PHILOSOPHY - Terry C. Smith Consulting

Photo of Terry and blind entrepreneurs
My philosophy on blindness and the abilities of the Blind to be successful entrepreneurs is simple.  When motivated, trained, and afforded the opportunity and proper resources, blind people can be as successful if not more successful as entrepreneurs than their sighted peers.  We must set expectations high because low expectations breed unacceptable levels of performance.  Blindness can never be an excuse for failure.  Blindness cannot be cited as the reason for not competing successfully.  We short change the Blind when we set the bar low and expect them to perform down to those expectations.  Either we believe in the abilities of the Blind or we don’t.  If we do, then we expect more and demand superior performance. 

Like anyone who is successful, the blind person must be motivated.  They must WANT to succeed.  They must WANT to prove themselves.  They must WANT to make money.  Only when an individual is truly motivated will performance meet the highest of expectations. 

Likewise, training is a key ingredient to successful entrepreneurship.  Owning a business is no simple task although we tend to make it sound easy.  One doesn’t just open a business and then rake in the profits.  Build it and they will come may work in the movies but not in the real world.  Anyone with or without a disability must have a thorough understanding of business principles and the laws and regulations that will govern their businesses. 

Having the necessary resources are very important.  These resources may be financial such as dollars with which to buy needed equipment.  They may be supportive in nature such as technical assistance and advice.  Different businesses require different resources.  Different individuals need different resources. 

And finally and equally as important is opportunity.  It does no good to be motivated, be well-trained, and have all the resources you need but not have the opportunity.  It is up to the would-be blind entrepreneur to take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself.  The Randolph Sheppard Act makes some opportunities available.  We must work to create more opportunities. 
When provided with the proper training, motivated blind persons who are given the opportunity and the necessary resources can be successful entrepreneurs and live the American Dream.