As I prepare to gather my thoughts I am reminded by the words of a great mentor, which I was fortunate to work for during the beginning of my career. He told me to sell yourself, then the company and finally the product. What he was really saying is that yourself is the most important part of anything you do. The company is also important and certainly the product and/or the service that are delivered are also key, but in our volatile and ever changing business environment, with mergers, acquisitions and re-structuring occurring, the company will certainly change and the products and services that you represent are bound to change. In fact one day you will probably be selling or marketing a competitive product that has just been absorbed into the company where you now work.
“Believing in yourself is paramount to the entrepreneurial sprit”
I truly believe that this is where the entrepreneurial spirit starts. It is a “learned” process. Start by believing in yourself. It should come as no surprise that entrepreneurs are the best followers. They watch, listen and learn. During this process they hone their teamwork skills to develop decisive results-oriented ideas. In keeping with my hypothesis that selling yourself is key, not all entrepreneurs are in touch with the entire business process, however they are directly in touch with what needs to get done. Along these lines, there are three main components (or resources) a company has, the first is financial, the second is technical and the third is human. The entrepreneur falls into the human aspect. He is the one main ingredient that can easily cross pollinate his skills and interface with all aspects of a company’s business operations. Especially in today’s business environment, where the job market is and will continue to tighten and the financial and technical can be bought. With this I have found effective entrepreneurs to embrace one key theme
“Think outside of the Box”
Entrepreneurs look outside, above, and beyond the daily activities. They are adaptable, flexible and have a keen sense of keeping “their eye on the ball”. They are motivated by success and not intimidated by failure. This is the key difference. It is not that they know more, it is that they are willing to act. Another way of saying this is that entrepreneurs are success driven, not intimidated by fear. From the time we were born were told “No” and because of this upbringing over 80% of what we do, or more aptly don’t do is because of fear. In the basic sense there are two primary feelings that are part of our human condition, the first is love and the second is fear.
“Don’t be ruled by Fear!”
Continuing with the “human spirit”, the excitement of “giving back” to others, in what we have been fortunate enough to learn, is an enjoyable and embracing spirit. Also it best represents the term “life can be fun”. It also can be said that if you like what you do, you will be more productive, nothing is closer to the truth. Entrepreneurs have a fascinating way of enjoying life and “eating it up”, every chance they get.
Turning to business, management style is also an indication of an individual who possesses not only an entrepreneurial “mindset” but also one who shares in the “intra-preneurial” culture, found today in most large corporations. It is the entrepreneur who can lead others (as a mentor) with these seven principles. When all of these elements are working in harmony, you have a very powerful and determined union. If there seems to be a rift, then you have decay. Examine your own environment, see where you can make a direct change not only for the organization you work for but more importantly for yourself.
1) Lead by Example, Live with Integrity
2) Big Idea Strategies
3) Build a Great Management Team
4) Inspire Employees to Greatness
5) Build a Responsive, Flexible Organization
6) Reinforce Management Disciplines
7) Process success, not Product success
Transference in my and many others opinion, is an every day occurrence. It is key to be able to distinguish the “personal” from the “business” aspects of our interactions with others. Reach for the highest level of integrity and credibility through honest and “true to yourself” ideals. In this manner, the only thing that you will have to look back on is your “reputation. You see the last and most important element of the entrepreneurial spirit is
“Take Pride in your Work”
Prior to forming Consult to Business, Chris De Guerre held a number of senior management positions in the Automotive, Consumer Electronic and Recreational Vehicle industries.
Consult to Business is an industry focused general management consulting firm providing strategic business, sales, market and technology planning services. It has provided leading-edge thinking and vision clients in the Automotive, Consumer Electronic and Recreational Vehicle industries, and their respective suppliers, dealers, trade associations and government agencies.