Secrets to Success
without a paycheck
I'll never forget the lesson I learned at 15. Working for a local landscape company, I showed up on time and always did what was expected. After six months of working there, I figured it was time to ask my boss for a raise.
I presented a good case and was shocked when my boss said to me, "You're already compensated well for what you were hired to do. All you've told me you do is what is expected of you. Can you give me three results that you generate now that you couldn't when you were hired?"
I must have looked perplexed because he asked me, "Would you like to learn what you need to do to achieve like the wealthy clients we work for?" Thankfully I chose to humble myself and listen. What he shared with me literally revolutionized my business thinking forever.
"Look JP," he said, "You deserve a small raise because of the time that you have been working for us. But I want more for you. If you ever want to really achieve big, you better start thinking about how you can give more than what is expected of you before you're paid more. I want you to think about how you can create value where it doesn't yet exist."
I walked away that night not fully understanding what he meant. But as a few days passed, an idea began to sink in. I needed to work at my job as if it were my company. I could not just "do my job." I had to do it better, more efficiently. I had to find new ways generate profits, increase efficiency and improve quality. I had to create something that didn't currently exist.
After a few months I approached my boss again. This time I was prepared. I came up with an idea for a new service that none of our competitors provided, and our clients were asking about. I figured if our clients are asking for it and no other company was offering it there was a good chance we could get new customers by providing that service. "This should get me a raise for sure!" I thought to myself.
I brought the idea to my boss and I could tell he was extremely impressed by his response, "That's an excellent idea, JP!" But on the issue of getting a raise, I almost fell off my chair when he looked at me and said, "But you don't want a raise for that do you?" Shocked again!
He continued, "Since I like your idea, I'll do something that could be better than a raise. I'll give you a crew of three men to work with you every Saturday. I'll pay them for their time but you will not get hourly pay for your time. What you will get is 10 percent of the profits your team generates each Saturday. In 60 days we'll sit down and talk again. If this idea of yours proves itself out we'll talk about a new arrangement." I agreed.
Two months later I sat down in my mentor's office with more money in my pocket from eight Saturdays than I had made in the previous three months of my regular pay. From that day on I stopped getting paid hourly. Instead I was paid a 30 percent share of the profits from what I considered to be my own service division! I began to think of this man as my coach, rather than my boss.
Coaches Corner: Do you want to achieve the type of success that works for you? Don't just go to your job and work. Instead, work your job like it's your own business. Don't wait for someone else to change your situation, step up and change it yourself. If you are a business owner, encourage your team to pursue this attitude. Foster an environment where team members feel the company is their own. Be the coach of your team, not "the boss." Coaches foster ownership, bosses foster fear and trepidation.
If you would like to learn how you can begin to gain exponential returns on your time -- send me an e-mail. I'll forward you the unabridged version of this article complete with coaching tips and action steps.
John-Paul Micek is the lead business coach
and chief operating officer of RPM Success Group. Reach
him at JPM@RPMsuccess.com or (888) 334-8151.