After reading James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself, I’ve been devouring his content (blog, podcast, books). He’s fascinating and focuses much of his content around how to be successful in the new economy. He’s a big proponent of starting a business, platform, or lifestyle where your fate is not tied to your boss. Incomes have been going down and relying on a job, promotion, and retirement savings is a thing of the past. Furthermore, the demand for middle-class jobs are disappearing, being replaced by automation and outsourcing. In today’s world, as James puts it, you must ‘choose yourself’. Be creative, ask good questions, make mistakes, and figure out how to be irreplaceable.
That doesn’t mean you have to be an entrepreneur. What I love about working for a boutique company like Atlas is the opportunity to be an entreployee (a term coined by James). I have the ability to utilize my creativity and persistence to bring ideas to the table that can have outsized results when applied to the company infrastructure. In this post I describe 5 ways you can be an entreployee within your real estate company.
I’ve said it countless times, ASotREG has been the single best thing I’ve done for my career. It’s opened doors, given me an excuse to reach out to people I want to meet and to ask questions about topics I find interesting, and to write about my passions. I’ve met investors, partners, and discovered tools which have helped Atlas grow. On top of all that, it’s created an income stream I can rely on outside of my full-time job. You don’t have to start a blog, but consider posting on LinkedIn, contributing to an industry site, or creating a research report. The key is to create something that enables you to stand out and is complimentary to the work of your company.
2. Take Control of what you work on
Find ways to deliver value for your company that’s outside your job description. I’m constantly bringing ideas to the table and running with projects I think could add value to the company. A few examples include:
- Discover tools and software that improve the company operations such as redIQ for underwriting, Highrise for CRM, or various investor management software.
- Assist with internal company organization; improve the structure of the weekly team meeting, investment committee, or asset management reporting process.
- Create a lender database, drive the company marketing/branding process, and put checklists in place (I create checklists for everything).
Tip: Create a Google Doc and track everything you accomplish so you can discuss it in detail during performance reviews.
3. Don’t be content
It’s easy to be content when things are growing; your skillset is improving, your salary is increasing, and you have the freedom to make choices you want. However, the entreployee is an idea-machine and always looking to be innovative. It could be easy for me to be happy with how things are going at Atlas, but I want more for the company and myself. I want to improve our operations, grow our investor base, refine our deal sourcing process, and nurture our sponsor relationships. I want to improve my skillset to the point where I can replace my bosses, freeing them up for bigger things that drive the growth of the company.
4. Become an expert in aspects of the business you love
Become an expert in the aspect of the job that you love by learning from others, taking relevant courses, and attending industry events. I really enjoy the investor relations process and looking for ways to scale the trust we’ve built and our track record over the past 7 years. By utilizing my knowledge of inbound marketing, crowdfunding best practices, and building an audience, I’m able to put processes in place that turn potential investors into advocates and enable Atlas to stand out for the 1,000 other real estate syndicators.
5. Link your success to the success of the company
It’s nearly impossible to build wealth off your salary. In real estate, we want to be owners. Although you may not be suited to buy your own deals, align your interest with the success of the company by negotiating ownership in the deals. To do this, find ways to become irreplaceable by implementing a few of the ideas outlined above. Over time you will show the value you bring, allowing you to have negotiating leverage. Remember, real estate is a get rich slow business. Be patient, but make sure you have an outsized upside by tying your financial success to that of the company. If you can’t do that, don’t be scared to move on.
James says it best. “The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur (or entreployee) are an ability to fail, an ability to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on those ideas, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure.”
We live in a different world than our parents. The new economy is about ideas. Give yourself the permission to have bad ideas and you’ll flourish as an entreployee within any real estate company.