Because I started to think like an entrepreneur , I more than tripled my income in three years
Some of the greatest successes in our modern world, both large and small, were achieved by entrepreneurs. These are the people who think and act differently enough to stand out and turn a vision into reality. Bill Gates started Microsoft. Richard Branson started Virgin (records, airlines, etc). Michael Dell started Dell computers. And the guy making your sandwich at your local deli started his store and could very well be the next Boston Market. All these people have a few common traits that you can easily use to take your career to the next level.
- Recognise patterns and averages, then do something different
- State their beliefs to anyone who’ll listen
- Take action towards a vision of what could be
- Calculate risks and take the risks worth taking
Although I’m an entrepreneur who has started 9 businesses in the past 21 years, I have also worked in large corporations (Arthur Andersen, Transamerica, Paine Webber, IBM, etc). I have been fired, laid off, merged, acquired, outsourced and every other corporate event that causes an employee fear, pain and loss of income. It wasn’t until I spent a few years working at Arthur Andersen as a business consultant that I realized how my entrepreneurial ways of thinking could help me succeed in big ways.
First, I looked for the patterns. You already know what these patterns are because you and your peers talk about them every day. How much you get paid. How much you like or, more likely, dislike your boss/peer/customer/vendor/etc. How stupid the politics are. How it’s easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Just recognise these every day conversations and thoughts for what they are – the average manners of working in your environment. When you do see the patterns you’ll start to see how to improve them by doing something different or opposite.
Second, say what you think and believe: have an opinion. To do the opposite of the norm you need to start talking differently than everyone else. When you start to hear complaints about your peers or bosses, try to see the other side and form an opinion before you simply agree with everyone else. It is your opinion and beliefs that will set you apart from everyone else. When you start speaking your mind, especially when it is contrary to the norm, people will listen and you will begin to be viewed as a leader.
Third, now that you have an opinion on how things can be better, start taking action to achieve that vision. For example, if you don’t like the way your boss communicates with you because it is condescending, sit down and have an open discussion about how their style affects you. Of course there is risk in confronting your boss on any topic, but you have far less to lose than you think. Most bosses actually like employees who speak their mind and try to affect change in positive ways. In fact you won’t get promoted to a leadership position until you demonstrate true leadership by speaking your mind.
Talking to the boss sounds risky, doesn’t it? Entrepreneurs take risks but we don’t gamble (much), rather, we take calculated risks that lead to anticipated outcomes. If you want to be a star you will also need to take some risk – the risk of having your opinions and beliefs heard.
Because I started to think like an entrepreneur I more than tripled my income in three years and became a manager and leader. Even if you don’t aspire to be an entrepreneur and run a company, you and those around you will benefit when you think like an entrepreneur . Try it and you may soon find yourself as the star in your company.
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