Some employees dream of the day they can fire their boss and become the master of their own destiny. How do you know when the time is right? If these five bullets describe you you're ready to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur.
Understand the difference between tasks and responsibilities. Employees wait to be handed a task to carry out. Even if you carry out that task to perfection, it doesn't mean you are ready to be an entrepreneur. Taking responsibility means asking questions about the task you intend to complete. If you regularly ask these questions, you are on your way to becoming an entrepreneur:
- Is this the best way to accomplish this?
- Does this even need to be done?
- Will someone always need to check my work?
Grow up! You are now an adult and you act like it. Chuck Blakeman says this best:
Adults ask questions, most importantly, "Why?" Unlike the Silent Generation, they don't live passively but are self-motivated, self-managed, creative, and problem solvers. They don't shut up; they make waves. They don't sit down; they are highly visible. And they don't expect the company or other adults to take care of them.
Take a risk! Most employees value security over anything else. They want the security of a paycheck. The security of a pension. The security of "knowing it all" without the fear of owning any responsibility. An employee will never take a leap from the edge because it's too risky. The fear of failure is far too compelling to take a chance. At the same time, entrepreneurs do not take foolish risks. They have counted the cost and understand the cost and reward of risks. If you ever want to lose employee status, you have to jump in anticipation of the payoff.
Stop thinking you can do things everything by yourself. The Lone Ranger had Tonto to depend on for help. You need someone to lean on for advice, accountability and support. A major role change is going to be stressful, no matter how positive it may be. Finding a mentor, business coach or trade organization of fellow professionals can be invaluable. Having a support system will give you perspective and lead to stronger choices earlier in your transition.
Don't wait for the perfect plan... none exists. Employees are always waiting for the perfect plan to be in place before making a move. In their minds, the world is completely linear and the best time to take action happens when the stars of the universe align perfectly. Throw that nonsense out the window. Only Hollywood writes those kinds of scripts. Planning is a good idea, but the minute you put something on paper, it will need adjustment. Take General Patton's advice here: "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." Just get started with your new project, business, or venture. It is not going to finish itself, and it will never go as you plan. And that's fine in the world of the entrepreneur.
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