Andre Alonzo Chambers on the Art of Consulting a Startup
The career of Andre Alonzo Chambers spans real estate, IT, finance, the automotive industry, and business management. When COVID hit, he took a sharp turn to spend more time with his children (and quickly learn the ways of home-schooling). However, he also worked with struggling businesses during the pandemic. He weighs in on how to help guide professionals who are motivated to get one foot in the door and a few miles out in front of their competition.
Years of Consulting Experience
Chambers has decades of consulting experience behind him. During his time on the job, he would run across every personality and anomaly. He had to learn what his clients wanted, so he could understand what was driving their actions. (Unfortunately, what people said and what they didn’t always match up.) Without that information, he stood little chance of advancing either party’s interests.
When he works with entrepreneurs, he takes the time to delve into where they are and how they see themselves getting to where they want to be. He identifies where they’re struggling and then assesses his own experience and skills against what they’re looking for. This practice is one that took years to develop, but it’s one that comes naturally to him by this point.
An Understanding of Risk Vs. Reward
COVID-19 threw businesses into the fire in ways that business owners could never have imagined. Some, like medical suppliers, found themselves more in demand than they had ever been before. Others, like nightclubs and restaurant owners, found themselves without any revenue at all — and only so much government money to keep them afloat.
For Andre Alonzo Chambers to really be of service to his clients during this time, he needed to grasp the uphill battles that some startups were facing in the wake of all this change. Rattling off can-do advice might have been helpful in other climates, but during a global pandemic, it could easily come across as tone-deaf.
Chambers believes that when businesses thrive, particularly small and midsized organizations, the benefits to the community are unparalleled. It teaches everyone the value of self-sufficiency and perseverance. This priceless and undeniably timeless lesson has to first be rooted in realistic circumstances.
His advice takes into account the financial stability of the organization as well as the relative strength of its position in the market. He also factors in a company’s ability to weather the uncertainty of quickly evolving regulations.
A Push for the Win-Win
Chambers undoubtedly wants his clients to establish themselves in their industry, so they can offer their unique talents to the target market. At the same time, he doesn’t want this to come at the expense of other people. This is not a dog-eat-dog mentality where no one else can share the spotlight. Instead, he tries to find opportunities where a startup owner can complement the economy rather than dominate it.
He encourages owners to think about the competition from an empathetic rather than a malicious point of view. You can see this principle reflected in Andre Chambers’ own real estate business. With multiple rental properties across several states, he’s repeatedly decided to keep prices affordable, even when the market might have made it easy for him to gouge.
Relationships that Last
If Chambers learned one thing on his road to success, it’s the value of real relationships. In business, there are countless casual acquaintances that come and go. When he consults with startups, though, he doesn’t see owners as a single page in the story of his life. This is the chance to build a real relationship while solving real problems.
Starting a business takes more than grit. It’s as much strategy as it is stamina. It’s identifying the forces that can raise you up and drag you down. It’s learning to seize the opportunities when they’re there instead of waiting for the ‘perfect time to strike. There are plenty of theories out there on how to do this, but the true lessons are learned on the fly — often when the chips are down.
For Andre, he doesn’t take those kinds of high-pressure scenarios lightly. To play a part, even a tangential part, is a sacred privilege to him. In the give-and-take that is consulting, he’s learned to value the people that he meets and the life-long bonds he’s forged.
Andre Alonzo Chambers on His Industrious Career
Long after COVID has become a memory, Chambers will use what he’s learned in his life to helping others become as productive and influential as he has. It all comes down to setting a goal, be it personal or professional, and then breaking down the steps to reach it.