Failure is Not an Option — Phyllis Newhouse

This week on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Wes interviews EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Phyllis Newhouse, CEO and Co-founder of Xtreme Solutions, a nationally-recognized IT provider and cybersecurity firm that did $149MM in revenue in 2017. Newhouse has also taken her place alongside NFL Hall-of-Famer Ray Lewis as Managing Partner and CEO of the Legend 52 Ventures Opportunity Fund, which helps create ownership opportunities for minorities and women within the professional sports, technology, and media and entertainment industries.

In the podcast, Phyllis gives a brief look at how her life experiences groomed her for entrepreneurship, expresses the importance of a having a clear and tangible vision, gives some advice on “pacing yourself” as a hungry entrepreneur, provides some perspective on carrying over and applying life’s learnings from chapter to chapter, and much more.

The EnTRUEpreneurship Takeaway:

“Put your vision where you can see it.”
“If you have leadership on the [football] field, you can have it off the field. If you have leadership in the military, you can have it outside the military. It’s taking what you have — the dedication and the fundamentals of leadership — and building upon that in the next phase, in the next chapter.”
“People often say, ‘Well, this is the end of this,’ but they often forget that there’s a [knowledge] transfer that should happen. You don’t lose it all — you go and build upon what you’ve already learned.”
“If you lose something today and if you spend 40 more seconds on that loss, you just lost 40 more seconds on an opportunity to find a big win.”

Key Topics Discussed:

2:50: Phyllis walks through her past, from being one of eleven children to being a military officer for over two decades, and recaps some entrepreneurial lessons about teamwork and leadership that she learned throughout.

7:47: Phyllis describes how two specific moments in the military taught her much about being a successful entrepreneur and shares some advice on how to apply life lessons from chapter to chapter, even if the two chapters are starkly different.

12:56 Phyllis recounts the beginnings of Xtreme Solutions, which began by seeing private sector need and through a partnership that accented her strengths and compensated for her weaknesses.

16:50: Phyllis retells an inspiring story about her method for casting her initial — and current — vision for Xtreme Solutions and how everything that she had initially planned came to pass.

21:26: Phyllis shares stories of some “darker moments” while running her company but reiterates that perceived failures are merely roadblocks on the pathway to success if your perspective is right.

28:47: Phyllis briefly talks about the Legend 52 Ventures Opportunity Fund, an endeavor started alongside NFL Hall-of-Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, whose end goal is to see female-led ownership of a National Football League franchise.

32:46: Phyllis advises on the importance of “pacing yourself” as a young entrepreneur and emphasizes the importance adhering to real, attainable goals and not “biting off more than you can chew.”

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