How to Incorporate an Entrepreneurial Attitude into Your DECA Chapter

You may be asking, “How does entrepreneurship apply to my chapter?”

Well, the mission of DECA is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. So why not get a head start? The same basic principles that apply to starting a business also apply to your chapter.

en·tre·pre·neur·ship

noun.

the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture, along with any of its risks, in order to make a profit.

Based on this definition, the “business venture” is your chapter. The risks are long hours, hard work and the fundraising efforts required. The profit you are seeking is the well-being and overall success of your chapter’s members. This can manifest itself in many forms, such as college acceptances, earning DECA glass or nailing a job interview. Here are four unique ways you can bring an entrepreneurial attitude to your DECA chapter, no matter what your goals are.

If something is important enough, or you believe something is important enough, even if you are scared, you will keep going.”

-Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX

1. Assess Your Assets and Liabilities

Just like any startup, your chapter has assets that are in place to help you succeed and liabilities that hold you back. A major key to success is trying to limit the impact of your liabilities while maximizing the potential of your assets. You can do this by creating a “balance sheet” for your chapter, helping you take stock of your current situation. Your strongest assets will be your chapter advisors, your chartered association and local business partners who are willing to support you. Your liabilities will depend on what your chapter needs to achieve its goals. Once you understand your chapter’s strengths and weaknesses, you can capitalize upon them.

2. Pitch Yourself to Investors

Surrounding every chapter there is a local community ready and willing to help you reach your goals. Treat these individuals and local business leaders like investors. Invite some of them to come into your chapter and speak during a meeting, share tips on real-world applications of your DECA skills, or provide feedback on projects. You could even host a mock competition to help prepare your chapter for your chartered association conference or this year’s #DECAICDC in Nashville. These techniques will strengthen the relationship with investors that already exist in your local community.

3. Take Risks

Every business involves both success and failure. Your DECA chapter is no different. To be successful, there are always going to be inherent risks involved. You may be unsure whether a certain idea is truly going to benefit you and your chapter in the long run; however, if you don’t take the risk, you will never be able to improve. Make calculated decisions among your chapter’s leadership team and be willing to try new things. Host a new fundraiser, change the way you prepare for competition or switch up your meeting format. These changes may be difficult at first, but will most likely better your chapter’s performance.

4. Commit to Your Actions

Regardless of what changes you are making within your DECA chapter, be confident when it comes to your attempts to improve. The most successful chapters in the world are the ones that commit and put their hearts into every action they take to be better. This same is true of every successful entrepreneur. Make sure you are as committed, driven and dedicated as you can be. If you follow this rule alone, your chapter will flourish and you’ll see immediate results.

With your new entrepreneurial mindset, challenge yourself to make a positive change in your chapter or this year!

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