Are You an “Oh, Crud” or “Carpe Diem” Entrepreneur?

11 11 2011

Proactive v. Reactive LeadershipIt’s the age-old story of an entrepreneur and a business idea falling in love. At first, it’s pure magic… customers are lining up to partake of your newness and ingenuity. Your sales drawer is bulging, your employees are enthusiastic and everyone wants to be a part of this “good thing”…

… Then the “honeymoon phase” ends, and one of two things happen:

  1. The rubber hits the road  – OR –
  2. The s**t hits the fan.

What decides the difference?

Proactive v. Reactive Leadership

There are, for all intents and purposes, two primary styles of entrepreneurial leadership. The first is the “Carpe Diem!” (Seize the Day!) approach. The second is the “Oh, Crud”.

Carpe Diem Entrepreneurs think ten steps ahead of their customers, their staff and their competition. They recognized pitfalls and make preemptive moves to avoid them. They recognize opportunities, and are among the first to take advantage of them. And most importantly, they are creative. They try new things – if it works, they run with it and, if it doesn’t, they make a course correction and keep on keepin’ on. They are proactive leaders.

Oh, Crud Entrepreneurs are the polar opposite. They tag along after their fellow business owners, copy-catting ideas half-heartedly. They fear innovation, because they’re never at the forefront. They only take action when they have no choice. And the only waves they make are little ones in the bathtub at home. They are reactive leaders.

You can readily imagine which style of business ownership survives AND THRIVES long term.

DMT Challenge of the Week

Think back over your entrepreneurial activities this past week. How many of them were launched from a spirit of adventure, and how many from frank necessity? What’s one “carpe diem” activity you can add to your roster for next week?

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”  ~ Steve Jobs

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com

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Ode to Self-Employment

17 06 2011

Self-employment is remarkably revealingOperating your own business is about as revealing as traipsing through the mall in your skivvies.

People learn – YOU learn – an uncannily large amount about who you are by the way you handle self-employment. You can clothe your business in any perception you care to create, but when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of how you offer and follow through with your service, the truth will out!

Because the reality of it is that, for every 2 hour lunch break, mid-week vacation or impulse purchase, self-employment demands double overtime to make up for missed time and opportunity. How you do – or don’t – embrace that responsibility, speaks volumes about your devotion to self-employed success.

The “high-schooler-on-spring-break-in-Cancun” style of self-management results from a critical failure to recognize this, and that’s why being self-employed purely for the sake of being self-employed is a recipe for disaster!

But when managed correctly, there’s so much to love about being “master of your own destiny”. It creates accountability. And accountability fuels motivation. Motivation drives creativity. And creativity is the bread-and-butter-and-meat-and-potatoes-and-ice-cream-sundae-with-a-cherry-on-top that a true entrepreneur lives for.

It’s what I live for.

I love knowing that a glowing testimonial is the direct result of my time and effort.

I value the opportunity to make mistakes, learn from them and evolve into something better, without biting my nails over managerial disapproval.

I thrive under my own values and standards, because I am behind them 200%.

I enjoy the flexibility of working as inspiration strikes – whether that be 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning – rather than when the time clock demands.

I empower myself to make decisions and act on them.

I even appreciate the days when my heels are dragging because, in the process of questioning my sanity, I always wind up reaffirming my enthusiasm for what I’m doing… and dive right back in!

There is, of course, a reason I’m able to enjoy all of this… that reason is my clients. My clients will ALWAYS receive the highest standard of service from me and my business. Consistently exceptional work is what ensures and insures the future of DMT Artistry and the career and lifestyle I’ve chosen.

So banish the image of a couch potato selling “the next big thing” between Price Is Right episodes and hours-long gossipfests. That’s a hobbyist.

The true self-employed will be the ones who get visibly excited “talking shop”, who amass a die-hard following, whose businesses evolves daily, who keep popping up on your radar, who are just… driven.

“The meek shall inherit the earth”, my foot. If I were you, I’d put my money on the entrepreneurs.

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com