The question I am asked the most is, “What is it exactly you do?”
I have carried the following titles: Chief Investment Officer, President, Project Manager, Portfolio Manager, Business Development Director, International Project Advisor, Board of Advisor, Investment Advisor, Compliance Officer…the list goes on and on.
Every title I held was different. Since I do not have a conventional career most people struggle to understand how to apply my experience. Do I raise money? Yes. Do I build houses? Yes. Do I know how to negotiate complex trade deals with governments? Yes. How many questions will I say yes to???
When you are a Professional Entrepreneur you must create a purpose for your presence.
Business is like a grand show. The Business setting is full of characters. You have your central protagonist, your antagonist, support characters and the love interest. Then there is a person that breathes life to the show. There is a special person that the season builds up to. That special person makes the “Special Guest Appearance” for the season.
The role of this character is written in by writers. The writers go out of their way to include a non member of the cast. The reason can be due to awe. The awe comes from fame, fortune, connections, or personal reasons.
In the Show of Business the Professional Entrepreneur’s place is “Special Guest Appearances”. Typically the writer is Chief Executive Officer. For “Special Guest Appearances” the writer will work with the feature person. The “Special Guest Appearance” must always be “written into the show” (i.e. you are never part of the actual plot).
There was a distinct reason why I held so many titles. The purpose of my presence was always different. As a Professional Entrepreneur you must be useful. More importantly choose to enter markets because of opportunity. Being a Businessman or Businesswoman is a fantastic goal. Business people are not the same as entrepreneurs. Let me illustrate an example.
You can be a business person by looking for a franchise. Find a subway franchise for sale. Make sure you research. Find one that has financials and bank statements. Make sure the business is at least 4 years old. Then apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) Guarantee. You can obtain financing with an SBA guarantee. You can qualify Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs with a 680 credit score. The bank sets your required equity contribution (usually between 5–20%). You have to personally guarantee the loan to qualify. After you receive a loan approval take the approval to source your contribution. You will find someone to give you the money to buy the franchise (trust me these are cookie cutter deals). Once you acquisition the franchise (with financing) you are a business person. You run payroll, hire employees, and provide great products. If you value customer service you do well.
The example above is being a Businessman / Businesswoman.
An Entrepreneur is similar but different. A Professional Entrepreneur has little to no similarities with a business person.
The role of a Professional Entrepreneur is determined by: 1) Market, 2) Need of Business Partner, 3) Opportunity (Disorganization, Personal Reasons, or Emerging Concept). Depending on the industry your role changes. Depending on the need of the business you provide different services. Depending on how new the product is you may have to invent your title. An example is online stores first emergence. There was no such thing as Ecommerce Director or Chief Webmaster. These titles came into existence based on invention of new concepts.
The role I play in business changes. If you want to find opportunities you must have adaptability. The inability to change with a market means you might not fit in. You cannot take the title “General Contractor” to every industry. General Contractor is Construction Specific title. If you want to be a successful Professional Entrepreneur you must have ability to play many roles. A Professional Entrepreneur is similar to an actor on television.
The actor in a television show can be a hero saving the world one day. The next day you can watch a different film with the same person. In this other film the actor is a single dad working at McDonald’s part time in his pursuit to be a comedian. A Professional Entrepreneur understands how important it is to fit into different markets. The role I play will always change. Your role needs to change too. If you want to make it remember change is necessary. Pay attention to your market’s show. Then choose what role you should be.
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