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The Entrepreneurial Role Model

Who is your entrepreneurial role model? Is it Henry Ford – perhaps Andrew Carnegie? Why is the person you chose the entrepreneur who you look up to? Did they donate millions to charity or did they teach you that failure isn’t permanent? Whoever you look up to in the world of business, you don’t look up to because they were terrible entrepreneurs. You look up to that person because they achieved a greatness that you aspire to. Now, think about your own company. You might have a recent graduate working at a desk, getting paid a starting salary that looks up to you. How can you be the best entrepreneurial role model you’re capable of being? One article won’t make you a role model for someone, but it can inspire you to become a better leader. The rest will take care of itself. For that reason, I’ve highlighted some tips that I think make entrepreneurs better leaders, and therefore, better, more mindful role models.

  1. Don’t give up. This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the ups and downs that come with owning a business. Don’t let your employees hear you say something about how you may want to occasionally throw in the towel. If you sound unmotivated, they will feel unmotivated, and maybe even like they don’t have the best job security. Instead, be an example of perseverance and determination. When it gets tough, keep moving forward. If your team and others in the business world see that you can weather the storm, it may inspire them to do the same.
  2. Show respect and care for others. Being the richest businessman in the world won’t mean much if you had to claw your way to the top and end up there all alone. Actually, if that’s your strategy, you probably won’t make it there anyway. You need help. Take time to listen to concerns, be attentive to others’ needs, and try to help where you can. If you have the funds to give thousands to charity, that’s great. If you don’t, you can start by being kind to your employees, your competition, and everyone else you come in contact with. People will notice how you treat others, whether it’s good or bad.
  3. Be able to own up to your mistakes. No one likes someone who points their finger and says, “He did it.” If you make a bad call, especially one that affects others, apologize, fix what you can, and move on knowing that you learned something. That act of humility will say more than a million excuses.
  4. Don’t be too busy for the intern. Why would anyone look up to you if you’re unavailable to share with them what value you can bring? Take time to be a great mentor for young people who are just starting out – remember, you were in that boat once, too.

This list only begins to scratch the surface of what makes a great role model. You know your own strengths and weaknesses – use them to make you better and inspire others.

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About Artemio Flores III

Art Flores is the president of the Entrepreneurs' Organization - San Antonio. He is also the vice president and co-owner of Artcom Associates, Inc. The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a dynamic, global network of more than 9,500 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst…