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The Stoker

You can't afford not to.

The Stoker

By: Ross Paterson

My grandfather traveled back and forth between San Francisco and China as a fireman on a steamship. He was on a team that stoked the fires that kept the steam engines running. Stokers also worked on steam locomotives. The rider on the back of a tandem bicycle is called the stoker. The sole focus of this role is to add power and potential for increased speed.


For more than a decade now we have been advising business owners and entrepreneurs to add a stoker to their teams. We call this role the Small Business Xcelerator (or SBX). After our clients successfully fill this role, they all say the same thing:


“We should have done this sooner!”

An inspired stoker/SBX will radically accelerate your progress as a business owner, and help you balance your life in very real ways.


  1. Don’t look for someone like you. We need our stokers to cover our blind spots and be great at the work that we struggle doing.
  2. Time is money. Look at your time and attention allocation for a couple of weeks. What critical work (Revenue, Leadership) is not getting done because you are heads down in marketing/operations/administration for 8-20 hours per week? The stoker you hire needs to be an ace in these tasks
  3. You can’t afford not to. If you have a big vision for growth, hire a part-time resource in February (or adjust a current teammate to cover you part-time). If done well, by July you will need a full-time resource here.


You are probably closer to your next breakthrough than you imagine. Make this hire in February or let us help you find the right stoker/SBX for you and your business.


Ready to stop wasting time and money? Our SBX hiring pro, Fanni Gambero, is ready to help you get there. Click HERE to schedule a meeting and get started.