The times are shifting and we can all see the writing on the wall. The “traditional” job is slowly disappearing (along with the U.S. middle class) and the choice we all face seems daunting. Many of the small business owners I know are still working one of these “traditional” jobs, striving for a way to escape and live life on their own terms…
It’s no secret that being an entrepreneur in this day and age is easier than it’s ever been. From the free blog start-up to running a full-fledged crowd-funding operation, “average” people are starting new businesses at an explosive rate! Many of these up and coming business owners have plenty of excitement and enthusiasm, but some may lack the mentality required to make the shift from being bossed around to being their own boss.
The first shift usually comes in the form of finances. As an employee, you can work your required time, clock out and go home knowing you will be paid for your effort. As an entrepreneur, you will work when you can squeeze it in and there is no guarantee that ANY of your hard work will earn you a return, let alone profit. Don’t get discouraged! With your “traditional” job, you will always know when and how much you will be paid, but it is a finite resource because this arrangement requires you to directly trade your time for your reward. Your time is the most precious and finite resource you have.
The next shift comes in the form of motivation and drive. As an employee, your motivation is the paycheck mentioned above and all the benefits that your stable income can offer. Maybe you even have a job where you literally have a boss telling you what you have to do to earn this paycheck and they serve as your only necessary motivation. As an entrepreneur, motivation isn’t enough. For one thing, you don’t have a boss to tell you what to do, how, and when it needs to be done. You will be responsible for knowing each aspect and having the drive to stay focused on the task. If you lose focus, you will not work on your business and you will not earn any profits.
The next and one of the most important shifts in the mentality of a new entrepreneur that employees typically lack, is the “why” behind that motivation and drive. Employees usually have a simple reason for their “why”. If they don’t show up for work and do their job, they will be fired and not get a paycheck. This will result in all sorts of personal chaos for them, so their “why” essentially is to avoid being fired. For the entrepreneur, it is much deeper than that. The “why” takes on a life of its own and you begin to understand your highest values and learn to play to your strengths. No one signs your paycheck and no one can fire you, except for yourself. As an entrepreneur, you aren’t entitled to anything, you have to earn it every step of the way. The money is usually where the “why” starts out for many of us. Or perhaps it’s just the simple goal of no longer working for someone elses dream … however, it doesn’t take long for that “why” to evolve into reasons ranging from personal development to building a legacy for their grand-children’s children. The “why” of the entrepreneur goes above and beyond the material. After all, any entrepreneur could just go back to being a great employee earning a paycheck, rather than risk it all and run their own business, right?
Another aspect which will fundamentally change when shifting from employee to entrepreneur mindset is learning how to make choices based on integrity and not just profit margins. When you are an employee, your job is essentially to follow orders from your superiors. When you are an entrepreneur, you have the power and the responsibility to offer the best prices, the best products, the best services and to do all this with transparency and and being congruent with your mission statement. Knowing you can choose based on what you would want as a customer will help you relax into your roll as an owner because the “just doing my job” aspect of your life is erased.
As an employee, when you finally begin to understand your place, you realize that you can only advance as far as the company ladder can allow you, and even if you make it to the top, it may not be what you want… well, that can be downright depressing. Even if you love your job now, it is likely that changes will happen to make you love it less over time. As an entrepreneur, you begin to realize that you have no limitations. You can make as little or as much as you want and all it takes is consistent effort. It may be scary to go out into the unknown and start your own business, but doing so can open up a whole world of possibilities that you never even knew existed! As an entrepreneur, you set your hours, prices, and policies according to your thoughts, opinions, feelings and facts and you have no one to answer to but your own conscience.
Whether you are currently an employee or entrepreneur, or perhaps you are both, beginning to shift your perspective to see the benefits of entrepreneurship can help you on either path. If you work a “traditional” job with a boss, you can use what you have read here to see yourself as a valuable asset and avoid the common pitfalls of the employee mentality that can hold you back. If you are transitioning into owning your own business, congratulations on taking action! I hope this guide can help you stay focused on why you wanted to start this journey in the first place. For more information about what I do and how you can work with me personally, check out my Live training by signing up here: http://www.lefttheratrace.com/ray