My transition from employee to entrepreneur started about 3 years ago.
I was working 9-5 as an innovation consultant at a medium sized hospital. On paper, this was the job of my dreams. In reality, I was drained, frustrated and frightened that the critical working conditions would influence my health. So I quit my job and decided to start the journey of becoming my own boss.
But how do you get from 10 years of being an employee to starting your own business as a solo-preneur?
Personally, I had to unlearn a bunch of habits and beliefs to grow personally and professionally:
1. Hiding behind a team
Some people do this all their life. Stay in the comfort zone. Push others in front whenever they see the opportunity. I certainly did.
If someone else didn't mind doing the presentation or speaking at the meeting on behalf of the team, I would let them. Every time...
As an entrepreneur, I can't hide behind anyone. Scary at first, but I must admit that it has been an empowering experience!
Actually, it was a lot easier than I thought because - for the first time in my work life - I believed fully in the cause. And the cause was mine and not somebody else's.
2. Complaining about my job.
When I was an employee, for natural reasons, I only had a limited amount of influence over my own work. At the office, there was a lot of complaining going on - about the strategy, organizational change, office rules, workload, meaningless meetings etc.
The complaining was part of the office culture, and I became a part of it too. It was a way to be part of the 'gang' and to let out frustrations, but no-one dared to take action. Myself included.
3. Not having full responsibility
When you are an entrepreneur and own a business, you always have the final responsibility. This was a big shift for me. Of course, as an employee, I was responsible for my own tasks and work, but at the end of the day, the final responsibility was (formally) my manager's.
As an entrepreneur, I have full responsibility. Scary at first, but it makes me push my boundaries and grow in a way that I wouldn't have imagined if you'd asked me 5 years ago.
4. Having colleagues
This was a big one for me to unlearn.
When I quit my job, the hardest part was definitely to say goodbye to good colleagues, who had become my friends over the years. Sometimes, I spend more hours with a handful of my colleagues that I did with my family. During lunch, we shared personal and professional ups and downs every day. I still see them sometimes, and it is always great to see them, but I'll never be the same.
5. Relying on others to organize knowledge sharing sessions, networking activities, social activities etc.
When you're a part of a large organization, a lot of these things a put into a system. For example, we had a knowledge sharing session every Monday morning, organized walk-and-talks with people from other departments, Christmas parties, summer parties etc.
This may look nice on paper, but to take an example, the Monday morning sessions where a guided tour to hell for many of us. We were standing in a large circle (30-40 people), and the manager used the sessions to highlight some colleagues and put others down by ignoring them or rolling her eyes at them while they were sharing.
So this was a no-brainer to unlearn. I still feel a great sense of relief that I don't have to stand in the circle every Monday morning.
Take your life to the next level
These are the 5 main things that I had to unlearn when transitioning from employee to entrepreneur.For me, these changes enabled me to take it to the next level - professionally and personally. I am in charge, and I take full responsibility for growing and developing my own business.
For me, these changes enabled me to take it to the next level - professionally and personally. I am in charge, and I take full responsibility for growing and developing my own business.
I'm happy that I made the choice to transition from employee to entrepreneur. But I couldn't have done it myself. No one should have to.
I found this amazing education and community. They took me by the hand, showed me the steps, pushed me out of my comfort zone just when I needed it and cheered for my success.
The real mindset shift happened when I entered the community and the support and high-level training have been absolutely priceless for my successful transition from employee to entrepreneur.