The Second Decision: The Qualified Entrepreneur Review

I had the privilege to interview Randy Nelson for on my podcast, Improv Is No Joke, episode number 32.  We spent a vast majority of time discussing his book.  If you are an entrepreneur, this book is a must read.   Below are the show notes and here is a link to listen to our discussion.

Today’s guest, Randy Nelson, is CEO of Gold Dolphins, LLC author of “The Second Decision: The Qualified Entrepreneur.” It’s a wonderful book that has changed the way I lead my own business.

The first decision is your decision to start a business. The titular Second Decision comes in after the business is up and running smoothly.

The Second Decision is whether or not you, as a Founder of a business, are the right person to run a business. The book helps you answer the question, “Am I the right person to lead this company for the next 3-5 years?”

Randy defines five roles in the book – three are qualified to help run a business and two are not. 

  • The Leader is the person who is at CEO and wants to be the person to lead the company’s future.
  • The Role Player is the person who doesn’t want to lead the company but has their own expertise, and they might fill a position like Chariman of the board.
  • The Creator is the person who loves getting businesses off the ground, they’re a startup person, but they aren’t passionate about running a business.
  • The Dabbler is the person who wants cash but isn’t interesting in learning everything they need to learn to build a business.
  • Status Quo is the person who is happy where they are at.

Randy models his qualification system around the tests he went through to become a submarine pilot. It features a qualification card that asks you every question anyone will need to be able to answer to run a business for the foreseeable future, built around the top reasons companies fail or underperform.

“I really am pushing leaders for self-awareness on whether they are the right person in that right seat. It’s a combination of self-confidence and self-awareness. If you have both, it’s a powerful combo. If it’s just the self-confidence piece without the self-awareness, it’s a risk.”

Randy wants leaders reading the book to be more self-aware of the role they are best at and enjoy the most. It’s okay if you aren’t the leader and don’t have a role to play in running a stable company – you just have to be self-aware enough to hire someone better suited for that role or leave the company behind. 

Randy is currently working on “The Third Decision,” which will explore how leaders and entrepreneurs can avoid some regrets in their lives by being more self aware of the decisions they make in their personal lives.

If you haven’t already, pick up “The Second Decision: The Qualified Entrepreneur” and become more self-aware about the role you should have in your business. It’s a must buy.