7 Tips For Working In A Startup Environment

Want to get ALL the details from this show? Check out the entire podcast episode to get more tips for working in a startup environment.



Most people working for a startup do so because there's a lot of opportunity for growth. 

If you want to be an employee that the business owner loves, there are some things you can do to improve your relationship with the entrepreneur to help you work your way up the ladder, get promoted and become an important part of the company.

Below are seven tips for working in a startup environment.

#1: Don’t Ask So Many Questions

I get it—you don’t want to make mistakes.

While a lot of employees justify this by saying they want to serve the company better, this typically isn’t the truth. 

Instead, they make it someone else’s problem.

Entrepreneurs are already super busy, and they don’t have time to answer every question that pops into your head. Instead of asking questions, take a moment to figure things out yourself.

If you can’t come up with a solution, then you can consider asking the question.

If you make a decision and it goes poorly, but you let the entrepreneur know you were trying to protect their time, they’ll usually understand.

(RELATED: 5 Tips To Improve Your Career Today)

#2: Create Solutions, Not Problems

No matter who the entrepreneur that you're working for is, they have plenty of problems to deal with. If you come to them with more problems, especially ones you can solve yourself, they won’t be super happy about it.

Before you take a problem to an entrepreneur, first think about whether it’s a big enough problem to take to them.

Can you instead solve the problem yourself?

If you can solve your own problems, the business owner will love you. If you have a problem that really needs attention, come up with a few possible solutions first.

From there, the entrepreneur can pick which one they feel is best.

They’ll be happy that they didn’t have to take the time to come up with a solution themselves.

#3: Make Decisions

This one seems scary because it requires you to stick your neck out.

Entrepreneurs respect decision-makers as long as those decisions aren't consistently bad. If it makes you feel any better, I still make bad decisions at times and get my head bit off by vendors, suppliers and customers.

Think about what the worst-case scenario would look like if you make the wrong decision.

As long as you have a good ratio of good decisions to bad decisions, the entrepreneur will recognize that you simply made a bad call.

It happens to everyone.

A bad decision can also be a learning opportunity, which can make your job easier moving forward.


7 tips for working in a startup environment


#4: Step Up

A lot of employees can do more.

If you want to be a great employee, don't just show up to collect a paycheck. Instead, step up and take on more work when you're sitting around doing nothing.

You should never say that something “isn’t your job.” 

If an entrepreneur sees that you're being effective with your time and picking up more work when you have downtime, they'll appreciate it. When it comes time for a bonus, pay raise or promotion, they'll have this in mind.

(RELATED: Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset: What's The Difference?)

#5: Care A Little Bit

Here’s the thing—the entrepreneur is a person too.

They're more than just a paycheck.

I get it—a lot of people hate their bosses. Still, a little compassion goes a long way. Tune into your boss and try to think about where they're coming from.

Let’s say, for example, that your boss snaps at you.

Instead of getting everyone at the office riled up about it, think about how the entrepreneur feels.

If this isn’t how they normally act, maybe there's something wrong. Once the situation has settled down, approach the entrepreneur and ask if everything is okay and whether there’s anything you can do to help. 

Entrepreneurs are under a lot of stress and—if you treat them like a human being and care—they'll notice.

#6: Impact Revenue 

I don’t care what your position in a business is—find a way to positively impact revenue.

If you can find a way to generate more money, you're sure to make your entrepreneur happy since cash is king in a startup. In fact, find a way to make more money for the company than you earn in income. 

If you're able to do this, they essentially can’t fire you.

Let’s say you make $7,000 a month.

If you're making the company $10,000 a month, that’s $3,000 of profit for them. It would be dumb for them to let you go.

#7: Come Prepared When Pitching An Idea

If you have an excellent idea to improve the business, that’s great. 

Again, entrepreneurs love solutions.

However, have the data to back up your pitch. You need to have numbers available and be able to answer, “Why?” Before you even consider taking the idea to the entrepreneur, put the idea through the ringer.

Consider why the idea may not work and make adjustments to your idea. 

If you build a history of having good ideas, the entrepreneur will be happy to listen to you when you want to pitch something.

(RELATED: How To Invest In Companies Without Working For Them)

Working In A Startup Environment

If you're working at a startup, make sure you're doing what I outlined.

You'll stand out in the right way, which will make working in a startup environment that much more pleasant for everyone.

(NOTE: Want to get ALL the details from this show? Check out the entire podcast episode to get more tips for working in a startup environment)