In this episode of the Free and Fearless podcast, I cover a few ways in which I see business owners are still operating as employees even if they are actually the boss.
I’ll drop a few shifts you can make to ditch the employee mindset and start thinking and acting like a CEO. Plus some tips on how to fully step into your business so you can go full-time, increase your revenue or just see more of its potential.
Tune into the episode below:
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- [02:08] Why total time freedom isn’t for everyone
- [03:28] What to do if you want to grow your business but miss how organized things were at your day job
- [05:17] The truth about revenue growth
- [08:36] Examples of high-value business activities
- [10:23] Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
- [11:05] One thing many entrepreneurs do that’s actually corporate thinking
- [11:57] Who’s really making the rules
- [12:42] How a business owner starts the workday vs an employee
- [13:54] How to know if something’s wrong in your business
- Bold Business School Waitlist
- $100M Offers, book by Alex Hormozi
How to Drop The Employee Mindset
[below is the transcript of the episode]
Today I want to talk about something that I see way too often. It’s about people who are in their first year in business, or second or third, who aren’t at the level they wanna be even if they have a regular income online.
They do the work, they often hustle more than those with a profitable business actually, and yet, nothing seems to work.
There are different factors at play, but most of them fall into one category – these people run their business with an employee mindset. This is dangerous because it means you’ll never reach your potential, what you create won’t be sustainable, and you won’t really be able to enjoy the unlimited freedom and income that self-employment can give.
Here are some ways to stop thinking like an employee:
1. Managing your newly earned time freedom.
The first thing I notice that’s really typical for the employee mindset is that new business owners don’t know what to do with all these hours they have in their day.
Let’s say you’ve just quit your job and went full-time in your business. There’s no one telling you when to start work, how many hours to do it and what to work on. You take all the decisions and have all the responsibility, and that can be mentally and physically exhausting.
One of the biggest perks of being self-employed is reclaiming your time. You now have time freedom, what are you gonna do with it?
This is the moment many people realize they don’t like that much freedom. Some say their mental health suffers after a few months or a year of working for themselves and from home. Even after they find hobbies, have their social life, travel, and do anything they feel like, something’s just missing.
But business isn’t for everyone and doing this for 1 year is a good experiment to tell whether or not you want to continue. Many people give up because they don’t see any money coming in, but many others also simply realize working for someone else was easier.
You need to want to be in business bad enough.
It’s a more isolated life, definitely. It allows you to live anywhere but even that freedom isn’t something anyone can enjoy.
What can you do if you want to grow your business, are serious about entrepreneurship but miss how organized things were at your day job?
Well, for a start, I believe that the 8-hour workday, when you’re in an office and working for someone else, isn’t beneficial to you in any way.
- It doesn’t make you productive.
- It’s not made for you in particular as every person has energy and focus at different times of the day and under different conditions.
- It’s mentally draining as it takes your best hours of the day away and most of the work you get done isn’t that quality.
- You’re distracting yourself from what you could be doing if you owned your time.
When you’re self-employed and there’s no office to go to and no fixed hour to start, it’s time to revisit anything you believed to be true up until that moment.
Accept that this will be your new reality. You have full control over your day and it’s time to find the most effective way to spend it.
Test everything you feel like. It could working in the evenings or from cafes, sleeping in or waking up early but going to the gym first, having a walk and only opening your laptop after lunch.
It could working 3 or 4 days a week and living life to the fullest the rest of it.
You can also structure your whole month or year around product launches, content creation or big things going on in your business. That means you can put in all the work for a period of time, and then fully relax.
Whatever works for you, make sure it produces results and you really enjoy it.
And please remember that you don’t need to wake up early if you don’t want to. You don’t need to be working many hours per day if it’s not necessary. You don’t need to be doing it 5 days a week only because the corporate world is structured this way.
2. Income growth isn’t linear.
Next, stop expecting your income to be the same every month or to grow by the same amount every quarter. It doesn’t work that way.
In fact, there’s often absolutely no logic in how your revenue grows.
Here are some examples I’ve seen:
- Someone was still at their regular job but created a great product, launched it strategically to a small email list, and hit a few thousand dollars. Their next launch was 5 figures. That meant they could leave their job so soon and be in business full-time.
- I’ve seen coaches go from $5K months to $20K months. That doesn’t really happen as an employee, right?
- Also, opportunities can come from anywhere in business as long as you’re putting valuable content out there and building a name for yourself. So you never know when you get featured in a big publication or someone else’s podcast and get new clients without any extra effort. These people can then give you amazing testimonials and refer others to you, which brings you more clients and sometimes more money that you know what to do with.
- Another encouraging example is that you might already have a few digital products but you aren’t good at selling them. Well, it takes one great business program to learn the ins and outs of launching, email marketing and automating your business so that you can hit regular $10K months with the products you already had.
None of this is possible at a regular job and with an employee mindset. But in business, any day you can wake up with your most brilliant and profitable idea. You can monetize a product before you actually create the content, partner with some awesome people, get viral on social media and fill your coaching spots, and so much more.
This is the mindset I want you to have every day as a business owner. Not to come from a lack mentality but from a place of abundance. Because the possibilities really are endless and most of the time, you have no idea what your next big move or income boost in business will look like, but you’re getting there.
Read also: How you make your money is more important than how much you make
3. Drop 95% of the activities you do.
As an employee, it’s okay to just make time pass faster by being on your phone, answering emails, talking to people, procrastinating or just not being in a hurry with your task.
But in business, this wouldn’t make sense because you’d be going against yourself. All your free time can be spent doing stuff you love. And by the way, business itself should be one of those things you’re super passionate about and that’s one of the main reasons why it doesn’t feel like work.
My point is that when you actually sit down and do some work, you want to make sure you’re only investing your precious creative energy and valuable time in the things that grow your audience, generate revenue, help you make repeat sales, automate and scale your business.
Most of the time, that’s 5% of the things you’re doing already.
So what can you stop doing? What can you automate using tools? What can you leave for later, and what can you delegate?
Do some thinking now because these decisions only need to be made once – at least for this stage of your business – but can literally save you hundreds of hours per year, a lot of money and a lot of effort.
4. Learning is business.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know that personal development, any form of mindset work, and learning business are high-value activities. Whenever you do these, assuming you’re learning from good sources and only implementing what resonates with you and helps you get results, you’ll be growing at a much faster pace.
That includes reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, watching videos and trainings, investing in courses, getting a coach, making time for self-reflection and connecting with yourself.
All this can speed up your journey.
That’s why I know it’s okay that I’m spending most of my workdays the last 2 months going through the content in a business program I recently invested in, outlining my next projects and steps, trying out different processes and optimizing what I’ve already created.
Another example is the book I’m reading now. It was released 2 months ago, came recommended by my mentors, and it’s already a bestseller.
If you’re curious, it’s called $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi.
I’ll share more about it and some quotes from it in another episode but for now, I just wanted to mention that I’ve been reading it, no – studying it – every evening for the last 7 or 8 days. Basically since the day I got it. And that was even though I was traveling and in the middle of an affiliate promotion.
It was so interesting and so relevant to what I’m doing now, that it became my priority. I set aside many hours to do the exercises outlined in it and I had my next big offer in mind when doing them. So that work will help me create something much better, even though it’s not what I’m releasing this or next month and there are other tasks on my calendar.
As an employee, you can’t just ditch everything and spend all day learning from a new course. But as a business owner, it’s often the best thing you can do.
This is an example of a growth mindset. Anyone who’s into personal development has one. You literally believe that you don’t know much and you’re open to new ideas and to learn new stuff from people smarter than you and who’ve already achieved what you’re after.
The opposite of that is called a fixed mindset and it’s what most employees have. They believe things are the way they are, they are good at certain things and bad at others, their potential is predetermined, and they stick to what they know.
If you notice any of these, make sure you let go of the employee mindset and go back to the growth mindset.
5. Following the rules vs making the rules
An employee is told what to do and as long as they stick to the agenda, they’ll be fine. Those who don’t see the results they want in business often try to play by someone else’s rules.
For example, they choose their niche based on what’s popular. They try to build an audience on a platform that everyone else seems to be using. They follow trends in the industry, price their products or services based on what the norm is. They post at a certain time and follow the best practices an algorithm decided.
They don’t sell too often because it might be too much. Or they don’t create a certain product because someone in their niche already has a really good one.
Basically, all day every day they are following rules that someone else made. And that, to me, resembles the corporate world.
It often takes people a few years in business to really open their eyes and see what’s going. That no one else but them can decide what’s best for their audience, what platform to use, what rates to have, what programs to release, how many emails to send during a launch, and what to write in them.
At some point, you develop the ability to tune into your intuition, that inner voice, the inner knowing telling you what your next step should be.
It might not make sense, it might be the opposite of the industry standard. But at the same time, it might double your income, make people love you, let you be your most authentic self and feel good about the work you do, be an innovator and later show people how to do the same.
6. If your work doesn’t excite you, you’re doing it wrong.
An employee often goes to work or, if they are working from home, starts the workday without even thinking about it. In fact, they can spend the whole day on autopilot, without any excitement, just waiting for it to be over.
That’s because they aren’t passionate, they aren’t challenged and most often they don’t want to be. It’s just what they are used to and they do it every day. Their actual life and the moment they truly engage their mind, body and soul happens after work and in the weekend.
Here’s how things look like for the self-employed.
You can’t wait to open your laptop and get to work. You fall asleep thinking about your latest business idea – that’s what I just did last night actually.
You are always researching something, looking to optimize something, create content, learn from others, connect with people in your niche, attend events, grow your audience, improve your brand, and so much more.
You literally can never get enough of it. There’s always a next level to reach.
The thought that your next launch can be your most profitable one and at any moment you can have your biggest revenue month should put a smile on your face.
But if you’re currently stressed out, overwhelmed, not looking forward to working on your business every day, avoiding thinking about, then something is wrong.
Maybe you’re focusing on what you haven’t achieved yet. Maybe you are working on things that aren’t moving the needle forward. Maybe you’ve lost inspiration due to outer factors in your life.
My advice is to do something about it so you can bring the spark back.
Because this spark is your unique energy and the passion you have for the work you do. That’s an ingredient necessary to create content that solves problems, products that change lives, and a brand that is unique.
And with that, I’ll finish the episode. This was such an important topic and I’m so glad I covered it.
Please tell me what your biggest breakthrough was and how the employee mindset shows up in your life. Share it on Instagram and tag me @letsreachsuccess