I have learned that in the work environment there exists what I call the “E Factor.” Some say the “Big E” and the “Little E.” That being “Big E”, the entrepreneurs who create the jobs and the “Little E” those who are employees and do the jobs and do not take the risks. Many in our society will revel in the “Big E’s” accomplishments and how they create jobs and opportunity for everyone else. They will talk about all the risk that the “Big E’s” take to help and grow the economy. But many of those who love to give credit to the “Big E’s” in life and all that they do rarely credit to the “Little E’s” who make the world go round. The employees of small businesses and large corporations who do the work that really makes the world go round. And in many cases those who reveling in the “Big E’s” accomplishments and what they do for the workforce are “Little E’s”. My opinion is that we need both the “Big E’s” and “Little E’s” to make the world go round they are both necessary. I call it the “E Factor”. I do not call it “Big E” and “Little E” though because I believe both are critical for work and society. Maybe it is “E=E.”
A few years ago I was interviewing a young doctor for a position at my former clinics. She was very nice and personable. Two really good traits in a young doctor. She had all of the skills that would have made a perfect associate or employee doctor. She was a little, how should I say this, cocky with her skills and what she could do for me and my clinics. I was impressed and I must admit, I saw a little bit of the younger me in her and her remarks. Needless to say, I liked her, I really liked her! She seemed like the perfect young doc coming out of school. A perfect hire in most situations. A “Slam Dunk!” for an employer.
Guess what this old doc who was a little younger at the time did? I passed. I passed on a doctor who had all of the talents and abilities to help grow my practice. Someone with great communications skills and a vision for what she wanted for her future in optometry. Why? Why would an old doc like me pass on a gal who just might help me grow my practice? Well, I realized this gal had what it took to create jobs. She was destined to be an entrepreneur and not an employee. She had the desire to take the risks and the attitude to make it happen. Had I hired this doctor, I would have done a great disservice to her and to my clinics at the time. She was not made for what we had to offer.
Fast forward to today. This doc is celebrating her five year anniversary in private practice in middle Tennessee and is actively involved in advancing our profession in the state of Tennessee. Yes, I have told her that I wanted to hire her way back in the day. I have told her I knew she would be successful. I have also told her that I knew she was destined to be more…more than an employee…she was destined to be the entrepreneur. The doc who opens her practice cold and builds it from scratch. The doctor who can revel in making it to five years on her own. The doctor who I now am striving to be after leaving my 6 offices and taking a buy out to go out on my own much like her…only at a little bit older age. She says it was a “Blessing in disguise.” I am a good ole Presbyterian boy and I would argue that it just might have been predestined.