It might be the most challenging part.
The shift in thinking from employee to entrepreneur, that is, when beginning to run your own business.
It's not easy. It takes time. And it takes perseverance to push through old ways of thinking. But if you're more cut out to be an entrepreneur than an employee, it's so worth it.
If you're considering transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, or know someone who is, read on to know a bit more what to expect from the rumblings in a newbie 'treps' head.
Once the doors of my old workplace closed nearly seven years ago, it took me six months to no longer think of myself as an employee, and to get rid of employee-oriented thinking. Twenty years in corporate America did a number on me.
Employee-thinking gets ingrained in us, in ways we don't recognize until it no longer serves us well.
As an entrepreneur, you need to think almost the opposite of what you likely have been trained to do as an employee.
I'll share three of my biggest re-thinks when I morphed from one to the other. There are plenty more. Consider the following as samplings from a starter plate..
1. As an entrepreneur, you are now a lifelong learner and jack of all trades. You're no longer a specialist confined to playing in one box. You need to be okay with being a continual novice, continually learning, and be okay with being uncomfortable, in so many ways. You will never know it all. You will be constantly watching for and learning new trends, tips, and technology for all the many facets involved in running a business. About the only thing I still miss from my employee days is having an IT department to call on when technology goes kaflooey and/or beyond my capabilities. Yes, there are services you can contract with, but unless you already have funds you can allocate to a service, you are your own IT department. Google, for IT issues and many others, will become your new best friend. I can't tell you how many softwares I've learned along the way. I'm largely self-taught, often using YouTube videos. If you find yourself giving up quickly when learning something new, entrepreneurship may not be for you.
2. As an entrepreneur, you are creative. If you find yourself saying you're not a creative person, banish that idea from your persona. You'll constantly be figuring out workarounds and how to pull lots of pieces together for wherever your business is at the moment. You'll be thinking outside the box, instead of working within old boxy parameters. Rules have little place in the world of entrepreneurship. So if you're tied to rules, you might want to go back to corporate America, where rules rule their world. If you're a rule-buster like me, you never fit in well there anyway, and entrepreneurship gives you the freedom you need to succeed, the freedom that you've always relished. In fact, rule-breaking is required in the world of entrepreneurs. If you're a true entrepreneur at heart, this comes naturally to you. If not, it may be a struggle you'll want to prepare yourself for. Rules schmules.
3. As an entrepreneur, you own all of it. Everything. Good. Bad. Ugly. Big decisions. Small decisions. When to work. When not to work. Lunch breaks. Afternoon breaks. No breaks. There is no one telling you anything. It's all on you. Unless you seek out information or advice, it's just one big empty, silent environment you're working in. There are no real holidays or weekends anymore. You will either be thinking or doing 24/7. You don't leave it at the office. The office is you. Wherever you are. Wherever you go. Unless you have a no-holds-barred passion for what your business is about, it can easily become a drain on your mind, body, psyche. Be sure you love it beyond anything that makes sense. If you don't, it will be an uphill battle every day. Make sure it's something you would do for free, if you could. It may seem exactly like that's what you're doing sometimes, especially early on. Some people can be motivated merely by money, but that's not the norm for most entrepreneurs. Maybe for business owners, but not entrepreneurs. There is a difference.
So there you have it. The three biggest mind morphings I had to do when transitioning from a corporate minion to doing my own thing.
It's not been smooth or easy. I've launched and relaunched a few times, and am doing so again. But I keep at it, always incorporating more of what I've learned.
I'll share more encouragement tomorrow in my YouTube video - encouragement toward stepping out of your corporate box and following your own path. Subscribe to my newsletter to get it emailed to you on Wednesday.
Stepping out of the box is worth it, despite what some may say. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Those who don't get it don't always support others pursuing it. But this is your box, your life, your choice. Many of us support you in making the leap. Including me.
About Kris Harty: Kris Harty is founder and CEO of shortCHICK, llc, She brings perspective and wisdom to the table, and helps smart people like you move from overwhelm and obstacles, to over it and moving on, in life and work, Step by Step. She's a speaker, author, podcaster, and creative, giving voice to hope, joy, encouragement, and wisdom.
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