Think like an entrepreneur at work

Who is your boss? Who manages your branch? Who oversees your region? Who owns the small business you work for? Who is the most valuable person at your company or in your circle? If you could chose to be complimented by one person at your office who would it be?

Think about that person. You know who it is. Now we are going to study them. Think about their tasks and what they do for the company on a day to day basis. What do they do that causes them headaches? What causes them unnecessary stress?

Now think about that problem they deal with. How can you help them solve it? How can you relieve stress from them? How can you make their life easier?

Figure that one thing out and do it. Take it on. Help in some way. If you can figure out how to take stress away from the key person in your office you will win. You will be invaluable. You will get promoted.

Its not easy. Its not comfortable to do this. Its easy to say well no I can’t do that because I’m a lower level employee. Its not my job. I would be overstepping my boundaries. Remember that life is all about putting yourself in uncomfortable situations and the people who are willing to do that the most are the ones who win.

Figure out something you can help them with and walk into their office or give them a call. Heck even an email would work. Walk up to them and say hey – I notice you deal with a lot of this or that. I think I can take some of that off your plate for you. If you would be willing to let me try I can help with it and I can make time to take it on.

Do you have any idea how refreshing it is as a boss or owner of a company when someone comes to you and asks that? Your whole perspective of that person changes. You see a go getter. You see someone who thinks ahead. You see someone who is a self starter and a go getter. In the 8 years I’ve been a business owner it has only happened to me a handful of times. Those people are now in management and making great money leading the charge at my company.

When you think like this as an employee going about your day you are bound to find opportunities to prove to the decision makers in your company that you are valuable. You are bound to come across a place where you can add value.

Make sure you think this through. Don’t just throw a hail mary and try to make this happen without really analyzing it. Make sure that you can realistically do it. Make sure that you deliver. Start small at first if necessary to gain some trust before taking on something big.

I’ll give you an example of this. Our student storage business is very seasonal. We spend the few months leading up to the busy move out season each year hiring and training 20+ employees at each location.

Early on when we didn’t have a lot of processes my job as the executive overseeing the branch was to make the schedules for the customers to get their items picked up as well as schedule out all the employees to work and let them know when to work, where to show up, and how long they will work each day. On top of that I was also in the warehouse overseeing the unloading and organizing.

We hire a student manager at each location. Generally they organize all the small stuff leading up to the busy season and then work long hours as another laborer or crew leader during the peak time.

One year we had a student manager who took initiative and tried to find a place to add value. He came to us and asked if he could build out a schedule in advance with the crews and the dates and then take it under his own wing to staff each crew, notify everyone of work schedules, and basically manage all the employees.

We realized that if we watched closely and kept tabs on what he was doing it was low risk so we turned him loose. It went amazingly. We serviced more customers than ever and it was much less stressful for me as the business owner. Instead of scheduling customer pickups, employees, and the warehouse I only worried about the customers and the warehouse. The manager handled the employee schedules which is generally the most stressful part.

He looked at my job during the busy season and figured out a way he could take stress away from me. He focused on it and communicated well with the employees so more of them showed up for their shifts and they were more prepared. We instantly gave the manager a raise, he got real world experience, and it was great for everyone.

Three years later and that employee now works full time on our executive team and we plan to hold on to him for as long as we can afford to pay him.

January 16, 2019 10:15 am