The book “Both Sides of the Table”, by Mark Suster has a great entrepreneurial concept that I’d like to share. He calls it “Flipping Burgers”.
If you want to start a burger restaurant, you first need to learn how to cook the burgers.
Flip burgers = do the grunt work yourself and master the granular elements integral to the success of your business.
YOU personally need to be the person cooking and making the first burgers at the restaurant.
Until YOU learn how to cook the perfect burger, you can’t hire someone else to. You can’t show them the quality of standard that you need to set. The style. Order. Delivery. Process.
This applies to our businesses as well. At first we need to flip burgers. Do the grunt work. The manual tedious work that no one else will do, because there is no one else to do it.
The hours of research cracking emails and researching people. The countless time spent on alt tags for images and SEO tweaks and minor changes here and there. The random errors that happen when trying to do something for the first time.
When I ran BrainGain I handled people’s Visas, housing, medical insurance, airport pickups, support once they were in country – you name it. I flipped burgers, poured drinks, set the tables, open and closed the restaurant – you get the point.
The important part though is that while this stuff seemingly sucks, it’s important work. Arguably the most important work of getting your business off the ground.
Don’t avoid it. Put in the time, effort, and commitment to flip burgers. Become a master burger flipper so that when you pass off the burger flipping to others they too can become master burger flippers.
If you’re serious about starting a business, focus on flipping burgers. Focus on learning every granular aspect of your business. Get involved everywhere and know your business inside out.
The more you can learn about your business and objectively find ways to improve, the more likely you will be to succeed in creating sustainability.
While I have not done this for myself sufficiently, it’s a principle that I still embrace and know will serve me well. It’s a reminder not to be lazy and to put in the hard work that most people aren’t willing to do.
I remind myself that these hours spent on the computer writing are like hours training in the gym. While one individual session might not be anything remarkable, it’s the consistency over time that builds a stable frame.
If you put in the time at the grill, you will become a great chef. Flip burgers my friend, flip burgers.
Also published on Medium.