Entrepreneurial Inspiration At PPAI Expo

Casey Gerald has a very clear and definitive message for entrepreneurs today: You're completely in charge of your future. "The hierarchy in the business world is dead," said Gerald, a graduate of both Yale (for undergrad work) and Harvard Business School who grew up in inner-city Texas. "We no longer need to wait to have an idea green lighted by some big corporation. It can get funded online and you can grow it from nothing."

Gerald, one of the keynote speakers at the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas yesterday who is co-founder of a nonprofit called MBAs Across America, stressed that entrepreneurs are in charge today – as long as they have passion and purpose for their business.

"We are all entrepreneurs now," said Gerald, who became known after speaking at the Harvard Business School commencement in 2014 (a speech that can be viewed below and that has been seen on YouTube nearly 200,000 times). "And, purpose is the bottom line. You need to have a clear purpose in your business, and you can't just be interested in selling more stuff. There's no line item on a balance sheet for 'give-a-damn,' but it's the most valuable commodity a company can have."

Gerald implored his PPAI Expo audience to show everyone they come in contact with exactly how much passion they have for their businesses. "People don't know what you know until they know how much you care," Gerald said. "Don't get so caught up in your business plan. Worry more about how much passion and care you have for your business."

The PPAI Expo runs through Thursday this week. Go to for updates.