Now it's time to share the ABCs of entrepreneurship

  • Article by: HARVEY MACKAY
  • April 1, 2012 - 5:39 PM

I was recently asked by master marketer Jay Abraham to be on his radio program, "The Ultimate Entrepreneur." along with several others, including Stephen Covey and Mark Cuban. In that company, I knew I had my work cut out for me!

Let's start with the basics. What better way than to create the ABCs of entrepreneurship? Over the past few years I have written about my version of the ABCs of selling, leadership, negotiating, networking and team-building.

A is for ability. Entrepreneurs excel at identifying problems and solving them fast. They anticipate obstacles and opportunities.

B is for business plan. A good entrepreneur makes one before doing anything else.

C is for cash. Use it wisely, even if you're rolling in it.

D is for delegate.Decide what to outsource and delegate to others.

E is for ethics. If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

F is for failure. If you can survive it to fight again, you haven't failed.

G is for giving, because givers are the biggest gainers. If you truly believe in what you're doing, give it all you've got.

H is for humor. You are going to experience tough times, and humor helps pull you through.

I is for interpersonal relationships. Those with good people skills are able to adjust and survive as their business grows.

J is for journal, as in writing down your thoughts and ideas, as well as picking the brains of experts.

K is for knowledgeable. Successful entrepreneurs constantly update themselves on their products and industries.

L is for looking forward. A successful entrepreneur looks ahead, around corners and far into the future as possible.

M is for mentor. Find a "tiger." Retired professionals are a marvelous resource.

N is for never giving up. Amend plans if needed, but keep your eye on the prize.

O is for opportunities. Whether you see a need that is unfulfilled, a product that could be improved or a problem screaming for a solution, you are seeing an opportunity.

P is for passion. When you have passion, you speak with conviction, act with authority and present with zeal.

Q is for quantify. Your goals must be measurable, so it's necessary to have a standard to hold them to. You can't keep track of progress if you don't know where you want to go.

R is for risk. Entrepreneurs must be willing to take risks.

S is for self-survey. Do you really want to do this, or are you just trying to escape your problems? If you're going to be an entrepreneur, you have to believe in yourself.

T is for target audience. For your concept to succeed, you have to identify a realistic target audience, big enough to be profitable yet small enough for you to service it thoroughly.

U is for unflappable. Beyond the "don't sweat the small stuff" mentality, you need a level head and an open mind.

V is for veracity. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is what your employees and customers deserve from you.

W is for work hard -- then work harder, until you get the results you are looking for.

X is for exercise regularly. (Pardon my spelling.) If you don't take care of yourself, you can't be at your best.

Y is for years, which is how long you may have to work to get your idea off the ground.

Z is for zookeeper. When you run the place, it's up to you to keep dangerous things in their cages while bringing visitors through the gates.

Mackay's Moral: Being an entrepreneur is a lot like the ABCs: Start at the beginning, follow through to the end.

Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or e-mail

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