There are a lot of things that employees do right that entrepreneurs love, but there's also a lot that drives them crazy.
Some of what I'm going to say may rub some of the employees out there reading this the wrong way, but I want you to know this isn't an attack.
It's purely educational.
I'm going to speak up for the entrepreneurs out there that want to tell you these things but haven’t. If you listen to what I say, you can become the best employee possible, and your entrepreneur will love you.
If not, you're doomed to fail.
Three Types Of People In A Startup
First, let’s first take a look at the three types of people that typically work for a startup.
#1: The Intrapreneur
These are people that are good at their jobs love the entrepreneurial environment.
They may like the direct access to leadership, freedom and everything else that comes from working at a startup. They also know there's a lot more room for growth both within the business and when it comes to compensation.
Intrapreneurs may not want to start their own business, but they do love working for entrepreneurs.
For these types, what we're going to go over will make growth much easier.
#2: The Corporate Person
If this is you, then you aren’t going to gain anything from what I'm going to go over.
In fact, you probably shouldn’t be working at a startup.
The corporate person has spent years being mistrained, and the habits they've formed can be difficult—if not impossible—to break. These are the timeclock punchers, the people that stick to rigid schedules and the people that are obsessed with plans and meetings.
These people don’t thrive in startup environments.
If there are any entrepreneurs reading this that have a “corporate person” employed, I would honestly suggest firing them.
#3: The Entrepreneur
There are some people who work for startups that dream of owning their own business.
This is fine, and I actually encourage these types of people.
I have no problem with employing people that have the drive that will lead them to being great entrepreneurs one day.
Now that we’ve gone over the 3 types of employees, let’s take a look at what employees can do to skyrocket their careers and become invaluable members of the team.
#1: Avoid the 9-5 Disease
One of the most amazing parts of being involved in a startup is the flexibility.
For Lurn team members, I allow for a lot of flexibility.
I generally don’t even track vacation time unless it gets ridiculous. As long as an employee gets stuff done, hustles hard and makes up the time they missed, I’m fine with being flexible.
I really believe that a good culture and a laxed environment helps a business grow faster and make more money.
With that being said, the 9-5 disease gets in the way of this freedom and can stop forward momentum. I've rarely known entrepreneurs that work 9-5 and succeed—and the few that I know have been in their industry for years and have put in the hours.
I really can’t process when team members say, “Well, it’s 5:01. I’m out the door!”
I don’t actually say anything about it but, trust me, I note it.
I have some team members that will stay until 7 or 8, and I even have employees that send me messages at 9 or 11 at night and on weekends. I really respect that because it shows that they're putting the time and work in.
If you want to be the person that's in the door at 9 and out the door at 5, that’s fine because that’s what I’m paying you for.
But those employees also shouldn’t expect much from me.
When it comes time for raises, promotions and other growth opportunities, I'll consider who's put in the work and who's coasted by.
Guess who is going to get the opportunities for growth?
(RELATED: 5 Ways To Hustle Less And Produce More)
#2: Don’t Be Entitled
There's a strong entitlement culture these days where people want things but don’t want to put in the work.
Instead, it’s, “gimme, gimme, gimme!”
I want to tell you right now—just because you exist in a company, doesn’t mean you are entitled to anything. If you're existing in a company and aren’t getting any raises, bonuses or promotions, it’s probably because you aren’t entitled to them.
I understand that people in a startup environment get friendly.
You may have grabbed lunch with the CEO yesterday, but being friendly doesn’t entitle you to a raise. Just because you’ve been around for a year, doesn’t mean you deserve anything either—it just means you’ve done enough to not get fired.
You're entitled to nothing.
I see a lot of people graduating from college that have a distorted view on hustle, work and earnings. They think they deserve the world just because they exist.
In a startup environment, this attitude doesn’t fly.
Being entitled will only make the entrepreneur unhappy—which will lead to you being unhappy.
#3: Don’t Abuse Cultural Liberties
Having a fun company culture is great.
It’s fun to be able to take a half-day, catch a game with co-workers and go out together for happy hour. Some company cultures even allow you to show up late to work or set your own hours.
The problem is that not everyone is mature enough to handle this type of culture.
As a company grows, it becomes more difficult for an entrepreneur to keep an eye on their employees. The business may suffer because too many people are abusing the culture.
A lot of entrepreneurs at that point will cancel the liberties they've given their employees.
Remember, one rotten apple can spoil the bunch.
If you're the person abusing the cultural liberties, you can lead to the entire company losing out on a great company culture. Respect the liberties that you have been given; your entrepreneur will see this and respect you for it.
#4: Show Urgency
Entrepreneurs are innately in a “go go go!” mindset.
I want my employees to start moving and keep moving. I really hate it when employees are waiting around, doing nothing.
If you really want to impress your entrepreneur, get ahead of them! Then ask for more work and more things to do.
When it comes time for your review, they'll remember this hustle will reward you for it.
#5: Play to Your Strengths (Not Your Desires)
In an entrepreneurial environment, it's easy for an employee to feel like they can jump around in the company.
This often isn’t the case, though.
Just because you're a great salesperson doesn’t mean you’d be a great manager. Even if you want to be a manager, this might not be where you shine.
It’s okay to bring the idea of shifting to a different area up to your manager or the entrepreneur, but understand that they may not think you're a good fit for that position.
They also may need you where you are.
There's nothing wrong with asking, but don’t keep pushing or you'll begin to annoy the entrepreneur.
Use These Tips To Improve Your Career
These 5 tips will help to skyrocket your career.
If you follow them you will excel in a startup environment and your entrepreneur will love you!