Dan Gilbert Wayne State  

Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, paid his former law school, Wayne State University, a visit on Wednesday, March 30.

Over 500 people, consisting of faculty, current students, and alumni, attended this event where Gilbert answered various questions about growing up in Detroit, his vision for the city, and his advice to anyone who wants to be a part of Detroit’s revitalization.

Gilbert is a billionaire entrepreneur, pro sports team owner, and massive real estate investor. He also personally runs employee orientation for new employees of his more than 50 businesses; in other words, he’s not your average billionaire.

Farrah Zak, Content Manager at High Level Marketing, had the privilege of asking Mr. Gilbert about the advice he has for the startup and small business sector to remain successful and stay ahead of competition.

“For start-ups and small businesses, the majority of the time investors fail to make a distinction in terms of ROI. They think of it as a very short-term thought, and think of the quickest way to get a return through multiple assets. My advice is, don’t invest in more than one asset. Concentrate your investments on one thing that makes the most impact. Money will follow, it doesn’t lead. Make smart long-term investments and that money will follow you. Small businesses are so concentrated on getting their ROI as quickly as possible, but that’s not how a successful business, big or small, operates.”

Leverage Your Asset - The Key to Your Competitive Advantage 

Small businesses are fueling the economy and innovation. In order to be successful, you must trust your idea enough to know that it can challenge the status quo.

One of the most important takeaways of this event with Gilbert is to take a step back and not look at what’s trending by dabbling into multiple things, but to really concentrate on your business’ biggest strength and grow from there.

In order to increase ROI, maximize revenue, and boost productivity without sacrificing performance, quality, or customer service, staying focused on that one asset is key.

While Detroit may be best known as as the largest city to go bankrupt, behind the headlines, the city is experiencing a burgeoning renaissance with the help of Gilbert and other entrepreneurs.

According to the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, just in the last few years, the midtown and downtown districts witnessed a private capital investment of about $12 billion, leading to about 12,000 new jobs in those neighboring districts. Despite the economic momentum, Daniel Gilbert states that Detroit remains a work in progress, and growth won’t be sustainable without confidence, especially in the small business and start-up sector.

From one small business to another, stay focused, stay driven, and as Gilbert says, stay cool!

To watch the full event with Daniel Gilbert, click here.

Image from Wayne State University. To see more photos from the event, click here