7 Mindset Shifts To Go From Employee To Entrepreneur

Do you have the right mindset to succeed as an entrepreneur?

Maybe you’ve already decided on a business idea and filed the paperwork to register your business. You’ve read some books or taken a course or two. Those are the typical steps that new entrepreneurs take. However, they often neglect one crucial component of entrepreneurial success: mindset.

Making the transition from employee to entrepreneur requires more than learning about marketing and sales. If you’ve only ever worked as an employee, you’re probably accustomed to certain ways of thinking and doing things. Unfortunately, those thinking patterns may not be conducive to building a successful business.

To become a successful entrepreneur, there are specific mindset shifts you’ll need to make. Because let’s face it: you can have all the best tools in the world, but if your mindset isn’t geared towards success, you won’t make it. In this post, I will go over 7 major mindset shifts that are necessary to go from employee to entrepreneur. 

Let go of the fear of failure. 

The school system teaches us from a young age that failure is a bad thing that we should avoid at all costs. It punishes us for making mistakes. When you get questions wrong on a test, you get a bad grade. If you get too many bad grades, you’ll fail the class. If you fail a class, you’ll upset your parents, and your classmates will think you’re dumb.

Because of this social conditioning, many of us grow up with a deep fear of failure. We view it as something fatal when it is in fact just a natural part of learning. When you become an entrepreneur, you must let go of any fears you have about failure immediately. Failure is an integral part of entrepreneurship. When you take the risk of starting a business, you are guaranteed to fail at something along the way. 

  • Your first product may flop. 
  • Facebook may disapprove your ads 
  • Customers may ask for a refund

Failure is just feedback about what doesn’t work. As long as you learn from it, you’re still making progress. Three years into my entrepreneurial journey, I have failed so many times that I don’t even bat an eyelid when something goes wrong. I just make a note of what went wrong and keep moving. If you’re not comfortable with failure right now, becoming an entrepreneur will quickly change that. I used to be a hardcore perfectionist who wanted to do everything right the first time. Now, I’m completely okay with failing as long as I don’t make the same mistake twice. 

Sell your results, not your time

When you’re an employee, you’re paid based on your time. Even if you’re not productive the entire 40 hours or however long you work, you can still expect your paycheck every two weeks. That completely changes when you become an entrepreneur. Say goodbye to a biweekly paycheck. 

Entrepreneurs get paid based on results, not time. That’s what makes an entrepreneur’s income exponential. For instance, let’s say you create an online course that helps people invest in real estate. You’re selling a result: making money from real estate. The marketplace doesn’t care how many hours it took you to create the course. As long as your students make money from real estate and leave testimonials, you can continue to attract more customers. You earn money whenever someone purchases your course, not when you physically show up to work. In that way, you go from trading time for money to divorcing your time from your income. 

Even if you sell a done-for-you service, coaching, or consulting, you’re still selling results in the form of a transformation. People come to you because they have a painful problem that you can eliminate from their lives. The faster you can solve that problem, the more you can charge. This is why it’s a terrible idea to charge by the hour as a coach or consultant. This is based on the employee mindset of trading time for money. Do not sell your time! It severely limits your earning potential, just like a job does. Sell the result you can deliver – that’s what consumers care about. 

Think like a producer instead of a consumer

From birth, we are conditioned to be consumers. You wanted a barbie doll or a Tonka truck for your 7th birthday. When became old enough to drive, you wanted a cool car. We are bombarded by advertisements urging us to buy something every single day on TV or online. This is especially true if you live in a consumer-driven economy like the United States.

When you become an entrepreneur, you have to shift your focus from buying to selling. You must train yourself to look for problems and opportunities in the marketplace. This includes paying attention to what people around you complain about, what needs are unmet in your own life, and how existing products you use can be improved. After a few years of being an entrepreneur, you’ll naturally find yourself noticing problems and coming up with new product ideas. 

Take responsibility for your results – good or bad

When you run your own business, you take on a new level of responsibility. The success or failure of your venture comes down to your and your leadership abilities. Even if you’re a solopreneur, you still need to step up as a leader to market your business and build your brand. You’re responsible for making all the big decisions.

Whether or not you achieve your business goals, you have to take responsibility for your results. You can’t blame the economy, your parents, your boss, or your coworkers if something doesn’t work. Victimhood has no place in entrepreneurship. This is your business, and your results stem from your capabilities. If you’re not achieving the results you want, that’s fine. Take the time to analyze what’s working and what’s not. Spend more time researching your target customer. Hire a coach or consultant. Repackage your offer. There is a plethora of steps you can take to turn things around. 

On the flip side, celebrate your wins! Whether they are big or small, it’s important to celebrate your business successes. Doing so reinforces that pattern of success and makes you eager to go out and achieve more wins. 

Break the rules

If you don’t follow the rules set by your employer, you get fired. The 9 to 5 job system is not kind to rule breakers. I learned that the hard way. At my first job out of college, I naively decided to create a project to make a process more efficient. I spent hours working on this project instead of responding to customer service requests. Even worse, I didn’t ask my boss for permission to work on the side project. Long story short, I didn’t stay at that job for long. 

As an entrepreneur, there are no rules and standard operating procedures you have to follow. There’s no one to answer to except your customers. You create the rules. That’s one of the benefits of being an entrepreneur: you have the freedom to design your work life as you see fit. Of course, there are still laws you need to follow to operate your business. However, the day-to-day management of your business is up to you. Want to experiment with a new ad campaign? Go ahead. Want to rebrand your business? Sure. You don’t need to ask anyone for permission. In addition, you can experiment and innovate to your heart’s content. 

Get comfortable with uncertainty

In the early stages of your entrepreneurial journey, you may not know where your next client will come from or whether your next product launch will be a success.

Until you create a repeatable process to drive sales, there is a great deal of uncertainty. Some people can’t handle not knowing where their next paycheck will come from. This causes too much anxiety, and they have financial obligations to meet. That’s okay. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. That’s part of my goal with this post: to show the realities of what entrepreneurs deal with on a day to day basis. 

If you read through this aren’t fazed then maybe you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

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