What I want to talk to you about today is something that gets a lot of conversation and is tossed around a lot. That is the Employee versus Entrepreneur mindset. The problem as I see it though is that most times this topic is discussed it is not a conversation that is used to enlighten people about the different ways of thinking, but to look to convince someone what the right way of thinking is. How they should think. How they should act. What they should do. It`s usually in a manner to convince them to buy or sign up for something. Have you been there before?
To me that isn`t the point of the Employee Entrepreneur Mindset discussion; why? Because not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur and not everyone is meant to be an employee! Plain and simple! The thousands of businesses that exist today could not exist if everyone wanted to be an entrepreneur and run their own business. Conversely there has to be some entrepreneurs to start the businesses to create products and services and the livelihoods that go along with them.
What I’d like to do today is simply walk through the basics of the Employee Entrepreneur Mindset discussion and ask you questions along the way. Not questions about signing up for something, or buying something, no, just questions about do you really know what mindset you have? Or what it is that you are looking for.
I read an article today that discussed how entrepreneurs are born the way they are. That it can’t be learned, it can’t be taught, and it has to be an instinct! I am a very well read individual and that means that I’m not always going to read things that I agree with. This is one of those cases. While I agree that there are different types of entrepreneurs with different skill sets and instincts, I do not think it is something that can’t be taught. The author in my opinion, contradicted himself by saying, the “entrepreneurial instinct can be a latent one, and awoken upon seeing someone else using the skill.” To me, that is being enlightened, being educated and coming to terms with the fact that you want to be an entrepreneur. To close out my point, according to the author, mathematicians are born with the ability to differentiate second order differential equations. It is just in the years of Calculus courses that awakens their “latent” ability! Ya right!
I digress and know that you can learn to be an entrepreneur as I am living proof that it can be done. Once an engineer in the automotive industry, yes I had my “latent” ability to differentiate second order differential equations awoken somewhat reluctantly over the years, I now run a very successful multi-national organization that I have built over the past 6 years. Did I have the skills I needed? No. I learned those. Did I have the desire, and I think this is where that author made a slight mistake, it’s the desire that can’t be taught. That is the burning in your belly that motivates you to do what it takes to get the job done, regardless if you are an employee or entrepreneur. When my engineering career wasn’t getting the job done for me personally, I made the switch and here I am. Enough about me though, the question is what do you want? Do you want to be an employee or entrepreneur?
For some people the thought of being an entrepreneur scares them, where others it confuses them. It confuses them as they really don’t know what being an entrepreneur means. Simply put an entrepreneur is term applied to a person who is willing to launch a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome. Sounds simple right but let me tell you don’t under estimate the simplicity of that definition.
What are the criteria that you should use to understand if becoming an entrepreneur is really what you want to do? As an individual who has gone through this change already, and having helped many others do the same thing, the following 5 items are what I feel are the key factors you should look at:
Your current level of satisfaction
How badly do you want to change? Are the items that you want to change situational based or more systemic in that they are all encompassing (i.e. need to generate more income). Can you pin point where the dissatisfaction is coming from. This soul searching can be very revealing so pay attention to what you discover!
The effort that you put into this will pay off in the end that much I guarantee. You will get a true understanding of what you “Why” is, and that will lead you to what you need to do. It may tell you that being an entrepreneur is not right for you and that just a simple job change is all you need. Great! That just saved you a lot of time and possibly money. However if you see that becoming an entrepreneur is really what you want, having your “Why” clear in your mind will make you unstoppable!
This is not about being an introvert versus an extrovert, this is more your risk tolerance. What types of risks are you willing to take? Are you the kind of person that is OK with looking at yourself in the mirror and knowing that you and only you are responsible for your success? To be disciplined enough to do the tasks that are required every day to build your business? Are you motivated by more than just money? While most successful entrepreneurs are wealthy, very few of them started simply because of the desire to earn more money.
Remember that money as a motivator will not work. As an entrepreneur your first few months may not generate a lot of money, and if money is the only motivator, the lack of it coming in may get you discouraged quickly and start to doubt your resolve! The number one entrepreneur killer, self-doubt!
Being an entrepreneur requires you to obviously plan and run your new business venture, but what a lot of people forget to pay attention to is their personal lives! This is where your planning comes in. You have to be able to run your new venture, and yes, it will take up the majority of your time when you first start. If it doesn’t something is wrong! You may not think so at the time, but before you know it your business is not growing, it’s not producing, and the money is not coming in!
You have to be able to work with your loved ones to create the proper balance. To know that there will be sacrifices made in order to get the business off the ground, and then as the months go by and you get more efficient at your business, maybe even hire a few employees, your time is not so crunched and you start to see the fruits of your labor.
Yes this is always a must! You need to have this in order to start your business venture. Now how much financing is required? Well that depends on the type of business that you are looking to get started in. It could be anything from a few hundred dollars to start a home based network marketing business part-time, to a few hundred thousand dollars to start a franchise, to an unknown amount to bring a new product or service to market. Either way, you will have to know and understand what the amount your business venture will need to be financed so you can put together your plan of action.
So now that items 1 through 4 are in order and ready, the last step is to get it going, to start, to take that first step, crawl outside of your comfort zone, walk into the world of being an entrepreneur and run at full speed and never, ever quit! That’s right… that one of the secrets… that one of the reasons why the very first thing that I always ask people who tell me they want to be entrepreneurs is “How bad do you want it?” Their level of commitment will pay off when they hit their inevitable speed bumps, and roadblocks along the their journey to success! Enough metaphors? I’m thinking the same thing…
All metaphors aside it is very empowering knowing that you are never going to quit. Instead of using a metaphor I’m going to use an example. The level of commitment that you need to have to be a successful entrepreneur is similar to the dedication and commitment that you have to your children. Those 2 AM feedings, followed by being woken up at 3AM because someone got sick, or spending all night with them until a fever breaks without ever thinking, I quit, someone else can do this, this isn’t for me. Think about that commitment to your kids, and I apologize if you don’t have any, but that level of commitment is on the same level of what you need to have to be a successful entrepreneur.
My intention here is not to scare anyone away from being an entrepreneur. I know the benefits. I understand the changes that I had to make in my life to be successful doing what I’m doing. My goal is simply to bring the information to the fore front of your mind, so if you are thinking about making a change, about changing from an employee to an entrepreneur, you clearly understand what is involved. You can do this given this is something that you truly want.
Remember that there is no one that knows you better than you. Be truthful to yourself and to your wants, and the answer and direction to take will be made clear you.
Chief Lifestyle Engineer
Jamie Messina is the Founder and Chief Lifestyles Engineer at Engineered Lifestyles. A former automotive engineer turned entrepreneur, Jamie has and continues to build a multi-million dollar Network Marking Business. Through lessons learned, pioneering new markets and the growth of his team, Jamie was able to start Engineered Lifestyles to help others do the same. Engineered Lifestyles is a not-for-profit mentoring company that allows people from all over the world to be coached and mentored to grow and succeed in their business. Regardless of the business that you are in, Engineered Lifestyles is there to help. If you are in the process of looking for a business, Engineered Lifestyles can help you understand what key things to look for when choosing your opportunity. For more information on Engineered Lifestyles you can find them on their website EngineeredLifestyles.com or search Engineered Lifestyles on Facebook for their FanPage.