A natural belief is that you can easily start a business because you’ve amassed lots of knowledge from years of working for someone else.
The first part is true. You can start a business, which I explain in Why Business Ownership is Your Next Goal.
The second part is the one that takes time to master. Transitioning from employment to self employment takes a gradual, steadfast mind shift.
I didn’t realize this for many years even though my business was and continues to be successful.
The baggage I brought into my entrepreneurial office from years at a job surfaced the moment sales started slipping. That’s when I realized I was working in my business (tasks) rather than on the business (growth). With that, I immediately sought help to start operating as a business owner.
That help allowed me to take a genuine look at how things got done, and guess what? I wasn’t the boss, I was my own employee.
There were more small tasks on my list than big goals being achieved. It was gratifying to discover what was happening so I could implement changes in myself.
How the change begins
Little by little I began acting as an owner. When I caught myself being an employee, I stopped and asked myself, “What would an owner do?” and gradually shifted my thought pattern to get out of “employee land.”
There’s an advantage to starting a business without first working for someone else. You don’t have to practice shifting your thoughts from being a worker to being the boss. However, there’s also a disadvantage. The funds to start a business are often found through saving a portion of your payroll check.
You also have access to various types of personalities, some you prefer and others you don’t. From that, you get a sense for the type of people you wish to call clients.
Three key steps
What are actions you can take now if you plan to transition to self employment or have already done so and believe you’re still thinking like an employee?
1. Evaluate your daily tasks.
What’s in the administrative category, and which ones grow your business? Ninety percent of my day focuses on marketing through speaking, writing, and training. The other 10 percent is for general office upkeep. That’s a huge change from the 90 percent office, 10 percent marketing that once occurred.
2. Plan your day by the hour.
You must decide how every minute of your day will proceed. For example, by lunchtime I will have written several pages for a new book, distributed a press release to numerous trade magazines, and contacted at least two people in my network as a stay-in-touch procedure. If you don’t make a schedule before you begin, you’ll find yourself accomplishing little to nothing.
3. Make time for education.
There’s lots of information online and in books on how to develop your entrepreneurial lifestyle. The content won’t tell you everything but will provide you with a framework to map out your own methods. It takes time to settle into a growth mindset, so don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t happen overnight. Stay focused. Recognize when you slip back into employee mode, and consider pursuing the task with a boss mentality.
The results are worth it
Thinking like an entrepreneur as you leave a traditional job is one area of self employment that’s rarely discussed. Yet, the outcome of not making a mental shift can end your business and take you back to employment. Make time to learn how to be the boss so your business thrives.