One of the toughest transitions to make is switching from being an employee to being an entrepreneur. It really does require a different kind of mindset. In a lot of cases, the changes that need to take place in your thinking have to be dramatic. That’s because the thinking patterns of an employee are vastly different from the business owner. Clearly, an entrepreneur’s mindset has to be different.
As an employee, you devote most of your energies to one aspect of that business. You may not even like the job you have, but learn to be satisfied because you get a steady paycheck for the time you spend on that job.
The entrepreneur shoulders all of the responsibility
The business owner, on the other hand, has a lot more going on. As the head honcho, you are responsible for the success or failure of that enterprise. It’s all on you to make all of the decisions — what to do, how to do it and when to do it. On top of that, you must learn to live with the results of those decisions, both good and bad.
As the top person, you’re no longer a specialist of sorts. You’ve got to be on top of the entire operation, or at least have some capable and skilled help to assist you in keeping the business moving forward and earning a profit.
You’re in a position to create something from nothing as the one who’s calling the shots. That’s rarely the case if you’re an employee. With those who run businesses, there tends to be a sense of urgency to recognize opportunities quickly and implement a viable strategy to generate growth for the business. In that position, it’s not about having other folks tell you how to proceed. You are the one who’s tasked to make things happen.
Making adjustments on the fly comes with the territory
Perhaps the most challenging part of changing roles from follower to leader is understanding how to make adjustments on the fly. Employees tend to think in very structured ways about their jobs. As the business owner, those limitations shouldn’t exist. For the owner, it’s all about understanding that in his or her thinking, there is no box.
Being able to pull this off is no easy feat. It takes some fortitude, a short memory and a willingness to shake off rejection and criticism. In other words, you soon learn that your “comfort zone” is always changing because of the dynamics involved in running a business.
Ultimately, the success of a business is measured by its ability to continue growing in spite of economic ups and downs. As an entrepreneur, your concerns about finances go way beyond the basics of cash flow. You become heavily involved in that aspect because it represents the lifeblood of that business.
Having an understanding of the principles and nuances of generating income and controlling costs are critical. It could spell the difference between the enterprise staying afloat or shutting down operations for good.
Having a passion for what you do is a must
Perhaps the biggest challenge in changing mindsets is how passionate you are about your business. You can do well as an employee and not be passionate about what you’re doing. A lack of passion for the entrepreneur, however, can prove downright disastrous.
Given the level of dedication and commitment it takes to build and sustain a business, passion is a must. Without it, you’re like an employee to “works in” the business to get a job done instead of the entrepreneur who “works on” the business to keep it headed in the right direction.
One final factor to consider involves time. Because of the natures of their roles, entrepreneurs and workers have different perspectives. Employees typically have a set time frame, and that’s true even when you include overtime hours.
Concept of time is very different for the biz owner
While it’s true that entrepreneurs aren’t chained to a desk, they have a different outlook about time compared to people who work on a salary or get paid by the hour. During their waking hours, “the business” is usually on their minds. It’s a continuous exercise as they examine how well the business is performing and what areas can be improved on.
No doubt, the demands are greater for the entrepreneur when compared to the demands placed on the employee. Even so, change is taking place. There’s still much uncertainty in the job market. On the other hand, there’s an increase in the number of people who are earning a living in internet marketing.
Clearly, these webpreneurs are finding that in spite of the challenges, the rewards make it all worthwhile. You just have to know what you’re facing and be ready to make the necessary adjustments in how you think.
Having the right mindset for business or any other endeavor should never be underestimated. I welcome all feedback about this topic or anything else you’d like to discuss. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.