We all love the storyline that goes like this: When you have your own business, you’ll be able to…
√ Live in your yoga pants.
√ Work out whenever you want.
√ Meet your smiling bubbly kids at the bus stop
√ Run errands while the rest of the world is at work.
√ Take 3-week vacations on tiny islands that serve drinks with little umbrellas in them.
This is the fun part, right? It’s our (somewhat inflated) idea of freedom.
And…I’ll let you in on a secret that me and my Uplevel coaches are passionate about…
(HINT: We’ve helped hundreds of clients cut the cord and leave their jobs.)
The true test of whether or not you’ll succeed at running a business is not how much you crave freedom. That’s a given. You’re an entrepreneur after all.
The true test of entrepreneurial success is in your mindset. With freedom comes responsibility. Which means that when you leave your job, you may have to re-wire your brain.
Here are the most challenging psychological shifts our clients must make as they leave jobs and turn into full-time entrepreneurs…
1 – When you were an employee, you had a boss.
Now that you’re your own boss, you have to be the one to determine your strategy. You have to be the one to set the schedule. You have to be the one to manage this unmanageable thing called YOU. (I devote an entire week to this in my Uplevel Your Business™ Program.)
This might sound like no big deal – but it’s probably the hardest part of the entrepreneurial journey especially when someone realizes that she’s a much worse boss than any she’s ever had.
2 – When you were an employee, you had deadlines.
In my work with clients, I call this part “Managing your Power.” In other words, you’re a force-field of energy, ideas, and creativity.
This means that you are going to have to find ways to access your power without fire-hosing your brain, your schedule, your timeline or your clients.
If you don’t learn how to do this, you’ll end up splattered and overwhelmed.
When you were an employee, your company probably knew this about you, so they broke down projects into deadlines, timelines, milestones and meetings. Learning how to do this for yourself is another matter altogether.
3 – When you were an employee, you had to, you know, not wear pajamas to work.
I know. I know. Your bathrobe rocks.
But the thing is, it’s possible to take this too far.
There’s a psychology behind dressing up and looking the part. This doesn’t mean you have to wear pantyhose. But you may wake up one day and look in the mirror at your cat-hair covered yoga pants, unwashed hair and fuzzy slippers and wonder if, just maybe, the way you are treating yourself could be having an impact on how your business treats you.
4 – When you were an employee, you didn’t have to market.
Years ago, I was in a day-long VIP session with a new client.
We spent the morning mapping out a program she wanted to create. We laid out the modules. We listed the worksheets, and gave them cool names. We set the schedule and dates of the program. She was excited…all wild-eyed and dizzy with her new clarity.
Then I said, “Okay, so let’s make a plan for how you’re going to market this program.”
She glazed over. She actually said, “Really?”
This is an all-too-common response. The entrepreneur who hopes she didn’t have to do this part.
When you were an employee, you didn’t have to worry about the marketing. I mean, even if you were in the marketing department, you didn’t really worry about it, did you? Only your part of it.
When you own a business, you have to find people to buy the great things you do. You have to market.
And if you’re like many newbies, your definition of marketing is based on your assumptions about marketing: manipulation and sleaze.
But marketing is the ultimate service. Without it, all you have is a roomful of products and ideas. And no one to benefit from them. (I meet tons of would-be coaches and business owners who have basements full of books, binders and boxes they never sold. Why? Because they didn’t market.)
Start with clarity.
Identify your ideal client. Own the value you deliver. Know the results you offer. AND –communicate that clearly in all of your materials.
5 – When you were an employee, people noticed the letters after your name.
In the old days, your email signature contained a vast collection of letters after your name. All your degrees, certifications, and validation of your title, role and position.
Now that you’re a business owner, no one cares. They care about themselves. They care about the results they get from working with you. This is communicated in your marketing. (See #4.)
Now instead of running out to get yet another certification, you must create valuable offers and packages that turn prospects into clients. Hello value and positioning. Goodbye letters.
6 – When you were an employee, you just walked in and did your thing. Strategy, schmategy.
As an entrepreneur you have to expand your brain to include not just the task at hand, the thing you want to do today…
…but the impact this idea has on your strategy…
…and what the strategy is at all.
Do you even know?
New business owners get caught up in working in their business – all the nitty gritty tasks – and forget to work ON their business. Then they wake up one morning, and have no clients left, and no systems set up to get new clients.
7 – When you were an employee, you didn’t have to invest in you. The company invested in you.
If you’ve been an employee, you may be used to saying things like, “I’ll go to that event when the company pays for it.” Or “I’ll take that program if my boss foots the bill.” “I’ll only do that if my insurance plan covers it.”
Being a business owner means you have to drop the mindset of “spending” money and own the mindset of “investing in your results.” This means recognizing that you ARE the company. And the company must take care of you, because you are its biggest asset.
Your mindset must shift into an investment mindset. If you don’t invest in your own expansion, health, and marketing, your business will slowly die. Duct-taping solutions, putting it all together on the cheap, creating a DIY mastermind of local folks who know just about as much as you do about having a business – all of this may work for a time – but investing requires faith in your own growth.
Employees rarely have to make this kind of decision. It’s called a “future-based decision.” It’s where your intention – this thing you say you want or dream of having – gets REAL. And it can be scary. But it’s crucial for your growth.
Am I missing anything here? What was or has been your biggest psychological shift of moving from employee to business owner?