Coffee With: Entrepreneur Ebong Eka

Estimated reading time ~ 2 min
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President of Ericorp Consulting Ebong Eka works with organizations and individuals on leadership, entrepreneurship, and small business strategy.

Ebong Eka
Location: Washington D.C.
Job: President, Ericorp Consulting; CPA
Education: B.S. in Accounting, Calvin College
Twitter: @ebongeka

What was your first job?

After graduating college, I played professional basketball in England and Switzerland for several years. Visiting North Korea in 1999 to play against the North Korean Men’s National Team was definitely a highlight of living abroad. When that ended, I returned to accounting, working as a senior analyst in sales tax research at Sodexo USA in Buffalo, New York. I had seen the posting in the Buffalo News classifieds and applied blindly.

What do you spend the majority of your work day doing?

As the founder and president of my own firm, Ericorp Consulting, I work with organizations and individuals on leadership, entrepreneurship, and small business strategy. I realized that I had a unique skillset and experience that could be used in the marketplace. My goal is to provide everyday people with real-life, practical solutions that can be implemented to improve their personal and professional lives. I focus on helping clients raise their prices and find high valuable customers. I recently worked with Jared Robinson, the owner of Bodywork at Work (a massage therapy business). Our partnership resulted in a 30% increase in profitability for his business.

What advice do you wish you could have given yourself on day one of your career?

I would remind myself that connecting with people and building relationships is just as important as being competent in your field.

What did you learn from your time as a professional basketball player?

I learned the importance of hard work and commitment in bringing your vision to life. It took me years to achieve my dream of playing professional basketball. I practiced for countless hours, worked multiple jobs to save money for basketball camps, and contacted hundreds of organizations before I finally landed a contract. It taught me what it takes to have a purpose in life. I also realized that I had a real gift for communication and leadership development. It's important to focus on what you’re good at instead of what you’re not.

What have you read recently that you’d recommend?

  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People
  2. Never Eat Alone
  3. The Power of Habit
  4. The Problems with Work
  5. The War of Art

Ebong1

How can candidates stand out from the crowd during the hiring process?

I’ll always notice candidates who have the ability to relate to the interviewer. That is more important than their specific skillset, because I know we can train them for that. A candidate’s ability to get along with different personalities shows their leadership qualities and soft skills.

Do you have a favorite motto or saying that keeps you motivated?

I have three: There's pleasure in progress. There's confidence in competency. I must master where I am today so I can master where I'll be tomorrow.

Images courtesy of Ebong Eka

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