5 Tips for Moving from Employee to Entrepreneur

Are you an Entrepreneur or a Want-to-preneur?

We all know someone who talks about starting a business. They dream without setting goals that will move them closer to a reality. These are today’s want-to-preneurs.

Nearly everyone, at one time or another, has experienced the dreaded boss or workplace. We work too hard for very little compensation or appreciation and the moment an economic breeze shifts, we can be left hanging in the wind.

We all love having a steady, predictable income. If you’re lucky enough to have a job you love, this article isn’t for you. If you fight feelings of frustration, the best solution to cure disliking your job is to become your own boss.

What will it take to develop an entrepreneur spirit that can survive the millions of new want-to-be businesses? Understanding the difference between dreaming and planning for success is one of the most valuable tools an entrepreneur can possess.

Gaebler entrepreneurs are the people who excel when all the odds are against them. They have a plan, goals, deadlines and work ethics. Gaeblers’ know how to persevere and succeed when others don’t think they can or will.

Entrepreneurship is invigorating, infuriating, exhilarating and exhausting. Business can be demanding which makes multi-tasking a daily requirement. Realizing your career goals depends heavily on your longevity, here are five tips for sustaining yourself:

  • Be your own client. If you were coaching yourself into success, what tough and supportive things would you counsel for and against? If you never got paid, what could you get up every day and do? If your goal is to create financially freedom, understand there will be long days ahead before your business is lucrative and passion better carry you through those times. Make a list of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Keep your list in a place where you can see it daily.
  • Set goals. Realistic, measurable, and time-sensitive goals work best. Take time to plan well, then work the plan. Not setting goals is like driving across country without a road map—you might get there and you might not.
  • Say “Yes” to new experiences and opportunities. If it’s not illegal, fatal or too far off your goals, try it. Experiences often teach you more about yourself and help you think outside-the-box. Sometimes a new experience can point your career in a direction you never thought about, and sometimes experiences may demonstrate the wrong direction. Both are equally valuable.
  • Listen more than you talk. Ask people what they do, what made them go that direction, what their greatest regret and proudest moments are and what advice they would pass along. People want to talk about their success and pass on golden nuggets and trade secrets. Let them. Be a sponge.
  • Criticism and Cheerleading. Understand that both criticism and cheerleading serve valuable purposes. Don’t be afraid to ask how you’re doing. Realize criticism is about your work, not about you. Listen to others’ assessments, and praise, but also understand that there is a time to agree with them and make a change, and there is a time to thank them politely and let the information fall on deaf ears.

Keep several people around you for growth:

  • Engage someone you can look up to that is further down the path than you are and learn from them.
  • Keep several people around you who love everything you do; they’re valuable when you need to lick your wounds. They generally aren’t professionals, so don’t put too much stock in what they say, but heal your rejections with them. They’ll put you back in the game.
  • Peers are a great place to talk shop, commiserate together, and build up your confidence.
  • Associate with people who are nothing like you. They are an excellent source of new ideas, shining a light into yourself that you didn’t know existed, and appreciating views of life and business different from your own.
  • Choose these people wisely; seek people who inspire synergy.

Evaluate where you are and where you want to be. Focus on the things you do well, and put your energy into doing what only you can do. The peripheral items that need to be completed hand off to others. Those necessary but time expensive business items farm out, barter, or trade any way you can until you are able to pay for help.

Ask yourself, “Am I a want-to-preneur or an entrepreneur?” Strength comes from knowing yourself best. Don’t waste your time and energy attempting to be an entrepreneur when you’d rather be an employee, and today’s business world is ripe for becoming an entrepreneur if you have the gaebler spirit.

*This article first published with The GoodMen Project by Pamala J Vincent


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