Take your hand and make a vertical fist. Point at the little pinkie knuckle on the bottom. That's the foundation of your fist, your entrepreneurial story. It’s the "Make Money" knuckle. If you’re an entrepreneur and start your own business, the first thing you have to do is make money. No matter what goals you have in life or what noble reasons you have for starting your own venture, without money you're going to be out of business quick with those goals severely threatened. So the foundation to your entrepreneurial success starts with “Make Money.”

Second, you have to hire people to build your team and expand your business. My dad always said the most charitable thing you can do for someone is give them a job and teach them a trade. It’s our responsibility as entrepreneurs to train, mentor, and open doors for our employees so they are able to take over the business in the future or go off and build their own. I look at this as Jesus did, “Teach a Man to Fish.” Oddly enough, by building your team and expanding the business you continue to fulfill the first knuckle of making money! The second is, “Teach a Man to Fish.”

Now that your foundation is set and your team is built, you’re ready for number three. The third knuckle up the vertical fist is to “Make Your Wife Happy,” cause let's be honest, you can't do anything unless your wife is happy. Build your life together, have kids, build a sustainable standard of living, and you’ll be free to open your heart and mind fully to the last, greatest knuckle. But to recap, the third knuckle is to “Make Your Wife Happy.”

The fourth knuckle is the largest on your hand and the most effectual of all. This top knuckle on your vertical fist is to "Give Back." We all have a lifelong responsibility to give, help, and serve those around us. Entrepreneurship accentuates that responsibility. To whom much is given, much is required. And be generous! Just look at Warren Buffett. He made over $40 billion in his life, and then gave away $35 billion of it to help people. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! The top knuckle is, “Give Back.”

Service is what life is about. It brings great joy to all, but if your family isn't taken care of good luck finding the time and money to consistently help out at the local boys and girls club. Or, if you haven't been a good steward of your business and employees, get ready to watch your funds and resources dwindle leaving less for you to give. Follow the principles of the “Duree Knuckles” in your life and you’ll most definitely find entrepreneurial success.

  • I. Making Money
  • II. Hire Employees/Expand
  • III. Make Your Wife Happy
  • IV. Give Back

Rick Duree | Entrepreneur |

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