Making the mental switch from employee to entrepreneur can be a challenge. In fact, some of the work habits you perfected as a good employee may not necessarily translate well into the world of an entrepreneur. While a great idea and connections are important, there is more to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Here are some tips to help you adjust.
Learning to say no
Saying no may be foreign to you, because when you were an employee you probably got used to saying yes. This was a good thing. It meant you were someone that could be counted on, someone who would go the extra mile. However, this approach won’t work as well as an entrepreneur. Agreeing to and doing everything just isn’t possible. As the owner, you’ll have a busier schedule with more responsibilities. Your new role is to set the agenda rather than follow someone else’s lead. Adjust your mindset to saying “no” to everything but your main priorities and directing the activities of others to get things done.
Wearing multiple hats
When you were a company employee there was somebody above you to call if there was an issue with the computer network, an order, or a customer. As an entrepreneur, you’ll be the one employees turn to with issues and questions. Before you venture out on your own, ask yourself if you’re comfortable taking on multiple roles if need be, even if they are less than glamorous. Because you’re now at the top of the proverbial ladder, you’ll need to be knowledgeable about all facets of your business. You’ll also need to be resourceful since you’ll be the one tasked with making sure the IT problems get fixed for example. While you definitely shouldn’t try (or expect yourself) to do everything that needs to be done, you should have a list of people you can call on to handle the things that are better handled by someone other than you.
Letting go of perfection
You might be used to working for a big company whose goals were near perfection. You might have even had to perform revision after revision before something was ready to go out. As a small business owner, you won’t have that kind of time and resources. Perfectionism becomes a liability. Your business will slow down if you try to make it your job to see that every detail is perfect. Hire amazing, talented people, stay focused on the high-priority items and provide your clients with the best you have to give, but accept that perfection is a myth.
Working long hours
Often people think of the entrepreneur lifestyle as working short weeks and logging in from a beach somewhere. While this might be technically possible once your business is well established and flourishing, it is far from a reality for most business owners. Most entrepreneurs need to work longer hours and make the tough choices between work and family life. This is why it is important to do something you love and have processes in place that optimize your productivity. Even though starting and running your own business requires a huge time commitment, you can still attain a balance between work and family with good time management processes in place.
[wpob id=”5″] Coping with social isolation
When you worked for someone else, you may have complained about your co-workers talking too loud or your manager being too demanding. However, once you leave to go work for yourself, you might be surprised how much you miss talking to Steve in the break room or relying on Mary to make you a copy. At first, the lack of social interaction might be a shock and can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed by the struggles and challenges you’re facing. You’ll be the one steering the ship and it can be lonely at the top, so be prepared. Find a group of entrepreneurs to network with. This will not only generate new relationships, but will also give you a place to go for advice and support.
Create a fund
If possible, put away 3-6 month’s worth of expenses before you leave your job to start your business. Because you may not have a consistent paycheck like you did at your last job, it is a good idea to have a bit of a safety net. This will hopefully keep you focused and have you worrying less as you start out. Once your new business is up and running – and bringing in revenue – using the Profit First method of revenue allocation will keep you strong and ensure that you have the profit and reserve funds you need for your business to be financially healthy.
Shifting from employee to boss can indeed be tricky, but the rewards can make the challenges worthwhile. With an awareness of how the change will affect you, you will be well on your way to making the dream of owning your own business come true.
Need help setting up the processes and systems that will create the environment for productivity and profitability in your business? Contact Cathy at Cathy@TheProductivityExperts.com or 314.267.3969 TODAY!