Think and act like a founder in any job

One simple advice for professional success is to think and act like a founder.

Before you take a job, think like a founder. 
  • Would you start a startup in the same space, with the same business model? Do you think there's a good opportunity for  impact? 
  • Are you are the right person to do it? Are you excited about it?
  • Do you have the right team or the resources to hire the right team?
  • Is your team's charter relevant to the company and supported by the company? Do you think you have the investment and support (from the company) to make you successful?
  • Do you agree with the company's values and culture? Are they meritocratic, rational and not political?
If your answers are not a yes and if your situation allows for it, keep looking for another job. It is usually hard to change these factors in an established company.

After you take the job, continue to think and act like a founder. 

  • Make the business, customers and your "investors and board members" (manager and skip level managers) successful. 
  • Make your team and members successful. 
  • Improve product, culture and processes.
  • Act with thoughtfulness, urgency and resourcefulness.
  • Be an optimistic cheerleader for the company and the team. 

If you work in a well-run company, with a fair, meritocratic system and good managers, thinking and acting like a founder will eventually lead to your career success as well.