What is the first thought you have when thinking about entrepreneurs?
When I was just forming my Digital Marketing Agency a few years ago, my friends used to make jokes saying that I registered a company just to feel myself a boss. Thinking about entrepreneurs, most of the people imagine a person who owns a business and gets to be his own boss, sits there around a big table and signs contracts all the day.
I would like to talk about what it means to be entrepreneurial for me personally, why it is important for the career and how to become entrepreneurial at work even working for another company.
To be honest, I don’t like the word “entrepreneur” much, as there are too many stereotypes about it. I’d prefer to use the word “leadership” sometimes, as for me, being entrepreneurial is a mindset first of all.
How to become entrepreneurial at work?
As I already told you, entrepreneurship is a mindset for me, which means to be able to solve the problems, come up with new and creative ideas and take the responsibility for your company’s success. In a short, being entrepreneurial means making your daily operations more efficient or even completely re-creating a new product or service.
Taking the initiative in team meetings and making suggestions about how to improve your company’s efficiency will be a great way to start. It will create an opportunity to advance at work and help your business to grow.
Why you need to do it?
In my opinion, going beyond the role’s responsibilities, understanding the business fully and thinking about the company’s future should be encouraged for anyone, even if they are not in a management team. It means that the person isn’t just passively doing his tasks. Instead, he/she is creative, determined, wants to invest in the success of the business and, as a result, it becomes obvious that he’s a valuable member of the team.
There are some basic questions that anyone can ask himself:
- What ways do I see for improving the business?
- Which processes I think could be more efficient and add more value to my team?
- How can my role help to grow the business?
- What changes do I predict in our industry in the nearest future and how can we use it as an advantage?
If the company’s management is smart enough to value this kind of investment, these ideas will increase the value of an employee for sure and make him someone, who can find a solution to a problem. In the worst case, this will help the person to advance within his role at work and be ready for a higher-level position.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel
Sometimes, there is no need to have a brilliant idea or something completely new. In some cases, just working effective, identifying gaps, fixing them and applying existing ideas may also be enough. No need to struggle and reinvent the wheel.
There are always a lot of things in any company that already work well enough. I always suggest to replicate them in other areas of the company. For example, there was a great communication between the team members of a company I was working for, so I generated some ideas about how to apply it to customer service and make the customers feel a part of the company and a great team.
There are always things that someone from the team may be passionate about. For example, if a person loves organizing things, he can rearrange the the products of the store or change how they are displayed on the website.
Leadership is about working hard
Being a leader often means taking on roles that you might not be used to. But, on the other hand, it helps to learn new skills. If you have never taken complete ownership of an idea or its outcome or if you don’t have much experience managing a team, it’s not a reason to give up completely. For me, challenging myself is the best way to grow.
Learning to face the challenges sometimes feels like building muscle. You grow by taking advantage of any opportunity, staying open minded and being ready to learn new skills every day.
For me, collaboration is one of the most important aspects in any work.
If someone has difficulties working with others, he is going to have a very hard time executing great ideas, even if he has brilliant skills. For example, while making a new ad campaign, I have to work with at least two people: the designer and the project manager. However, I know that involving more people in my idea increases its chances of success, as they can test it and help me to improve it. That’s why, I always try to keep an open mind when my coworkers offer feedback and always listen to their ideas (even if they are not experts of that field). After all, you never know when and how you will find a great idea.
However, being collaborative also means using my own skills and experience to help other team members and helping them to bring their ideas into reality.
Have a great idea? Try to sell it!
When someone is talking about selling an idea, the first thing that comes to the mind is often a sales pitch to investors. However, even if you have a simple idea for your company, you will most probably need some budget or at least, a permission to implement it. That’s why it’s important to know how to pitch your ideas to the CEO or other decision-makers if you want to go-ahead.
There are several rules I have learnt and used during my experience:
- Ideas should be easy to understand and persuasive.
- It should be clear what is the problem and what solution do I suggest.
- Formulate what makes this solution different from the things that are already being done. How exactly it can improve the situation? “
- Be ready to get into details. Know what exactly do I suggest to do, who else should be involved, what exactly are they expected to do .
Implementation may not be so easy
If you follow through your ideas until the end and they work, you prove that you are a reliable person and you’re someone who has ideas worth listening to. Of course, some ideas will just fail in the end (nobody’s perfect, right?). It’s very important to be ready to face the results, make conclusions and remember that after all, you saw it through.
When this happens, I always figure out for myself: what went wrong? What was the reason? What did I learn from that experience and how I can use this in future. I don’t consider a failure as something opposite success. It’s actually a part of it.
However, when you try to implement new things, you should to stay responsible for your main job and make sure that your regular tasks are being done as before.
In most cases, the reason why a projects failed is not just one and it is very important not to make excuses or blame someone (including you). Instead, I recommend to focus on the ways to improve the situation.
Being actively involved in any company’s growth during my work helped me to grow as a marketer, connect with a lot of amazing people, improve my negotiation skills, develop my self-confidence and build a character. Now I can say for sure that this mindset actually benefits every aspect of your life and I hope my thoughts were helpful for anyone who is just starting this way.