A recent article on Fast Company’s blog describes four entrepreneurship lessons learned by Chet Kittleson while working dead-end jobs. Over the course of his career, Chet has worked as a pizza delivery driver, salesman, boat cleaner, landscaper, dishwasher, shoe stocker, house painter and cloths folder. Each one of these jobs taught him something different and made him into the entrepreneur that he his today. Chet organizes this article into four key entrepreneurial lessons.
He starts out by promoting perspective as a key aspect in becoming a good entrepreneur. Perspective helps people get through tough times, and as an entrepreneur, there will be plenty of tough times to get through. Having gone through numerous dead-end jobs can help an entrepreneur gain perspective to help him through his own rough times. An entrepreneur will feel less pain if he has already gone through low pay, no benefits, and working overtime. Perspective helps the entrepreneur stay focused rather than dwelling on the negative.
The next word of advice is empathy. Empathy is the emotional understanding of another person’s state of mind. When dealing with customer’s it is always essential to empathize with their needs. By empathizing rather than catering to your own needs, you are able to develop a better relationship with your customer. In various jobs, a customer base might come from a completely different mindset than the employees. It is essential to focus on their needs because that is what customer service is all about.
Going off of empathy, customer service is the next word of advice. In the business world, there will be a lot of people who are different. From a global entrepreneurship standpoint, one must embrace the differences and focus on the task at hand. Learning to cope with customer service takes time, but it is important to understand the employer-customer dynamic when entering the business world.
The last word of advice that Chet has for us is drive. Working hard is essential in any position of entrepreneurship. Perspective can help fuel drive and lead people to work harder than they have ever worked before. If someone works hard at whatever they do, keeps customers happy, and maintains a good perspective, this can really help bolster an entrepreneurial career.