As a business coach, I am a firm believer that the only way to help aspiring entrepreneurs is by giving them the right tools to help themselves start their own business.
When you are living the employee mindset you believe that your worth is directly proportionate to what your paycheck is telling you. As an employee, you are subordinate because you are being told by someone else what to do all day long and how to do it.
From my experience the employees who are really satisfied with their career are the ones dedicated and giving through a vocation. However, sadly these people are hardly ever properly remunerated for their excellence. Try asking nurses and teachers for example.
When you make the shift to becoming an entrepreneur, a business owner, you need to acquire a CEO Mindset. You will be the one who dictates your time, how much you earn, and what kind of work you will do. The power of being in control of your destiny no matter what life throws at you.
That is the emancipation and freedom of becoming a business owner.
Naturally, with that shift comes a certain degree of responsibility, need for structure and of course a lot of creativity.
If you want to write your own success story you will need to make the shift from an employee mindset to an entrepreneurial mindset.
So, before you start thinking about firing your own boss let us see what it takes to go from thinking like an employee to thinking like the boss.
As an entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in building and structuring businesses, and having left the corporate world myself, I am familiar with the effort it takes to make the monumental decision start your own business.
Unlike what most people think the biggest obstacles that are encountered by anyone who is shifting from employee to entrepreneur are not fear of loss of income, or the hard work that will invariably follow. It is always the mindset.
Making the shift from employed to solopreneur or even heading your team as an employer is a huge emotional transformation and it will completely change your mentality.
You will not just leave your paycheck behind you, but you will also leave your co-workers and a guaranteed structure that works, even though it may be a politically charged one.
T Kiyosaki in his celebrated book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” explains that the transition from employee to entrepreneur is not about making plenty of money or crafting the best idea and finding the right opportunities but it is all about shifting the way you think.
So, in this article today we are going to speak about the major mindset shifts on the journey from employee to entrepreneur.
Related: How to Overcome Fear of Leaving Your 9 – 5
What does it mean to be the CEO of your Business?
In order to become the CEO of your business you will need to make three important mindset shifts.
As a solopreneur you have to understand that you will be wearing all the hats. If the doorbell rings, you are the one to open the door. If there is an email to be answered, it is you who must do it. Not to mention if you feel like having that coffee that your junior used to make for you in the previous lifetime. If you are still starting your business and working on your own, you are the employee, the employer, the manager, the admin and the one who needs to keep your imagination fired and creative and also sell your service or product. You are the visionary, and you are also the operations manager.
Therefore, unless you want to end up chasing your tail and going round in circles, from doing so many different things, you will need to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset as distinct from the employee mindset.
#1 Mindset Shift – Take Time to be the Visionary of Your Business
A practical way of attaining clarity is by allocating a specific time and day in your calendar where you will go to the drawing board and think about the direction, vision and leadership of your business. How do you want to see your business grow in the future?
Mapping out a vision board with your targets, goals, aspirations and dreams will help visualize them. Unless you see and write your goals, they will never become real. A great tool to use online for creating a vision board or a dream board as it is also called is Canva.
A vision board is a collage of texts and images and even motivational quotes that will help you focus better and have clarity about the direction and goals of your business.
#2 Mindset Shift – Quality over Quantity
It is very easy to fall in a trap where you think that the more you work the more you will see results. This is a diametrically opposed mind shift from employee to entrepreneur. Whereas, when you were employed your performance was measured by your output, as an entrepreneur it is the quality of your input that will show up with better results.
Granted that when you are the “factotum” and you are running the show on your own, you are going to have to do every single job that is necessary to get your business running, however it is focusing on the right things that will give you maximum results.
Doing “busy” work may validate you for a short time but it is the focused and creative work that is going to make you stand out. Your business is your signature uniqueness and therefore your personality will have to show up.
Employee thinks “It is important that I look good by producing a lot” vs. the Entrepreneur who thinks “I will produce what works for me and my company”.
What you choose to focus on in the first few years of your business will define the structure and sustained success of your business.
#3 Mindset Shift – Let Go of the Fear of Failure
“Fear kills more dreams than Failure Ever Will”
To be fair there are only a few things that get you more scared than starting and running your own business. You are giving up on the stability of an income and certainty is no longer on the horizon. Fear is natural and a healthy way of jumping up our adrenaline levels. In fact, it is exactly this fear that turns into fuel for an entrepreneur.
The entrepreneurial mindset knows that on the other side of fear lie the best opportunities and freedom.
The shift here is that if you try and fail, you are going to learn something from it and try again and do it better the next time round.
If you embark on your entrepreneurial journey expecting instant success, you are going to be disheartened and disillusioned. It is the trial and errors that will create your best performance.
If you are afraid that your money is going to run out quickly you may need more time before you shift from employee to entrepreneur and plan a safety net which will give you some security.
In business there are no guarantees. However, many times the higher the risks, the higher your rewards will be. Unless you take the risk, and bet on yourself, you will never experience the freedom on being your own boss and the CEO of your own company.
Visualize yourself climbing on a roller coaster. You know that you will experience fear, but you still go because eventually the thrill is bigger than the feeling that fear provokes in us.
Embracing fear, doubt and uncertainty are part of your entrepreneurial journey. If you do not shift into this mindset, you will never step up into your super powers and explore your possibilities and discover your rewards.
The Employee thinks that “Mistakes are bad and must be avoided” vs Entrepreneur “My mistakes are my education from which I will learn and succeed”
#4 Mindset Shift 4 – Be Prepared to Pivot and Adept
Nothing lasts forever. This has never been more truethan now with the onset of a pandemic. Businesses that have been around for decades have vanished in just a few months.
Times change and with it so does the nature of every business. Therefore, if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur you are going to have to shift, pivot and adept with an ever- changing world.
As an employee you are not required to think outside the box when change happens. It will those at the helm who will need to shift and then communicate it to their staff.
However, as an entrepreneur, if you are going to stay on top of your game, you will need to evolve professionally. If you manage to pivot according to what the market needs, you will grow and succeed. You will need to stay relevant. As we know technology, consumer demands, and even pandemics are constantly in flux.
Therefore, if you want to remain in demand and relevant, you need to have an open mindset to see what is working and what is not. You must be willing and open to implement changes if this is going to mean that your business thrives.
In today’s world if you are running a business you have two options
• To Pivot
• To Perish
To stay on top of your game, you must stay curious and see what your competition is doing. You need to see how the market is flowing and move along with it or disrupt it completely.
In recent months, many small brick and mortar businesses perished. However, those that were smart enough to offer a digital solution, such as online shopping and delivery service, actually thrived. This is a clear example of entrepreneurs with a mindset of growth.
If you are going to be resistant to change you are going to be challenged to embrace new opportunities. If you adept to change, you will visit the land of entrepreneurial magic.
Look at what has happened with accommodation with the introduction of Airbnb and to transport and home deliveries with UBER!
Take stock of whatever it is that is working for you and improve on it. If there is anything that you are doing which is not translating into results, then see what happens if you replace that with another strategy and see how your results will be affected.
The Employee thinks: I am being monitored. Vs. The Entrepreneur thinks: I need to monitor my market and pivot.”
#5 Mindset Shift 5 – Be Creative at Solving Problems and Jump at New Opportunities.
If you are ready to unlock your next level of success you are going to have to become very creative. This is an important mindset shift. We have already discussed in #1 that you will need to allocate specific time in your calendar to get your business vision in order. However, you will also need to brainstorm and be creative.
With all the uncertainty that we are living, having a creative mindset will be the do or die for your business.
Whilst typically if you are a practical person, you will survive economic hardship such as this pandemic, if you are creative you may not just survive, but you will find ways to grow.
We are also living in times of heavy competition and as such staying aware and in tune with what your competitors are doing is crucial to your business.
Problems will invariably surface, with or without the challenges of a pandemic. As an entrepreneur your mindset should always be to see how best to solve a problem and make it disappear. If you remain with the employee thinking cap, you may prefer to bury the problem. The truth is that problems that can be solved never disappear. They may only grow in magnitude. An entrepreneur handles a problem head on and assesses its impact and mitigates. An emp
The Employee Mindset “Create the distance from you and the problem” vs The Entrepreneur Mindset “Escape from the problem by solving it”
The Mind Switch from Employee to Entrepreneur Mindset
If you are just starting out in your business, it is easy to be challenged with self-doubt and procrastination when things do not go the way you want them.
Even a seasoned entrepreneur will have moments of doubt when faced with severe setbacks. So, it is a normal feeling to feel frustrated and disillusioned if you are not mentally geared to take on the challenges of entrepreneurship.
Remember that you are not your business and to some extent your business has a life of its own. Therefore, when challenged to need to make the mindset shift and ask yourself some questions:
- • Am I being objective?
• Am I maximizing my potential?
• Am I visible enough?
• Am I attracting the right audience for my product or service?
- • Do I have the right skills? or do I need to outsource whatever is challenging me?
These questions are just by way of example, but they will help you to stay objective about your business and engage yourself with the mindset of an entrepreneur. When things go wrong, we tend to become emotional which does not help anyone, even if this is a very normal and legitimate feeling. But by taking stock of our environment, our wins, and our challenges, we can move forward and claim our entrepreneurial mindset with success.
Finally, you need to clearly identify your three zones of being. You have your zone of genius, your zone of comfort and your zone of discomfort.
Your zone of genius is the creative part of you that is going to fuel your business energy and which you should be spending most time on. This is whatever you do that lights you up. Whatever it is that you are good at, and this zone does not ever feel that you are making an effort or working at. It is the zone that is your flow and therefore will create massive momentum for your business.
Your middle zone is the comfort zone or your capability zone. It is the zone where you produce and crunch work. Work that you are capable of doing and it does not take you too much effort to do. Finally, you have your danger zone – which is the work that you have difficulty in executing. Perhaps it is spreadsheets, or copy-writing or whatever it is that you are either not skilled or would rather not do.
Naturally, the more time you spend on your zone of genius and your comfort zone, the more productive you are going to be and the more results you will see. If you have to visit your danger zone too often, your work will start becoming a chore, and this is where you should think of delegating it to others who can do it more efficiently and better than you at a cost.
This is an effective way of shifting from the employee to the entrepreneurial mindset with clarity and vision.
Strategy 5. Prioritize Your Yesses
If you have clarity in your mind what deserves a yes and what deserves a no you are going to find that it is much easier to hop on that “no train” and open the “yes doors” less often. If you are clear on what benefits your work-life balance, you will understand that this is much more than time management, but it is about life management.
People do not need you to say yes to everything that they throw at you – but they need you to show up as the best version of yourself.
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About the Author: Marie Ella is a finance major and entrepreneur who has built several 7 figure businesses. A Business Coach who specializes in helping women get a strategy from chaos and build their own financial freedom.