10 years as the Admin of my family’s factory.
7 years as the VP of my family’s factory.
7 years as an Entrepreneur and Admin trainer.
From my vantage point, I know that the Admin is the heartbeat of any small business. Without an Admin’s organizational or communication skills, the company would flounder.
I learned this from an early age.
My dad started our factory in 1991, and he was a true Entrepreneur. He had a vision, charisma, and a strong ability to influence and lead.
This continued for many years, 1991-2009, despite several health setbacks. My dad became a serial Entrepreneur towards the end of his life with his plantations, piggeries, and fish farms in the Philippines.
You see, the Entrepreneur is always the frontrunner. The one on the podium. The one everyone cheers for.
But who props up the Entrepreneur? Who manages the ins and outs of the business? Who talks with customers, vendors, and employees all day long? Who knows the nitty-gritty of processes and streamlining efficiency?
In my family’s situation, it was my mom for many years and then me.
The Admin is the one who makes sure the business runs smoothly. However, he or she doesn’t always need the glory or the attention.
I can’t speak for all Admins, but my true satisfaction occurs when my goals are met, people are cared for, and the processes are efficient.
Perhaps like many Admins, I don’t care for the spotlight. I simply want to support something great.
I’ve always seen my Admin work as supporting the big picture, which is the business’s success overall and the continued employment of my fellow workers and myself.
Way back when in the 1990s, if you asked my dad specifics about money management or order management processes, he wouldn’t have known.
If you asked him to look up a financial report on QuickBooks or research our delivery trends, he wouldn’t even know where to look in the computer system.
If you look up any handwritten check from our company or home, you would see either my or my mom’s handwriting filling out the top portion and only his signature on the bottom line.
And I say this not to knock my dad but to acknowledge that he had his area of expertise…and so did my mom and I. His lane included:
- Setting the vision.
- Making great deals.
- Creating the big goals.
- Motivating people to follow his lead.
- Taking chances.
Isn’t that a lot on an Entrepreneur’s plate already?
My dad, like all Entrepreneurs, didn’t have to know the nitty-gritty of running a business. In fact, a successful Entrepreneur accepts that he or she cannot understand this or do this on his or her own. A successful Entrepreneur first chooses to hire a great Admin and second, to provide him or her with the necessary training and support to do a great job.
Entrepreneurs don’t have to give up their spotlight, but perhaps they should share it and acknowledge those that helped get them there. It’s time to champion the Admin.
Janet Johnson is a small business advisor and author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding & Making More Money and this educational blog. All views expressed belong solely to Ms. Johnson and do not represent the views of her employer.