*Marcia Barry-Smith is a South Florida institution in the corporate and civic arenas.
Over three decades the Jamaican born entrepreneur has steadily cultivated an impeccable reputation as a high-level executive with BankAtlantic and BankAtlantic Foundation.
Despite having earned a college degree Barry-Smith began her career in an entry-level position.
“I started from the bottom because I wanted a career and not a job. I felt that if I excelled at the less desirable jobs I would get promoted,” Barry-Smith reveals. “I became known as the go-to person. Through the years, I began noticing that people that were my supervisors remained stagnant and I grew. This helped me develop the skill of recognizing opportunities and using them to my advantage.”
In 2013, Marcia capitalized on the opportunity to launch MBS Consulting Services, Inc., a firm that delivers results for non-profit organizations, for-profit entities and banks holding Community Reinvestment Act compliance needs. She attributes her success to passion, high quality performance and a track record of excellence.
“When I moved into the corporate arena it was clear to me that you had to excel and standout. When I decided to start a business, people followed me because I had a great track record,” she says. “I had demonstrated that you can turn a job into a passion and eventually into a thriving business.”
Like many burgeoning business leaders, Barry-Smith leveraged her reputation and relationships to grow her enterprise.
“Because of my track record, many banks and sometimes regulators recommend my services to clients,” she adds.
Barry-Smith offers these three insights to help you optimize your professional reputation and business relationships:
Build a Better Mousetrap- “Find a product or service that is essential. Create a niche’ for yourself. Perform in a way that sets you apart from any competitor that may offer the same. If you build a better mousetrap you will never have to settle for less than you are worth.”
Passion is Contagious- “You must love what you do. Not working at a job. But getting up every day and following your passion. Your passion is contagious. People have to hear, see and feel your passion for your work. If people sense that you are dishonest, you are dead. As you enjoy your work, people will become attracted to your product or service.Then, you become the automatic choice when they need that service.”
Maintain Your Relationships- “Be authentic and have a good system for remembering things. For example, listen to how a person says their name. Make sure you repeat their name to them with the same nuances and accents they use. It is critical that you remember what your clients celebrate and what they mourn. Then, celebrate or mourn with them. It is equally important to follow-up with clients even if you don’t have all of the desired information or you have to deliver bad news. You want your clients to know that you will be responsive and that you will go out of your way to help.”
Barry-Smith’s commitment to the community rivals her business acumen. Barry-Smith prides herself on being a voice for the voiceless and is a nationally renowned advocate for the homeless
and victims domestic violence. She has been honored with numerous awards including: the City of Lauderhill proclaiming September 27 as Marcia Barry-Smith Day; Broward County’s Mayor and Commissioners recognized November 1, 2013 as Marcia Barry-Smith Appreciation Day; and the Toastmasters’ International Communication and Leadership Award.