YOU are responsible
Being an entrepreneur to me means that you are responsible for everything. And the most important of those activities is providing the inspiration, guidance and leadership to establish, maintain and grow your business. Bingo. It’s the most important thing that you do.
But that’s not all.
Most entrepreneurs are small businesses. Many times they have less than one employee. How? It’s when you are starting your business, while holding down another job. You are the only person in the business, and you are only working it part time. And even when you start to grow, you have a small number of employees and grow from there.
So in that early phase (and in many cases…even later phases), as an entrepreneur, you find that you have to do a lot of other jobs. Tasks that have to be done, yet other than you, there is nobody else to do it.
So in my endeavors, what are many of the different jobs/tasks I have had to do?
Many of them are the usual tasks that need to be done.
- Cleaning your office. Taking out the trash. Vacuuming.
- Doing IT services. Setting up computers and networks. Stringing cat5 cable. Doing backups. Fixing printers.
- Decorating services. Buying furniture. Looking for deals. Making the environment look nice for guests.
- Planning. Being the “idea” person. Coming up with, and developing ideas for future growth.
- Problem solving. There are always problems that pop up…and you need to solve them.
- Maintenance and repair. You can’t always afford a repair person for minor issues. A new business would go broke. So you do it.
- Shipping and receiving. You don’t have that department, yet. So you need to do it.
- Delivery and errands. Ditto. You don’t have a dedicated person to do that…so you do.
- Architect. You are intimately involved with the design of your ever expanding space.
I think you get the idea.
An Entrepreneurs job list goes on and on. If it needs to get done, YOU are responsible to get it done, and when you are small, that usually means that YOU are the one that needs to do it. The list above is pretty mundane and common. But there are zillions of other jobs that many have had to do during their start-ups. Many that the founder had to do..until they could hire people for….
At this point, I can already hear people saying “DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE”. And you know what? You are right. That should ALWAYS be your thought. But when you are just starting out, there are obstacles that are in your way from doing that. Money, personnel, resources. And if you are honest..you know that you did a lot of things when you first started that you don’t do now. You had to. There was nobody else to delegate to. There was no money to hire someone to do it.
“When you are an entrepreneur, there are no jobs below your pay-scale”. – Stephen Ruby
Yes, we have all been there. We have all done the same mundane, “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done” jobs. But in various industries there are unusual jobs that have to be done, and when you start out with a small business….it’s YOUR responsibility to get them done.
So…what was the weirdest job that you every had to do in your start-up?
- Maybe you had to weigh out worms in a recycling / composing business.
- Maybe you had to mix viruses into control materials for a diagnostic medical laboratory.
- Maybe you had to trim the hoofs (or nails) of an alpaca. (I don’t even know if they have feet or hooves…)
- Maybe you had to crawl into a fermenting tank and scrape crud off of the inside before you could brew the next batch of beer.
- Maybe you had to clean skunk cages.
- Maybe you had to something bigger and stinkier than that…
This should give you some ideas. It’s always fun to learn more about other entrepreneurs and what THEY had to go through during their start-up.
You are not alone.
Next time you are in your business, doing some job that is “below your pay scale”, remember this. When you are in a start-up – YOUR start-up – there is nothing below your pay scale. If it needs to get done and you can’t hire it out. If you don’t have someone to delegate it to, and it HAS to get done…it IS part of your pay scale.
And it’s good to remember that OTHER start-up entrepreneurs also have similar challenges. Maybe not the same jobs and tasks that you have, but they have their own set of challenges that they need to attend to. So your are not alone.
Now it’s your turn to share…
It’s your turn to share YOUR weird job(s) that you had to do as a start-up entrepreneur. Tell us about the job and why it had to be done…and why you had to do it.
Yes…you may not think it’s interesting, but others do. Why do you think “Dirty Jobs” was such a popular program?
Go ahead….share your WEIRDEST job with the audience of EntrepreneurialPractice.com. And put a link to your company for others to check out your success.
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