How to overcome the employee mindset

I am building a business with a young, dynamic and creative team. Often times I struggle with switching between the employee mindset and the business mindset. I know that to succeed in both formal employment and business I need to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. In this article I highlight a couple of things I have learnt so far.

1. Taking responsibility. As an employee I am not fully responsible for the survival of the company I work for. As a business owner I take full responsibility for whatever goes on. I have to worry about payroll and meeting the bottom line.

2. Time schedule. As an employee I am required to work from 8.00am to 5.00pm. As an entrepreneur there are no time limits. You have to deliver results. The team works crazy hours and I often times have to work on Saturdays and Sundays.

3. Planning. At work I only have to worry about my work schedule for the day. As a business owner I have to plan for the long term sustainability of the business venture.

4. Skill sets. As an employee the skill sets I deploy are rather quite limited and confined to my job description. As a business owner I need to know multiple things. I need to understand sales and marketing. I need to understand production, strategy, team development, finances, etc.

5. People development. As an employee my role in people development is limited to the people I supervise directly. As a business owner it is my responsibility to ensure that the team is well facilitated, motivated, and trained.

6. Risk. There is more short term certainty in employment as you are guaranteed a monthly salary. As a business owner there is no salary. You only get paid when there is profit.

7. Growth potential. In employment, growth is limited to the available salary scale. In business your income growth is only limited by your imagination. You can get more customers. You can create more products. You can hire more people.

8. Stress. There is considerably less stress in employment which is mainly confined to your job role. In business stress comes from all directions. Motivating employees can be challenging. Paying bills. Customers rejecting your product. Machine breakdowns and a myriad of other problems.

9. Fulfillment. Employment can be fulfilling if one is in a role which fits their personality and value system. In business you have a chance to fully express what you are capable of in the business venture you choose. You have a chance to create a business machine which changes the economies of the community, the employees, and the business owners.

10. Long term view. Business makes the world go around. We are either working in business as employees or we are building businesses as entrepreneurs. We are either helping someone else build their dream or we are creating our own dream.

What I have learnt is that if you dream of going into business you need to start now. The timing will never be perfect. As you move towards your dream things will become clearer and any obstacles will be resolved as they appear. Also be braced for the challenges you will experience and prepare in advance to persevere through it all.

Ultimately the reward is the journey and the person you eventually become.

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