Behind the Company of One: Dr. Dale Callahan
Dr. Dale Callahan is an entrepreneur, speaker, professor and author of “Resumes are Worthless: How to Find the Work You Love and Succeed” and shares personal finance advice on his blog to help others become a company of one.
After working in the electrical engineering field for more than 10 years, he found a way to find freedom with money and time. He inspires others to find the entrepreneurial spirit within themselves.
1. What is the biggest secret to finding financial freedom?
The biggest secret of getting freedom to do what you love is getting your financial house in order. Poor personal finances yields slavery.
Anyone entering the business of personal financial services can become a true hero to others when they help them find their way out of debt and on a path to wealth.
2. How did you find and pursue your callings?
My passion for speaking came almost accidentally. I was asked to speak at some events about helping others find work and start companies – since that is much of what I do with the university.
The speaking was a hit and gained some instant recognition. As a way to grow that, a book was written, a blog was started and then a podcast was created.
3. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
The inspiration came to me while I was teaching entrepreneurship. I had been working with people inside and outside the university classroom trying to help them transition from corporate job to new startup.
But they could not get their head around startups because they were so used to big company thinking. I tried to start breaking down what a company is about and how they work by relating it to us personally.
Companies have four roles – operations, finance, research and marketing. I was trying to show others that we all have these roles as workers in the economy.
In other words, we are all a “company of one.”
The book is about how to be and prosper as a company of one. The title comes from the fact that resumes are about marketing and as a marketing document, they are lousy.
They are rarely read. They are all about you and not the customer, and they all look just alike. Resumes are boring.
The key factor is we do not need a resume. Instead, we need to focus on what we really want to do and who we really want to serve. That is the joy of work.
“We all want to do business with
people who love what they do.”
4. How did you decide which process would best guide readers?
This is just entrepreneurship. Our economy is based on people exchanging money for goods and services. It makes the buying experience wonderful.
The principles are not new. In fact, they are the same ones that all businesses are based on.
What is new is we have fooled ourselves into thinking we are all employees instead of business owners. I just try to straighten out the facts.
Perhaps the bigger stories are the people who identify their internal customers, talk to them about value and find ways to quantify value in dollars and then get pay raises.
One person, Dan, told me he had increased his salary $25,000. I asked how. He said he applied the basic principles in the book and talked to his customers. They promoted him within a month and raised his salary.
Then about a year later, they raised his salary significantly again. I asked how he did it the second time and he said, “by being a company of one and offering great value to my internal customers.”
I hear many stories like this, but I think the biggest bang comes from people feeling like they have control of their career and their income for the first time in their life.
5. What advice do you have for readers setting goals?
It is really all about two things. First, find what you really love to do and how to connect it to the needs of others.
This might not be an easy shift for many who are working paycheck to paycheck, but by starting to take control a little at a time, you get freedom.
The second is to serve others. When you realize the person paying you is your customer, you start to appreciate them in a whole new way.
Serve others by doing what you love.
6. What is an obstacle when finding an entrepreneurial spirit?
The biggest obstacles are fear and self-doubt. I talked to a guy the other day who shot down all of his ideas before he could get them out of his mouth.
What I advocate is not to take high-risk ventures where you have great financial investment, but instead to find simple ways to serve and get paid to build momentum.
Self-doubt leads to fear, which leads to inaction.
7. What is one piece of advice you’d give to entrepreneurs?
Know your customer and serve your customer. Many entrepreneurs in the financial industry have a bad rap because they take advantage of others.
I really think a lot of the industry does not understand money enough as it relates to people – they only see it as a way to make money.
When you loan money to people who do not need it, sell them bad financial products and chase people around like used car salesmen, you get a bad rap.
Those I work with in the industry who truly serve and offer real value are appreciated and have plenty of business.
Dr. Dale Callahan has two young boys who keep him busy with all kinds of things, including traveling, biking and spending time with their Siberian husky, Luna. Connect with Dr. Dale Callahan on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for more tips on entrepreneurship.
Photo source: glastonbury.patch.com