Two years ago, I asked this guy for a spot at the gym- we both go at the same time every morning- and we somewhat became gym buddies, helped each other spot etc. He was 6 years younger than me. He worked downstairs as a waiter in one of the busy restaurants.

I worked in consulting at the time across the restaurant in the corporate building. He was learning to be a graphic designer on the side. He hated his job- the bosses were callous, the customers were very high maintenance. He was getting $19/hr.

While we chatted away during gym hours, familiarity grew. I liked him; he was smart, and very industrious. He just wasn’t passionate about his job. And frankly, no reason he should be. So I told him; if he does exactly as I say, I could double his wage per hour in a years time.

I had him draw up the staff/ organisational structure of the restaurant; employees, managers, etc. I told him to do 3 things; 1. Keep an eye out &cater for every table, *not just his allocated tables. 2. Befriend customers through charm. 3. Become best friends w the manager.

Told him to do this every single day. And to make sure the tables he served were flawless, while not overstepping other employees when catering to the tables he didn’t necessarily have to cater to.

Soon all management took notice. His manager friend spread the word. Other employees found that their job became infinitely easier because this kid acted as support staff for each and one of them. Customers (some high profile) became regulars because of that kid alone.

Every morning at the gym, we would debrief on how things were going. In about 14 months, he was promoted to management, his pay $33/hr. Not exactly double. I’m tweeting this story because I just recently met up with him again after not seeing him for a year (I relocated).

He is now on $45 an hour, managing two restaurants. He has lost interest in graphic designing, and his focus is now taking a piece of equity in the restaurants he works in. He now also loves what he does, and doesn’t think he’ll go back to graphic designing.