Coming from a background of poverty can be used as an excuse to fail or the push to become successful. Dr. Glenn Toby decided to use that as motivation to build a thriving business that is still growing. As the owner and chief executive officer of Glenn Toby Enterprises (GTE), he utilizes the tools taught to him at an early age to give clients the advice needed to make their money work for them.
The former rapper-turned-entrepreneur took the time to speak to BLACK ENTERPRISE about his meager beginnings and how the coronavirus pandemic has helped propel his business.
How were you able to reach the pinnacle of success coming from a background immersed in poverty?
I experienced homelessness at a very early age. During my youth, I was surrounded by love, support, and encouragement to dream. My mother and grandmother instilled pride, respect, and integrity in us at an early age. My brother Randall and I, we were always reading and were in education-based programs. We grew up in a spiritual environment, during our years as displaced youth without stable housing.
As the CEO of Glenn Toby Enterprises (GTE), how are you able to facilitate the functioning of everything in your company?
We are a global investment and consulting firm; we are comprised of a team of best-in-class professionals. Each company has its own divisional head. This prevents us from working in silos and enables our group to communicate in a more effective manner. We represent corporations, high-profile celebrities, leaders in various industries. Consulting and advising is a strong point.
As a guest lecturer and speaker, how do you prepare yourself when you’re about to say words of wisdom to your audience?
I speak from the heart. My early years as a musician and a rapper prepared me to deliver my speeches and presentations without reading from a document or rehearsing what I’m going to say. My work is done well in advance, it requires in-depth research as well as the ability to read the audience. This enables me to stay ahead of the trends or adjust to last-minute changes that may be required.
How has business been for you during the coronavirus pandemic? In what ways has the crisis affected how you do business?
My business has exploded since the pandemic. I practice utilizing savings and investment programs that have enabled me to build up a cash reserve to sustain these difficult times. Typically I recommend that each household has a savings reserve of no less than three months. I also suggest all businesses have reserve capital or a line of credit for a period of up to 6 months.
The pandemic forced me to plan ahead and pivot with these changing times. I used this time out to reposition myself, and shift the business model, policies, and procedures. You must be informed and prepared with insightful planning, and use accurate data and metrics to determine the best course of action or reaction in the marketplace or the end consumer.
Since you’ve been successful in finance, management, motivational speaking, and several other endeavors, what advice would you give to those who aim to become a successful entrepreneur?
It is imperative to continue to educate yourself. Today there are unlimited options. The world has changed forever as we know it, due to the COVID –19 pandemic. The great news is we are living in the digital society: we have access to a global network with infinite online continuing courses, podcasts that grant you unprecedented access to associations, alumni, and civic organizations.