Becoming an entrepreneur involves more than just quitting your job, filing some paperwork and setting up a website. For most budding entrepreneurs the major transition isn’t leaving your job, but the change in mindset that’s necessary to go from being an employee to owning your own business.

There are some major shifts in thinking that need to happen to be successful in pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams. Following are some of the mental changes you’ll need to make as you set out or continue to build your business.

You’re a business owner

Understand you’re a business owner, not a employee. You aren’t a freelance writer; you own a writing business that helps clients gain more traffic, leads, and sales. You aren’t a graphic designer; you own a design firm that creates well-optimized websites that customers and search engines love. The more you change the language around what you do, the more you can shift your mindset from being an employee to being an entrepreneur.

Your clients aren’t your employers

It can take a while to change your thinking from getting hired to landing business. You aren’t looking for a job. You offer a service. You are seeking clients who can benefit from the service you provide.

You have complete control over the type of people and companies you choose to work with and those you don’t. Once you move past the idea of clients not “hiring” you, or your inability to find “work,” you can devise a plan to attract land contracts with your ideal clients.

Understand your value proposition

Stop fretting over what to charge and focus instead on the value you’re providing. As an employee, you have a salary or an hourly rate that (often) doesn’t allow for much thought into the value you’re bringing to the company.

As a business owner, you price your services based on your expertise, the time it takes to get complete the project, and the value your bring to the table. Yes, you should consider what other’s are charging, but generic fee charts don’t tell the whole story.

If you have 20 years experience as a writer with 10 years being the lead designer at a software company, you’re bringing that experience and knowledge to the table to help the business you’re working with meet their goals. When you understand your value and can convey that to potential clients, then you stop worrying whether your prices are too high or competition from low-cost competitors.

Being uncomfortable is the new comfortable

Are you bad at sales? Well, you need to figure out how to get good at sales quickly. Don’t like pitching? Tough. How else are you going to gain clients for your business? Being uncomfortable is the new comfortable when you strike out on your own.

You’re no longer an employee who can just focus on the task at hand. You are now a small business owner who has to wear many hats to keep the business going. Adjust your thinking so you can make the needed decisions to keep your business growing.

No one is coming to save you

If things are going badly, or simply not as well as you’d like, it’s easy to get lulled into the idea of having a paycheck and having someone tell you what you need work on every day. Don’t indulge in this employee based thinking for too long.

As an entrepreneur you are the master of your universe, but with that comes the brutal understanding that no one is coming to save you. The key is to understand that all the actions you take or don’t take will ultimately determine how successful you will be. You have to have a plan in place to prioritize all of the tasks you need to complete and understand that your ultimate success or failure relies on how hard you’re willing to work.


Thanks to Peep T.S. Johnson for writing this post. Please view her CloudPeeps profile.

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  • Samantha Mcnesby

    I love this so much!This very change in mindset is what doubled my writing and marketing income in the last year and I absolutely recommend it! Thanks for a very insightful, useful piece!