Here’s how Johnson assesses what he brings to the table. He says four factors drive people to make deals with him:
- Reputation. “If I go into business with Bob Johnson, everybody is going to look at me and say, ‘That’s a pretty smart deal,’ so I’m going to get validated.”
- Substance. “The second thing they are going to say is, ‘This guy is coming into the deal with his own money, so he’s bringing the same kind of value equation that I am. So I’m not necessarily doing something out of the goodness of my heart. This is a business deal.’ ”
- Network. He has proven that he can attract talented people who create economic returns.
- Social dividends. He is a minority, for which we can get political, social and moral benefit.
Bottom line: Focusing on core strengths brings value to the table.
—Adapted from “Bob Johnson’s Second Act,” Derek Dingle, Black Enterprise.