If you work in Corporate America, you’ve probably seen this happen a few times.
New VP or such joins the company, then promptly calls up all his or her old vendor buddies to sell tech, training, and more into the new organization. Policy, process, product, and tech changes almost overnight—seldom with any feedback from the front lines.
Needles move. Results come in. Raises and bonuses are paid. (Not to frontline staff, of course. There’s no budget for raises this year.) And a couple years later, the new VP moves on to lather, rinse, and repeat at the next company.
If you picked up a bit of snark, there, you’re not wrong. It’s always bugged me.
But you know what, it’s supposed to work that way.
Everyone—at every level—of every business—has problems to solve. That’s why we have jobs. We are paid to solve problems. What’s more, WE pay others to solve problems for us.
Credit and manufacturing be damned. The global economy is built around solving problems.
This has come up several times in The Gearhead Project. If you can solve a problem better, faster, or more affordably, you have a business opportunity.
Better mousetrap, anyone?
It (probably) doesn’t matter if there are 100 other people out there already in the business. If you can do it better, faster, or more affordably, you could potentially disrupt the entire industry and corner the market. Because you’ve got the experience and skills and tools at your disposal to make it happen.
Which is why I wanted to share this one with you today.
That VP or whatever that comes in and changes everything? Sure, there’s an element of guy-with-hammer-sees-every-problem-as-nail there, but the reality is he or she is able to come in, implement change, and generate either cost savings or additional revenue for the company well above and beyond what the company spent on compensation and tech.
At least, when it’s done right, anyway.
Which is why, should a friend ask you for help with a business venture (not MLM/Amway/shit), I think it’s worth you taking a few minutes to hear them out.
You might not want to start a business, but they wouldn’t be asking if you didn’t obviously have the skills to help them solve a problem better, faster, or more affordably than the competition.
In the short-term, you might get performance parts at cost for helping build out the catalog. But down the road, could end up being in charge of Product for the company.
Today you might know enough about servers and programming to help keep a small website up, running, secure and growing. Tomorrow you could be Chief Technical Officer.
Here’s the real beauty in that sort of stuff—even if the plucky little startup doesn’t scale, you’ll get the experience and skills to solve problems for others. And everyone’s got problems to solve.
You’ve got a toolbox. Start filling it with serious tools to solve big problems.