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Five keys open doors to success, speaker tells Hagerstown audience

February 29, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - An author and businessman whose clients include Toyota and the National Football League spoke about entrepreneurial strategies to roughly 65 people during a free luncheon Thursday at Duffy's on Potomac in Hagerstown.

Robert L. Wallace, president and CEO of the Baltimore-based information technology firm Bithgroup Technologies Inc., was the featured speaker.

Wallace is to return to the city to host seminars March 27 and April 24, when he will discuss the importance of creating professional partnerships and alliances, among other things, said Deborah Everhart, economic development director for the City of Hagerstown.

During his presentation, Wallace laid out five basic points that he said are keys to running a successful business:

· Never lose the ability to weep.

· The present situation does not dictate the future.

· Allow business partners to start off working where they feel the most comfortable and build from there.

· Learn how to manage distractions.

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· Watch, work and "go to war" if necessary to succeed.

"If you are not prepared to do that, you have no chance at being successful," he said. "War means you're willing to fight for what you've built. You have to be willing to compete."

After his speech, Wallace said he began to establish the five points while he studied as a graduate student at Dartmouth College and refined the theory over 30 years of professional experience.

Wallace said Americans have to look ahead or risk losing business to developing countries, where labor costs are two-thirds cheaper.

"If we're not careful, we'll get our butts kicked," he said. "The rest of the world is hungry ... We need a whole new mind-set."

The luncheon was sponsored by the City of Hagerstown, Maryland Small Business Development Center, Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, SCORE Counselors to America's Small Business, Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation (CHIEF) and the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

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