Have You Shaken the Employee Mindset Yet?

There are some very distinct differences between the way you think when you are an employee and the way you need to think as an Entrepreneur.

Let’s start with an exercise.

One day in the near future you find out you have won a lottery. You didn’t even know you had a ticket, but it is true, you have won $1 million dollars. This is really exciting to you, as it would be for anyone. So what are the top three things you are going to do with that money?




I remember the first time I did this exercise. I was just looking into starting a business and was taking some preliminary workshops to evaluate my “entrepreneurial aptitude”. My top three answers were:

1. Pay off debt

2. Take my family on a vacation

3. Renovations for my home

Other things I heard people say on this day were things like: invest in my RSP, do something nice for my parents, share the winnings with my family… etc. There was nothing truly extravagant. What was not evident in anyone’s answer at this point was investing in their business. We were all still employees with an employee outlook on our future.

So let’s look at three key employee mindsets that if not shaken can drastically affect your ability to grow your business and a counter statement you can use to help transition fully to an entrepreneurs mindset.

1. How much do I get paid per hour?

When you sell your services by the hour it is hard to show value in your offering and it is hard to make more then you are willing to work. To leverage your business you need to be able to make more money than you could be paid as an hourly wage earner. If you cannot do this then you have just created a job for yourself.

Counter statement – What profit do I make on that?

2. Thank God it’s Friday?

You may have business hours but it does not mean you are free from your business at 5pm every Friday. In fact, days may run together and the importance of a specific day of the week will likely become connected to “billing day” or events, etc. In an Entrepreneurs mindset you are more likely to be happy when Monday comes around because you can contact your clients and make more money. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, not a weekly job.

Counter statement – Is it Friday already?

3. Not My Department!

You may never have uttered these words before, but I think it is safe to say you have thought it at some time as an employee. Did you ever see the trash filled, the toilet paper roll empty, a broken chair arm, etc. and leave it for someone else to look after? When you are an Entrepreneur everything in your business is your responsibility, even if you have hired someone to look after it, as you are 100% responsible for them too.

Counter statement – What do I have to do to fix this?

Being an Entrepreneur does not turn on at 9am and go away at lunch or for breaks, it does not pay you until you make a profit, and it requires you to take responsibility for all aspects of its growth and operations. If you still feel yourself leaning towards the employee mindset in your business then look for a mentor to help motivate you to find a new direction so you can create something amazing.

Check out the book “Small Business An Entrepreneur’s Plan”, by Ron Knowles and Chris Castillo [Table 1.4, page 10] for a full list of comparative statements.

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