3 Ways to Break Free of an Employee Mindset

November 25, 2014

6:30 pm

Entrepreneurs run businesses. They call the shots, take on the responsibility, and fulfill the role of boss.

At least, they should. But too many of us get tripped up because we think like employees in someone else's business, not owners of our own ventures.

Employee mindset is the collection of beliefs, thoughts, and opinions you hold when working for and answering to someone else. It can see you avoiding parts of your business that feel overwhelming, struggling to make the big decisions necessary for growth, and looking for ways to coast instead of hustling every day.

It may sound a little woo-woo or fluffy, but your mindset does matter. The way you think about your work and your business as an entrepreneur has a direct effect on the success you can have with both. And the wrong point of view can hold you back.

If you're guilty of maintaining that employee mindset even after launching your own business, you need to break free. Start here.

Create Systems and Processes

Employees can rely on the systems and processes already in place in the business they work for. They can follow the guidelines (and their job descriptions), and they've done well.

Entrepreneurs don't get this luxury. It's on you to take the initiative to:

  • set a schedule and stick to it.
  • develop systems that allow you to make money.
  • create processes that guide your work for maximum innovation and efficiency.
  • delegate time-intensive tasks so you can put your own time and energy into skill-intensive work.

Your Clients Are Clients, Not Managers or Bosses

As an entrepreneur, you need to strive to provide value to your clients. You need to make your customers happy and provide them with a wonderful service or product (and fantastic experience, no matter what you give them).

But they are not the boss. You are, remember?

While everyone will have to deal with difficult or demanding clients, they are clients and not managers. In working with you, they agree to play by your rules and respect your boundaries.

Of course, they can't do that if you don't set them and enforce them in the first place. Make this a priority and remember that this is your business, not theirs.

Respect Your Own Time and Guard It Carefully

Employees don't get much of a choice as to how they spend time at work. They have a set system they operate within and there's not much they can do to deviate from it.

As an entrepreneur, you know you're the boss. You know you get the freedom and flexibility to set your own schedule and work on your own projects. So take advantage.

Your time is the most valuable thing you have. Guard it well and use it wisely.

Don't have meetings you don't want to have. Don't work with people that make you miserable. Don't get bogged down in tasks that you absolutely gate.

Yes, you're the boss — and that means you're the only one responsible for how your spend your time.

What action do you take to help you break out of that employee mindset so you can start thinking like an entrepreneur?

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Kali Hawlk is a writer and content manager who specializes in helping financial businesses. She’s a member of the Heroic Search content team and authors Common Sense Millennial. You can connect with her by tweeting @KaliHawlk.