What is the Entrepreneur Qual Card, you ask? Well, you may not have asked, but it’s an important tool to help you discover where you stand as a businessperson and how you can rise to become a Qualified Entrepreneur.
A Qualified Entrepreneur possess the vision, the personal skills, the perseverance, and the nuts-and-bolts knowledge that your company will need from its leader today and for the future. My job is to educate and motivate you to discover these qualities in yourself and channel them into your future endeavors.
Your journey to self-awareness is never over. It encompasses every aspect of your entrepreneurship. By being self-aware, you develop the skills necessary to thoroughly examine your thoughts and beliefs before accurately making decisions based on your values and the way you perceive the world. By mastering this skill, you will be able to consider the beliefs, values, and goals of your company, when making business decisions for your enterprise. You can put aside personal attitudes and beliefs for the greater good of your company. Being able to know the difference between your attitudes and that of your company is a desirable skill. It’s an ability to stand on the outside and make decisions without your emotions getting in the way, which is a difficult way to operate.
You are an entrepreneur. You became one when you started your company. This comes with the responsibility of entrepreneurship. You could have successfully conquered your company in the startup phase, but does that mean you’re equipped to succeed in the growth phase and beyond? The financial tasks fall on you, and require you to allocate your resources properly to ensure your growth. The challenges of entrepreneurship will start to arise, such as being bored; learning how to give up on autonomy, realizing it’s not all about you anymore, delegating tasks, and building structure for your company. Are you truly qualified to run your business? Are you enjoying this? Any entrepreneur can call themselves the CEO, but only a few become Qualified Entrepreneurs.
A Qualified Entrepreneur does not allow their career to plateau. They will continue to thirst for knowledge on bettering themselves and their company and will never be satisfied with mediocrity. Throughout your tenure you will make mistakes, learn from them, and move on to ways that build up your company and your employees. From the day your company is an idea in your head to the day you retire, the Qualified Entrepreneur in you will always be on a quest for information.
Leadership cannot be mass produced to fit one societal standard. Leaders are born in all different backgrounds, have different experiences, and vary in dreams and goals. These people have the ability to inspire others while giving them a reason to listen to what they are saying. Leadership personalities can range from Urgent to Proactive and from Optimistic to Reflexively Pessimistic. Each personality has their time and place for entrepreneurs – we all start out rushing to the urgent when we start up our businesses, full of optimism for the future. Over time, the goal for all of us should be to become more proactive and balanced in our approach to ensure we can lead under any conditions.
My time and experience spent serving in the Navy was very influential in helping me become the “qualified entrepreneur” I am today. What you have experienced in your life, whether you realize it or not, will shape how you run a business and deal with your company on a daily basis. My experience of founding, building and eventually selling two different businesses gives me a realistic life-cycle view of what it takes to succeed in the long-haul, just as raising children to adulthood does for me on the personal side. Embrace these life-cycle experiences, the ups, downs, highs and lows of each of them, and let them be a basis on either how you want to lead, or how you don’t want to lead.
In the back of The Second Decision is a checklist of prerequisites for the entrepreneur. The first step on the journey to becoming a qualified entrepreneur is to fully understand and embrace the definition of the Disciplined Entrepreneur, a critical step in becoming more self-aware. A Qualified Entrepreneur has all the qualities listed above, and can check off a series of requirements that ultimately lead to becoming the best business leader and mentor for your employees that you can be. A Qualified Entrepreneur is self-aware, possesses entrepreneurship, develops career-long learning, has a sense of leadership, and has life-cycle perspective. Together the Qual Card will bring you the most success out of your endeavors.