Are You Thinking Like an Entrepreneur or Employee?

Having a JOB and starting a business do not have to be mutually exclusive.  The tricky part of this isn’t even about how much time you spend on each endeavor, although it can be very challenging to do both. The tricky part is where you focus your attention and how you perceive your work world.


Let’s look at the differences between the hypothetical mindset of an employee vs an entrepreneur:



Employee                                                                                Entrepreneur

Regular paycheck                                                                Unlimited income potential

Orders                                                                                    Options

The office                                                                               World headquarters

Co-workers                                                                           Collaborators

Grumbling                                                                             Gratitude

Stagnation                                                                             Innovation

Servitude                                                                               Freedom

Pleasing others                                                                   Pleasing yourself

Routine                                                                                  Flexibility

Having a boss                                                                      Being the boss

Blend in                                                                                 Stand out

Complacent                                                                          Curious

Victim of circumstance                                                       Creator of own destiny

Feeling small                                                                        Feeling tall

Commiserate                                                                        Brainstorm

The toughest one for most is the first, the money issue.  We live in a culture that trains us from childhood to follow the rules, work hard, know the right answers and teachers will reward you with good grades. These lessons groom us for the employee mentality.  Be at work on time, work hard, maybe you can get a good “grade” resulting in the reward of a raise. By virtue of our jobs, we live around set schedules of when to sleep, eat, go to work, take a break, go home and take vacations.  It is a very structured life.  Step out of the job world and you are suddenly free of the schedules, the structure, the expectations of employers and co-workers.  The very ambiguity sends some would be entrepreneurs back to the perceived security of the J-O-B.  With the recent trend of downsizing, furloughing, and layoffs, there is no longer security in having a job. (Was there ever?)

Why not consider doing your own enterprise?  Use your skills and talents in a way that is not only personally satisfying but also fills a need in the marketplace?  One of the advantages is actually the ambiguity. When you don’t know what’s coming next, you are pushed to be creative, to stretch your imagination and to live outside your “comfort zone”.  If you try out an idea, a service or product and you don’t get the results you want you get to improvise, improve the design or create something different.  It’s wonderfully empowering to use your own skills, talents and abilities to turn an idea into a product or service that serves others and brings you income.  Not ready to leave the JOB?  That’s okay, you can always do a little business on the side and see where it grows!  Just remember to focus on thinking like an entrepreneur.

“You can do or be whatever you want in your own life.  Nothing can stop you, except your own fears.  Don’t blame anyone else…you have the power to make the decision.  Just do it.”            – Nola Diamantopoulos

“Victory always starts in the head.  It’s a state of mind.  It then spreads with such radiance and such affirmations that destiny can do nothing but obey.”  –Douchan Gersi

And one more thing, a nod to Barbara J. Winter who taught me the importance of thinking like an entrepreneur.  Putting two columns and comparing employee mindset to entrepreneur was her idea and I borrowed some of her definitions.   Check out her site:  joyfully jobless for support on the entrepreneurial journey.