Business Block Party
Coffee With Founder of ENCLAVE John R. Dallas
Coffee With Founder of ENCLAVE John R. Dallas

ENCLAVE, an international collaborative learning center for entrepreneurs is opening its doors June 2017 at 75 Turner Avenue in Elk Grove Village. It is a private-public partnership that hopes to connect entrepreneurs, investors, vendors, and other innovators with valuable resources. It was founded by John R. Dallas, Jr., Founder, CEO, and Chief Alignment Officer at Hillview Partners Network.

Dallas is an established business leader with the drive of an entrepreneur straight out of college. He is extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and has a lot to teach others. "It runs through my veins and I can't stop! At 3:30am, my eyes pop open and I get to work," states Dallas.

We sat down to have coffee with Dallas and what a delight it was! Here are some ground-breaking lessons he taught us on entrepreneurship:

Q: What is entrepreneurship really about?

A: I tell people it's not about risk. Risk can be measured. Entrepreneurship is much different and much more difficult. It's about uncertainty. If you can't navigate uncertainty from the moment you wake up to the moment you try to fall asleep, you will not make it.

Q: You first became an entrepreneur at the age of 24. What was your biggest lesson you learned starting out?

A: Sell smart. Don't sell dumb. Find customers who are able to articulate the value they're receiving from your product and service. This encourages good feedback from your customers, so you can better understand if there is a need for what you're selling. Back when I ran a company in New York at age 24, someone said to me, "You're selling an elegant solution to a non-problem." That missed mark meant I had not defined or described correctly what my well-satisfied clients were valuing. I want to make sure today's entrepreneurs don't make the same mistake.

Q: What is the primary goal of ENCLAVE?

A: ENCLAVE's goal is to help entrepreneurs build self-awareness first and venture awareness second. We want to ensure entrepreneurs understand they need to be competent: emotionally, professionally, psychologically. What I have found in research is many entrepreneurs make decisions influenced by shame about failures over analytical regret, and at ENCLAVE we're going to discuss the reasons why and how to overcome known or unknown shame by honoring and processing regret.

We're also going to offer a course, Entrepreneurial Energetics. "Energetic" means transformation of energy into power. What we do is we help identify an individual's personal "energetics"; in other words, what it is that drives them to become an entrepreneur.

Q: What is another unique initiative that you'll be offering entrepreneurs?

A: We'll be working with two organizational psychiatrists, David and Davin Morrison, a father-son team of M.D.s, who are experts at navigating entrepreneurs and their health. ENCLAVE will also have a wellness room where entrepreneurs can exercise and meditate.


Watch this space for updates about ENCLAVE O'HARE's grand opening. It will be late in June or early in July. A day-long open house with narrated tours will precede a ribbon-cutting and a summer evening of grand celebration.

ENCLAVE for Entrepreneurs at O'Hare is an economic development public-private partnership of Elk Grove Village. ENCLAVE O'Hare's programs and facilities are managed by ENCLAVE for Entrepreneurs Foundation, Inc, a not-for-profit organization. Its premises are owned by Elk Grove Village Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank, Member, FDIC.

For more information:

Call 313.643.8000 (no sales calls, please!)

Follow John Dallas on Twitter

John Dallas on Strictly Business, the official EGV podcast