Is it just me or do other Gen Y entrepreneurs get mistaken as a young casual rather than the owner?
Over the past two years, this has happened occasionally. People walk through the door, check out the setup and mistake me for the casual worker. Now that I’ve committed full time hours to my business, it seems to be happening more often. In the beginning I was offended, it felt like discrimination.
How dare these people assume a more senior person is in charge?
One example sticks to mind strongly. I have a casual worker, Doris, who is in her 40’s. She is extremely customer service focused and fantastic with the cats. I feel she really cares about my business and has my back; I am always bouncing ideas off her.
On this occasion, Doris spoke to a gentleman over the phone earlier that day and made a booking with him. He came in later to look around, and as I was free, I gave him the tour while Doris served another customer. The gentleman came into the office after I finished explaining the set up to him, but he only had eyes for Doris.
It went along the lines of “Hi Doris, nice to meet you, great place here, great business idea, shame about the parking problem. Are you looking into fixing that?”
Meanwhile, I had turned invisible. When I responded to one of his questions, I was ignored.
These days I joke about it with her. It all seems funny now. If people want to be so naive to assume that the older worker is the boss, let them. I am now more than happy to step back and let Doris be the “boss”. I know she can do a better job at it than me.
Throughout the day, I wear many hats: the cleaner, the receptionist, the book keeper, the cat entertainer, the problem solver and so forth. Some days, my mind is not always focused on where it should be – which is wowing the people walking in throughout the day.
But with staff like Doris and the other girls who help me run a tight ship, I know I have built a fantastic team that has my back on days when my mind forgets the bigger picture.