How many hours in a day do you have? Not the hours of a full cycle. How many hours do you have to work, spend time with family, exercise, and have time to yourself? The Professional Entrepreneur makes time to learn. The first step to doing anything full time is studying. The career path of a Professional Entrepreneur is no different than any other profession.
If you decided to be an uneducated engineer tomorrow…how do you think that would go?
The main issue that plagues the entrepreneur career is the lack of credentials. There is confusion about entrepreneur versus business person in society. There is also confusion about entrepreneur versus professional entrepreneur. There is an identity crisis on terms. With no certifying body no one checks to see who is “qualified”.
No third party review allows anyone with imagination to practice entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is a quality of profession in my book. To be good at your profession you must devote time to learning. As a Professional Entrepreneur the time you make to learn will qualify you for your title.
Start learning Corporate Infrastructure.
Corporate infrastructure is: bylaws, operating agreements, incorporation laws, legal requirements for formation (varies by state), licensing requirements (occupational versus professional), insurance coverage (most important do not get in without this), and tax requirements.
From there you proceed to learn:
If you cannot keep books in order you cannot substantiate value. If you cannot tell someone what your company is worth you cannot earn profits. If you do not understand profits it is impossible to grow. Without growth there is no measurable business. Do not just download “QuickBooks”. Take classes in: general ledger entry, profit and loss, balance sheet consolidation, depreciation, accounts receivables and financial formatting (learn some basic rules about Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles — GAAP).
You need to explain to people what your company is doing. More importantly you must understand financial literacy in business. You will be unable to identify gaps in processes, efficiency or forecast your tax bill properly without education.
You need to understand how to “value” business. Value is important. Value lets you know how you’re doing. Your business can be adding true value everyday without any income. Did you know that? If you think business is only cash flow you are wrong. Valuations of business deal with three categories. The first category is Income. That is common sense. The second category is Assets. Assets are anything that can be liquidated for cash. The third category is Market. Market is the least understood category. A straight forward way to explain Market is Skype. Skype had 54 million free users in 2005. Ebay decided to acquire these free users for 2.6bn USD despite no revenue. How in the world did Skype pull that off? Skype had Market Value to support the purchase.
Becoming a Professional Entrepreneur takes a few more steps but start out on mastering these three fundamentals. These fundamentals will serve as basis for you to understand how to approach deals. If you do not have strong knowledge in these areas — you will be taken advantage of. You may create bad legal situations with customers, partners, or worse investors.
Everyone likes the Henry Ford Statement, “I will hire the person smarter than me to do that.” Only a fool hires someone that they cannot hold accountable. If you do not understand what the person is doing you have no way to make sure they do a good job. Don’t be a fool. Don’t be a person that is ignorant. Ignorance means you do not know something. Being ignorant is not an insult. Ignorance is a fact. You either know something or you don’t. Do not be taken advantage of out of ignorance. I have a quote from the richest man in Babylon. This quote will serve you well.
“Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which not approved by those skilled in its keep.”
You do not need to be a master of these subjects (although being a master will make you elite) but you do need to understand how to spot a bad job. Don’t let your gold slip away because you were too lazy to learn about it.
Become a Professional Entrepreneur like every other profession. Go learn about it and then have a certification in it.
About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 7.5mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of: biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at www.christopherklopez.com