit however you define it. This is the journey we are all on. Navigating the road to your success is entrepreneurial; and the choices you make in pursuit of it is how you build wealth your way.

Dr. Pamela Jolly
Torch Enterprises Inc, CEO


About Dr. Pamela Jolly:

Dr. Pamela C.V. Jolly, Founder, and CEO of Torch Enterprises Inc has over 20 years of proven leadership and strategic management expertise; her primary focus is legacy wealth creation that passes on for generations. Her company Torch Enterprises is a strategic investment firm focused on growing and sustaining minority-owned businesses.
Since 2004, Torch has assisted over 1000 entrepreneurs, a number of national non-profit and trade organizations, the Federal Government, and several large national banks. She remains committed to raising capital and awareness for women and minorities desiring to build wealth through sustainable ownership. Pamela co-authored the strategic assessment for the rebuilding of the Greater New Orleans area post-Hurricane Katrina. She also underwrote over $200 Million in support of the rebuilding efforts in Mississippi. These two experiences sparked her desire to find alternative ways individuals and groups could work together to rebuild their communities with ownership and equity. In 2010 Pamela formalized her unique approach to the work of supporting business owners, investors, and their communities with the creation of The NarrowRoad™ Method, a patented business process that infuses culturally relevant elements of society with financial literacy, management, investment, and risk. In 2015 Pamela expanded the use of the NarrowRoad™. Torch now guides national organizations and their members on ways to design data-driven strategies that lead to increased ownership, equity, and standards of business. Most recently Pamela designed a national program for her client, The National Association of Real Estate Brokers using the NarrowRoad™ Method. The program seeks to create two million new black homeowners in the next five years to increase wealth in the black community.
Pamela has a BS from Hampton University, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, a Masters in Theology from Boston University School of Theology, and an Ed.D from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Her best-selling book detailing the NarrowRoad™ was released in 2015.

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