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Using the EMP for the Greater Good: A Conversation with Sam Reed

By EMP Staff

Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile® (EMP) Practitioner Sam Reed calls himself a “teacherpreneur” as he uses the EMP in a variety of settings including education, workforce development, accelerator programs and individual coaching. Although his audiences vary, the value that the EMP brings to his clients and students remains the same.

EMP: I know that you go by your last name, so Reed, thank you for talking with us today about how you use the EMP. Let’s start with telling us a little bit about your background and how you first heard about the EMP.

Reed: Well, after I got my MBA, I joined the Peace Corps, became an entrepreneur and then started a business in Botswana. When I came back to the United States, I decided to switch gears a little bit after realizing I really wanted to impact lives as an educator. I like to tell people that my day job is as an educator where I help students to read, write and make sense of the world, but I also side hustle for social good. I first heard about the EMP at a conference at Drexel University and decided to get certified in 2021.

EMP: You work at the U School in Philadelphia where the motto is Love. Do. Dream., and the mission is about giving students real world opportunities to apply knowledge and fulfill their greatest potential. You also run the Biz 101 Side Hustle accelerator program. Tell us how these two different places impacted how you’re using the EMP.

Reed: When I was teaching at the U School, I had one student who really perked up whenever I talked about money, finances or economics, and that was about the only time he really engaged in learning. I realized that this was a topic that could be very interesting for all young people. Sadly, this young man lost his life to gun violence, but he inspired me to start the first cohort in the Biz 101 Side Hustle accelerator program. I bring together young folks and others to learn how to start up, ideate and create businesses from a passion or specific idea they have. We’re now on our 6th cohort, and we use the EMP in that program as a “value-add” so that the participants can better understand their strengths and weaknesses and create action plans to help them build their businesses and become more successful entrepreneurs.

EMP: Tell us about how you use the EMP in conjunction with the U School and the summer workforce program affiliated with the Philadelphia Youth Network.

Reed: At the U School, we have an urban agricultural technical education program where students learn how to take items from a community garden such as herbs, plants and other resources to market. Some students are very serious about starting eco-friendly businesses so we prep them at the beginning of the program by letting them take the EMP to discover areas where they might want to improve.

EMP: In addition to the U School and Biz 101, you’ve also used the EMP with training contracts and in your business coaching practice. How does the EMP play a role in these ventures?

Reed: I’ve used the EMP as part of the financial literacy curriculum for workforce development programs. After participants have been through the financial literacy “boot camp,” they take the EMP at the end to help them not only become better workers themselves but also to become job producers. Both the individual reports and the group reports add credibility to the curriculum and provide evidence of the value of the program. In my coaching practice, I work with individuals one-on-one. The EMP is an excellent entry point into the process, and it provides a baseline upon which we can focus improvement efforts.

EMP: Since you are using the EMP in many different arenas, what have you found to be the most beneficial aspect of the instrument?

Reed: I think the most beneficial aspect of the EMP is just how illuminating it can be to people. Some people have big blindspots that they’re unaware of, and others get affirmation of their strengths. Either way, they get great insight through the Feedback Report and EMP Development Guide about where to focus their development efforts, how to capitalize on their strengths and what next steps they might want to take.

EMP: I know you recently worked with two clients in Botswana. How have they found the EMP to be valuable?

Reed: Yes, I had the great pleasure to meet and learn from two women in Botswana who exemplify the ethos of the entrepreneurial mindset. Both of these exceptional women have over 25 years of proven success in their fields and are currently expanding their enterprises.

Pinkie Keamogetse Mmolai is the founding director of Uphill Capital, which gives micro-loans to both small and micro businesses throughout Botswana and nearby regions. Her experience with the EMP was “really great.” She learned that “although I have the passion and drive for business, I lacked strength in planning and the timely execution of tasks. I have since implemented a journal system that helps me be far more accountable toward my duties.”

Khumo Lorato Ntshinogang is the founding director of a retail shoe and boutique wholesaler named Lorants Investments Pty Ltd. which provides her community with great quality shoes and gifts at affordable prices. After taking the EMP, Khumo said, “I learned that my good communication skills are my strength. I am able to communicate with different people, from different lifestyles, to sell my products. I also have a passion for selling shoes. This let me know that I could generate additional sales ideas, or add other retail items such as clothing, to my shop.”

EMP: And you can read more about these women who define resilience and success in your blog. Thanks, Reed, for sharing all of the different ways your use of the EMP is cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset among your students and clients. We wish you all the best!

Sam Reed Headshot

Sam Reed is an accomplished Teacherpreneur and Business Coach with more than 25 years of success across education and workforce development industries. He can be reached at [email protected].

The Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile® (EMP) [] is an excellent way to get an in-depth view of the entrepreneurial mindset and see how your personality traits and skill sets compare to those of corporate managers and entrepreneurs. Available online, the EMP provides scores on 14 different scales including Risk Acceptance, Passion, Need to Achieve, Future Focus, Idea Generation and Persistence among others. The EMP Feedback Report comes with a debrief video and a comprehensive Development Guide for continuous improvement.

Want to learn more about EMP Certification and how you can use it in your organization? Email us at [email protected] or visit the Certification page of the EMP website to see how you can start using the EMP with your clients and students.