We are starting a new interview series where we ask few questions to people who are making a difference, it can be big, it can be small it doesn’t matter what matters is their contribution to our society. It can be anyone from any walks of life and from any country. Please, do send us suggestions of people whom you think we should interview for this series.
Dr Dale Callahan is an entrepreneur, speaker, author and faculty member at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He leads the Information Engineering & Management Program at UAB and has guided several aspiring entrepreneurs in their effort.
Following are his thoughts on the questions we asked.
1. Tell us something about yourself?
I have an engineering background – but my heart is always in entrepreneurship and speaking. So I have found I do less engineering and have moved to how I can help others find their dream through starting companies.
2. What’s the primary motivating factor behind your work?
Our culture is weird. With all we have today – and the massive freedoms we have to explore ideas and do work we love (in most countries) I am finding more and more that people do not like what they do for a living. In the United States over 50% of the workers hate their jobs. Why? I think we have been educated to chase after the money and not what we love to do. So my motivation is helping others find their path. As a Christian I find this is the work I do to serve others.
3. What’s your advice to the upcoming entrepreneurs?
First find a passion and then connect it to the market demand. Where your passion and skills meet the market – you have a powerful business. But the other thing you will need is CLARITY and FOCUS. The number one reason smart business ventures fail is a lack of clarity and focus from the founders.
4. What would be your advice to people to deal with failure and stress?
Failure is normal – it is a learning process. If you never mess up or fail – you are not trying. Look at things as experiments – see what works and what does not. Stop taking yourself so seriously – relax and enjoy the ride.
5. What is one thing that you’d like to change or do in startup support environment?
I find too many are chasing investors and loans. This is a total distraction. You need to find a way to bootstrap at first – even if you do need investors. Make something happen and you will attract money. As for loans – avoid them. They will kill your business. The most successful companies do not borrow money.
6. Your message for our readers?
We all have a gift to share with others. Find the thing you love to do and how you love helping others. Then do it. You may be outside the norm, but, do you really want to be normal? Be different. Be you.