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Young Entrepreneur, Where Art Thou?

Will you do me a solid?

If you see a pack of young entrepreneurs wandering around, please send one my way. Life at work has been pretty peaceful lately, and I really need a young entrepreneur to shake things up.

Why don’t I find my own young entrepreneur? Well, the sad fact is that young entrepreneurs are not easy to come by. When they’re not innovating and disrupting they’re busy churning out helpful articles for no-longer-young, not-ever-entrepreneurs like thee and me.

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“12 Ways You Can Get Yourself on the Promotion Track This Year, According to 12 Bosses,” is an example of their helpful advice to the helpless. Written by the “young entrepreneur council,” a subsidy of society, I presume, I now have in hand a passel of tips to insure that, even in the waning months of 2016, new life can be found in that turgid quagmire of disappointment and defeat we laughingly call your career.

“You Step Outside Your Department” is Tip No. 1. Young entrepreneur Shane Smith thinks promotion when he sees one of his employees “step outside his department and apply skills to support other teams.”

I suggest you start your mingling and meddling with the marketing department. They’re so dopey they’ll never object to your butting in. Apply your skill for napping through the workday. Don’t change the timing of your daily nap schedule — some things are sacred — but move the venue to a place where everyone in marketing can see you, snoozing your way through the day.

The marketing team will love you because they will look so much more energetic compared to you. And you’ll get to stretch out, instead of being all scrunched up in the supply closet.

“You Take Ownership” is Tip No. 3. “Start thinking in terms of helping the company; that’s when you’ll truly shine,” says young entrepreneur Elle Kaplan. I agree 100 percent. Start by taking ownership of various pieces of office equipment. A high-quality laser printer can get as much as $25 on eBay. (You’ll get a more from a pawn shop, but they ask embarrassing questions, like, “Do you own this?”)

You might also want to take ownership of the boss’s Tesla. Any good chop shop could turn it into a cool dune buggy, and you could end up with an extra $100 in your pocket.

“You’re Curious,” is a surefire promotion proposition according to young entrepreneur Brian David Crane, who posits, “Curiosity indicates a vested interest in the underlying ‘why’ that drives what we’re doing.”

Good idea, but to make your natural curiosity really pay off you may need to apply your curiosity to include certain out-of-office locales, like the monthly statements of your boss’s company credit card. Nothing guarantees a promotion more than a record of charges for lavish Candygram deliveries, especially when backed up by receipts for the presidential suite at the No-Tell Motel.

“Be Punctual” is the advice of young entrepreneur Leila Lewis.

“If you’re on time to work and stay until the end of the day every day, I take notice,” she says. And notice should be taken. To demand that an employee not only be on time in the morning, but also stay until the end of day, every day, represents an unreasonable, and, I believe, unconstitutional demand on your time.

How are you going to get in the 20 minutes a day practice necessary for you to qualify for the balance beam event in the 2020 Olympics if you have to be at your desk from dawn to dusk? This is something that you’re doing for your country, and your patriotism should be rewarded.

“You Generate Ideas” is the final tip for promotion. According to young entrepreneur Abhilash Patel, “your ability and willingness to develop solutions that grow the company mean you’re very valuable.”

I don’t know about the “growing the company” part, but you have lots of ideas that your fellow co-workers are going to love. Like ordering two tons of sand to spread out on the office floor, so everyone can take off their shoes and feel like they’re at the beach. Or, simply, hiring a few buses and taking everyone to the beach.

This might mean a longish bus ride if you work in Iowa, but it’s an idea that you generated. Once management knows it’s your idea, I’m sure a promotion will be in the works. Hopefully, it will arrive before you are summarily fired and marched out of the building.

See — old entrepreneurs have ideas, too.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@bgplanning.com.

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