From Employee to Entrepreneur: What You Need to Do to Change Your Mindset

Once you take the plunge and open up a franchise, you’re no longer an employee. You’re an entrepreneur. In order to be the most effective leader possible, here is what you need to do to change your mindset when you shift into entrepreneur mode.

Assume responsibility. When you are an employee, someone else is usually calling the shots. The boss lets you know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. When you are an entrepreneur, you are in control. There is no one above you telling you what needs to be done. But that means you also need to be prepared to assume total responsibility. You need to be prepared to make the big decisions about what needs to be done, when, and how. You can’t afford to wait around for things to happen or for someone else to step up and take charge.

Get used to being uncomfortable. Being an entrepreneur requires that you step outside of your comfort zone. You need to see what others don’t, test new ideas, venture into new territory, and take risks. In order to do this successfully, you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This requires courage, a thick skin, a great attitude, and an ability to persevere in spite of criticism and rejection.

Develop a sense of objectivity. As an entrepreneur, it is important that you love your business. But it is also crucial that you are able to evaluate it objectively. As an entrepreneur, you’re not working in your business, you’re working on it. You need to be able to objectively evaluate your progress, identify problems, and work to fix them.

Anticipate failure. In a study conducted by Duke University and the University of Southern California, 549 successful company founders said that the most important reason for their success was their ability to learn from mistakes. The bottom line is that entrepreneurship is a journey. The path is filled with obstacles, potholes, and detours. You will likely make mistakes. However, a mistake isn’t the end of the world. Failure can be an incredibly powerful learning experience and can actually make you a better entrepreneur in the long run.   

Recognize that learning is continuous. When you’re an employee, you have a specific job description that requires the use of a specific skillset. But when you’re an entrepreneur, there is no specific skillset required. So unless you have the funds to outsource everything you aren’t good at or don’t want to do, you need to be willing and able to do everything in your business. That means learning new skills, mastering unfamiliar technology, and doing unfamiliar tasks. Studies of Stanford alumni have shown that people with a greater variety of roles in previous jobs, and subsequently a broader skillset, are more likely to become successful entrepreneurs. While not all entrepreneurs are experts, most have a broad skillset. The bottom line? As an entrepreneur, you should always be learning. What needs to be done has to be done — and you need to be ready and able to do it.

Pay attention to the numbers. As an entrepreneur, you need to learn to love numbers. They provide valuable insight into how your business is growing and progressing — as well as whether or not your business is profitable. So get comfortable looking at the books and speaking with your accountant.

Be willing to break the rules. When you are an employee, breaking the rules is never a good idea. It could get you fired or, at the very least, reprimanded. However, when you are an entrepreneur, breaking the rules is necessary. Entrepreneurs are always looking for new ways to do things, and they aren’t afraid to think outside of the box.



Article by Jason Duncan, CEO/Founder of ManagerComplete is an online software application that helps multi-unit franchises manage operations effectively. Follow him on Twitter for latest updates.