Why Everyone Is an Entrepreneur Now

Inc.com
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Why Everyone Is an Entrepreneur Now May 24th 2013, 19:49
Job-hopping might ruffle a corporation’s feathers, but employers need to accept it’s a way of life.

Millennials have disrupted the labor market, making it acceptable to job hop and complete “tours of duty” until a better offer comes along.

In the process, company loyalty has become a thing of the past, and everyone needs to accept it, say Chris Yeh and Ben Casnocha in the Harvard Business Review.

We can no longer believe in “this idea that people would go to college, study hard, get a degree, land an entry-level job at a big, stable company.” Nor can we believe in the old 20th century compact of employees slowly working their way up the ladder.

The modern compact is based on alliance.

“The employer is saying, ‘Hey, make my company more valuable, and I’ll make you more valuable,'” say the authors. “Even if this is not a relationship that’s going to last for an entire lifetime, this is a relationship that is going to be beneficial to both of us during the time it exists and even afterwards.”

With loyalty no longer a part of the equation, being an employee in the modern workplace isn’t all that different from being an entrepreneur. Uncertainty and volatility is part of the game. There’s no guarantee of a promotion or pay raise.

In a way, that’s a good thing.

“If someone can’t be entrepreneurial in their own career, if someone’s unwilling to take risks in their career, if someone’s not keen on remaining agile and adaptive in their own career, how could you possibly expect them to bring to bear those strengths, those traits at your company?” say the authors.

To attract and retain the best employees, companies should be more proactive and willing to invest in their workers’ future. What’s more, they should take a chance on someone who’s willing to hustle to get ahead.

Ask not what you can do for your bottom line, say the authors, but what you can do for your employee.

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Inc.’s New Look, Plus a Whole New Way to Look at Inc. May 24th 2013, 19:44
Inc. Magazine’s June issue launches a new, more visual design and a new, more logical navigation. Plus, there’s a new way to experience Inc. beyond the page.

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Want to Perform Better? Get Uncomfortable May 24th 2013, 19:24
Blogger and career coach Penelope Trunk gives her spin on Eleanor Roosevelt’s classic advice to do one thing every day that scares you.

Do one thing every day that scares you; that was Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice. The idea being that the more you venture outside your comfort zone, the more you will learn and grow from the unexpected.

In a recent post, blogger and career coach Penelope Trunk outlines the merits of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations when it comes to your career. Her best advice for stretching the confines of your professional safety net? Work with people you don’t like.

Here are three great reasons to make your collaborators people who scare you (at least a little bit).

Great minds don’t think alike.

You hear this all the time, right? Partner with people who supplement your skills and perspective. Hiring or collaborating with people who think like you will only guarentee that you have more of the ideas and thoughts that you were naturally inclined to generate. Instead of hiring more people who are good at what you are good at, Trunk writes, consider hiring those with a completely new skill set and perspective.

“This means that if you’re good with people, you need to work with someone who is terrible with people. If you’re good with numbers, you should work with someone who is terrible with numbers,” she writes.

Homogeneity is the opposite of innovation.

In addition to surrounding yourself with employees and collaborators who compliment your skills, writes Trunk, you have to give them the freedom and tools to do what they’re meant to: Rock the boat.

“One of my most successful attempts at being an employee was when I worked for a CEO who was a frat boy. He was still wearing his fraternity sweatshirts 10 years out of college,” writes Trunk. But he gave her the freedom and tools to fill the role of “intellect in the company” she explains–and that kind of embrace of alternative viewpoints is exactly what good bosses do.

“They needed me a lot because my way of thinking was so different from theirs. Most of the great ideas we came up with were a combination of my ability to see the big picture and their ability to make my ideas fun and saleable,” Trunk writes.

People fear what they don’t understand.

Don’t shy away from risky hires, Trunk advises. This doesn’t mean hiring someone totally unqualified for the position, just giving stereotypically scary groups–like Millennials–the benefit of the doubt. Or hiring talented people from surprising backgrounds.

“I was coaching this woman who is a court reporter, but the court reporter business is going to India and she doesn’t know what to do. Of course, I hired her to write while I dictate blog posts,” writes Trunk. She explains that this hiring risk led to some personal risks in the way she blogs–and ultimately a better product.

“I would never have dreamed of hiring a court reporter, but when you pair yourself with someone you never dreamed of pairing yourself with, you do things that you never dreamed you were able to do,” she writes. “She can write so fast that we can actually get five posts done in one hour, but only if I’m focused. So what ends up happening is I get really nervous before our scheduled call. I have to prepare, and it means I have to commit to posts that I think I’m going to write, but maybe I don’t want to write.”

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2 thoughts on “Why Everyone Is an Entrepreneur Now

  1. Pingback: Un-Learning for Entrepreneurs | Inc.com | Sustainable Engineering Systems

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