4 Steps to Go From Employee to Successful Businessman
This is a guest post by John Anyasor from HiLife2B
When I was young, I cultivated a dream to become a CEO. A leader. A guy who everyone looks up to and always gets things done. A clean-cut, suit-wearing, cigar-smoking, money-burning, nice car-having entrepreneur that had a mansion, a hot wife, and 3 and a half kids. And while most of what I wanted has changed over the last decade or so (I still want the attractive wife), I see now that success in not measured in material acquisitions. Success is being able to afford time for yourself and for others. Do you get that? In other words, success means being able to own your time and do what you’re passionate about.
Now maybe you like getting up to work from 9 to 5 every weekday morning (and that’s okay). If you’re working in a field that you’re passionate about then, by all means, keep at it. But if you don’t necessarily want to work for 8 hours straight with a lunch thrown in for good measure, you’re going to have to change the way you think about careers.
Here are four steps that I myself am in the process of taking (Inspired by Tim Ferriss):
1. Start from the bottom – Employee
Who said succeeding in your career was easy? Everyone starts out as an employee and begins learning from their boss. Wait? Didn’t I just say being an employee was a way to NOT own your time? True, it does take away control from you, but you’re going to need money. Everyone needs it to at least be able to support themselves. Unless your parents are willing to let you live with them and allow you to save up money you get from your job, you’re going to need a source of income.
Not to worry, though. Most people will stay employees forever, but if you want to succeed in your career…
2. Move towards the top – Valuable employee
You have to take the role as a valuable employee. This is going to require a lot more work than you’re used to. Throw out the clock, grab a cup of coffee, and get to work. To become valuable you’re going to have to work longer hours mostly for free. Doing extra work for free will show your boss that you are working hard and are differentiating yourself from your coworkers. However, don’t keep doing this work for free. We’ll get to that in a moment.
Also, have other opportunities outside of your job. A valuable employee is one that has many profitable options; without them, you’ll be strapped to the company, and your time will forever be under the control of your boss.
3. Become a self-starter – Asset
It is at this stage that you should come to your boss to talk about extra pay for your hard work. Now if you’ve been doing actually work, display it. Show how much you’ve added to the company. And let’s not forget about your side project. If you have been working on something on the side, use your newfound proceeds to fund it. This is also the best time to persuade your boss to let you work remotely for the company. Tell him that it would allow you to more efficiently work for the company and on other important projects that could also prove profitable. Since you’re now an asset, it shouldn’t be too difficult for him to agree. If your work can’t be done remotely, just ask to spend less time on site because you’re pursuing other projects that could potentially help the company off-site.
If he does agree and you are home free, don’t let the quality of your work slip. If anything, improve the quality of your work to demonstrate that he made the right decision.
4. Owner of your time – Location-independent employee or entrepreneur
Congrats, you are now probably making much more than your coworkers and are probably location independent. Now that you own your time, you can go ahead and put more effort into your projects. And maybe even start a business.
Despite my short synopsis of each step, this process takes work. It may take up to a year or two in order to become a success, but it’s much better than being an employee for the rest of your life. Even if it takes ten years, the payoff you will get in the long run will be well worth it. The most valuable thing you have (the thing that EVERYBODY wants) is your time. You should only give it to those who need it most.
This is the mindset of a businessman. You’re already on your way.
John Anyasor is a college student (like everybody else) but he’s taking advantage of the opportunities he has there by pursuing his interests and testing assumptions. He writes on his personal development blog, HiLife2B. There, he gives commentaries on the ups and downs of life and its improvement. Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.