Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur is a leap not many can do efficiently. But when accomplished, the result is a thriving business in the community. It’s often easy to forget that every business owner at some point was an employee of another. The big difference between the two roles is mindset. While employees and owners both want the business to succeed, their positions feature fundamental differences.
As an entrepreneur, you create the standards of the business, and no one gives you a checklist of what you need to accomplish. You don’t receive direction from anyone on how to move forward or expand. As an employee, you work for someone else and don’t have much wiggle room in what you do. The owner creates your rules and day-to-day activities.
The entrepreneur must decide how to resolve issues and implement the resolutions for the business. The employee works for someone else and receives directions on what he or she does every day. Employees have less freedom in their jobs, and work is just part of their life. For entrepreneurs, their work is their life.
An entrepreneur can say no to opportunities, while an employee might feel obligated to say yes to undesirable tasks. When looking at opportunities, owners must ask what is best for the business, not themselves. They must look at the big picture and decide how to move forward for their company. They can’t say yes to everything, for doing so would waste resources on ventures that won’t benefit the business. In contrast, employees may feel that they have to say yes to every opportunity for fear of missing out. They believe they must work more to get noticed, so they tend to accept everything given to them.
Instead of focusing on what they can improve, entrepreneurs bet on their strengths. They don’t waste time wondering how they can improve their weaknesses, instead focusing on perfecting their strengths. Employees, on the other hand, try to succeed at everything by improving their weaknesses. They want to become well-rounded workers, which is what their employers want them to be.
Because business leaders are responsible for multiple things, they must delegate tasks. Time is a valuable resource that cannot be wasted on things that won’t benefit the business in the long run. As an entrepreneur, you need to understand what needs your attention and what doesn’t, and delegate the latter to others. As an employee, you instead tend to function as a one-person team. You believe you must complete everything on your own, and asking for help is a sign of weakness.
Becoming an entrepreneur is challenging and requires a specific mindset. You shouldn’t view opportunities from an “employee mindset”— you must take small steps to change how you think. Over time, it will become more manageable to remain within that “entrepreneur mindset.”