Authenticity and integrity – the real A.I. of today’s entrepreneur

Authenticity and integrity - the real A.I. of today's entrepreneur - Help'n'Trade
Illustration by Yuyeung Lau on Unsplash

Podcast episode #25 – Importance of authenticity and integrity for today’s entrepreneur – with serial entrepreneur and songwriter Carlyle Christopherson

In this episode of Help’n’Trade podcast Carlyle Christopherson, a serial entrepreneur and a songwriter, describes his experience and lessons learned in the past years with his ventures in pharma, cycling apparel and industrial window cleaning. There needs to be a reality check in every step of your venture and Carlyle’s A.I. approach will help you save a lot of effort and resources on your entrepreneurial journey.

Tune in to the podcast audio to learn more about Carlyle’s story and what his companies are doing. Or, read our article below, which sums up the knowledge Carlyle shared in our podcast episode.

Be ready for the long run

When it comes to entrepreneurship, everyone sees the problem solving and the initial excitement about a creative solution. However, that is only the initial part. It is not just about creating a solution, but also about implementing it. This is the heavy lifting discipline of entrepreneurship and not everyone is aware of it. You may face lower revenues than estimated, market may change and all sorts of other challenges which require a marathon runner mindset. Therefore, better strap in for a long ride. What will help you drive your everyday decision is simply questioning your authenticity and integrity in your business. You need to cut costs on HR, does it dilute your integrity as a business? Are you authentic in your values if you do so? Or is there another way?

Be clear on what is it what you need to achieve

There are essentially 2 kinds of entrepreneurship. You either create a solution to a new problem and try to commercialize it. Or, you take a different angle to already established business and market. Both are equally tough, but require a different approach and set of goals. Sometimes its small incremental steps that make something a lot better that was done in the past. Take an example of Carlyle’s approach with his company HydroPureClean towards industrial window cleaning. Carlyle had a very clear goal to achieve, namely provide spotless window cleaning service, without the use of chemicals. How did Carlyle get to his goal? He took incremental steps and questioned whether the provided solution is in line with his integrity and whether the product remains authentic to its purpose.

Do not fall in love with your own ideas

Solve problems, commercialize an idea, but be efficient in that process. Otherwise, you quickly fall in love with your own idea to the point where it becomes a gambling. Try to scale up your idea, where it becomes robust. That will be your prove that you are really on to something. If you haven’t failed fast and you are not gambling, then it is pretty obvious you found something really great to be commercialized. This is what most people do get wrong about “falling fast”. It is not about giving up on your idea with a first challenge. It is about being resilient enough to stick with it, but not enough to gamble. Again, questioning your authenticity and integrity will certainly help you.

Surround yourself with the right people

Surround yourself with people who will challenge you, request the truth, make you reconsider the strategy. Surround yourself with people like yourself. People, who are really excited about business and the idea. This is why team is so essential and questioned by investors. The team is what will help you keep the balance of what is realistic and where the borders of reachable are. Also, your team will be the first to question your integrity and authenticity of your company’s approach.

Furthermore, share your idea, test it, have a conversation with your potential client. It will help you see if your venture is viable and if you can get return on your personal investment at some point.

Do not chase the money, but the people

If you think you need money, be very clear about what is your intention with the investment and what are the expectations. Investment means you now have to handle an extra level of pressure, namely investors’ expectations. It is less difficult to get the money, than it is to meet the expectations of whoever gave you the money. Therefore, aim for people who, besides the investment, have additional skill set and who want to be involved in the business. Be careful about handing over operations and decision making, unless you know, for sure, it is worth the risk. Carlyle putted it beautifully in the podcast, “There is nothing wrong with growing the business organically if it is safer, securer and if you don’t need to let go of any equity”.

Final advice

Your priority should be establishing trust and integrity. Keep it real and authentic. Keep your feet on the ground. Use simple terminology, use simple concepts.

Successful people are usually very down to earth people and have a high level of trust established immediately. So does Carlyle. Therefore, feel free to reach out to Carlyle either by his e-mail or via social media. Btw. don’t forget to listen to Carlyle’s awesome music. Just search for “Carlyle Christopherson” on your favorite platform.

YouTube: Carlyle Christopherson Music

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