This is part 3 of a 12 part interview with Dennis Crawford. In this segment, Andrew and Dennis discuss entrepreneurship.
Andrew: In most cases.
Dennis: Yeah and it’s because the things that we have to do as business people independently and entrepreneurial positions like this are not really all that difficult to do, assuming we have appropriate education to do it. They’re not all that difficult to do in a relative sense, but in an absolute sense they can be, because you have to have the umph or the gumption to get out and do what you know you need to do.
And it’s always easy not to do that, sometimes it seems easier not to do that. So you know an example where.. it’s really in interacting and approaching people right? You and I both believe in the services we distribute that we’re adding value to peoples lives and the challenge for both of us particularly in the building stages of our career is to get out there and spread the word so to speak. You know make people aware. Hey I’m a stand up guy and I have something here I’d like to talk to you about and show you because I truly think you will benefit from this knowledge or this product or whatever it is at the end of the day. And I think principle people like I believe you and I both to be, we have to fundamentally believe that we’re not just door to door guys just kind of selling a widget just because we have a boss that says I’ll pay you 20 dollars an hour to go door to door just to sell a widget.
Andrew: People don’t really do that anymore.
Dennis: Yeah and people don’t respond to that anyways and you know the world is full of products that people really don’t need but as long as we in our businesses can frame what we do and we’re fully committed to the idea that we’re adding value to people’s lives I think that makes it easier to do the things that we need to do. It’s easier for us to pick up the phone, make the approach, or make this call, even though sometimes your reception may be cooler or not as open armed as you might hope for, as long as you and I are functioning from the moral compass that what we’re doing is adding value and it’s important I think that goes a long, long way.
So to get back to your question on say three things, perhaps I would frame that as integrity. I think professional integrity is absolutely key, it goes right to the very top of the list in my mind. I would define integrity in this context to mean my actions and my behavior and congruent with my value system. So if I value liberty, personal freedom, respect, non-violence, these types of things.. if these are my core, for me to act with integrity in my professional career I have to pay honor to all of those core values in what I do. In the extent that somebody might be in a career or a job where they don’t feel like they’re being true to their core values I don’t think it could be said that they’re operating with personal integrity. They may not be doing anything wrong but they’re not.. their behavior isn’t congruent with their core values and beliefs. So I would say integrity would be the top thing.
I guess before we talked integrity the other thing I was talking about would be personal discipline, so I think to a certain degree, if I could rank integrity number one I think personal professional discipline could be number two so once I’m comfortable doing what I’m doing is the right thing for me to be doing from a moral perspective I have to apply a certain degree of discipline to my behavior and my choices.
So in my circumstance and your circumstances, you could roll out of bed at 11 am and hang out in front of the TV for a couple hours, check out what’s going on the fridge. You don’t have a gun to your head or a clock to punch so to speak to be at a certain place so that’s where step two or item number two would be critically important. You do have to set a certain framework of accountability to yourself because if you don’t have accountability to someone else you’re the only game in town at that point and you’re also the easiest person to, yourself. Meaning well I don’t have to do this today because… or my brother called so I can’t do this.
There’s lot and lots of excuses and I think you and I both have had periods in our lives where circumstances where we’ve talked ourselves out of doing what we really know we should be doing. In which case we violated principle number one right, acting with integrity.
And then if I had to add a number three on top of that, I kind of like the golden rule, doing to others as you do to yourself. I think if we followed the golden rule which is, it’s an ancient concept that I think really overlays all the ancient wisdoms. If we do unto others and we do unto themselves, I think that ties in beautifully with item one integrity, item two personal accountability and item three, do unto others as you’d want done unto you. More than strategy, you know I could do this, this, this and this, or I need to do this on this date and on this month I need to do that. That’s all what I call tactical strategy, but below that I think are items one, two and three of integrity, personal accountability and the golden rule so that’s probably the three most important things to me.
Andrew: Yeah, and the interesting part about that is building the network which might be part of something that you do in amassing any kind of wealth is communication. Because we have all these tools and yet nobody really kinds of hands you a list in most cases and tells you that you need to call these people today. It’s more of really you have to go and generate a contact and that’s only really going to happen on personal contact, it’s probably not going to happen on social media or e-mails. E-mails are kind of a shot in the dark, and you’re probably not going to establish a real meaningful relationship by texting.