EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches
“Too many small business entrepreneurs will still continue to get their diploma from the school of hard knocks, before paying attention to a wise alumnus such as Dave Ramsey—and by then it may be too late. EntreLeadership may offer some a way to skip the school of hard knocks.”
Ever wonder if there is such a thing as a playbook to be successful in running your own business? Dave Ramsey, author of three New York Times bestsellers, host of a nationally syndicated radio program—“The Dave Ramsey Show”—and founder of The Lampo Group, Inc.—which has grown to almost 300 “team members” since its humble beginnings in 1992 on a card table in his living room—offers up his playbook to the world.
In EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches, Mr. Ramsey prescribes that any small business owner or dreamer must be both an entrepreneur (Entre) and a leader (Leadership) to be successful. There is no theory discussed, only a compilation of lessons learned from going to the “school of hard knocks” over the past 20 years.
Mr. Ramsey built a seemingly successful real estate investment business in his 20s, but it failed due to mountainous debt and lack of leadership. This experience served to deepen his personal faith that helped him to pull himself up by his bootstraps and start thinking about his next venture: a financial counseling firm.
Using Christian principles and values, Mr. Ramsey developed a framework from which to try again and erase his earlier failure. Although Mr. Ramsey credits his faith for his inspiration, the book is centered on providing commonsense advice that any small business enthusiast can use and appreciate.
Beginning with a definition of the term EntreLeadership, Mr. Ramsey proceeds to elementary concepts such as vision/mission statements, time management, and money management to more difficult tasks such as dealing with contracts and vendors, compensation plans, hiring and firing, and delegation.
The key to developing EntreLeadership, demands knowledge of how to take one’s entrepreneurial passion and channel it to the business through a servant leadership style. This seems simple enough, but it is tougher in practice because “most businesses,” according to Mr. Ramsey, “never take the time to think about how to plow their field by first flying over it.” Unbridled passion coupled with lack of thought on how to properly service customers with one’s product or service tends to lead to sure failure.
Mr. Ramsey tells the story of E-Mealz, an online portal that assists families with planning and budgeting meals one week at a time. E-Mealz was started in 2003 with a business account seeded by a crumpled five dollar bill and grown with patience, planning, and prudent marketing today. The company is currently grossing almost $4 million per year.
Will this carefully crafted, straightforward playbook work for everyone? Will it dramatically alter the small business failure rate? Probably not. Too many small business entrepreneurs will still continue to get their diploma from the school of hard knocks, before paying attention to a wise alumnus such as Dave Ramsey—and by then it may be too late. EntreLeadership may offer some a way to skip the school of hard knocks.