7 Mindset Changes – From Employee to Business Owner
The tough economy and high unemployment may have you thinking about becoming a business owner. As an employee, you work in a box. It can be a very nice box, but it still has its limitations. As a business owner, you have endless possibilities and endless challenges. Here are some of the differences, and some of the surprises, you may find as you move from working for someone else to being your own boss.
Goodbye to a weekly paycheck
Even if you hated your job and worried about losing it, as an employee you could count on a regular paycheck and benefits, such as health insurance and unemployment benefits. As a business owner your pay varies: some weeks may be great; others may be terrible. You have to decide when to invest in the business and when, and how much, to pay yourself. You probably will not have unemployment benefits, so make sure to set money aside for the tough times. You will also need to explore health insurance and other “traditional” benefits you were able to take for granted as an employee.
“Chief cook and bottle washer”
As an employee you probably had set responsibilities. If something happened, like the copier broke, someone else took care of it. New business owners get to do everything. You could find yourself meeting with a client in the morning and cleaning a toilet in the afternoon. Everything falls on your shoulders until you have enough money to hire people to help you.
You own your financials
Employees fill out tax forms and other documents when they start working for a company. You probably did that and later got a paycheck with tax deductions already taken out. As a business owner, you are responsible for making sure you know what taxes you have to pay and when. You also have to keep track of your sales and expenses, and you will want a legal structure, e.g. sole proprietorship or corporation, that works best for you.
You get to decide who to work with
Employees have to get along with other employees. That is part of the job. As the business owner, you choose who you want to work with. Find customers and associates you like and respect. You will be happier and your business will be more successful.
You own your motivation
As an employee, you did not really have to care about the business: you just had to do your job. As the Boss, no one will tell you what to do. You can sleep in or waste time or you can get up and do what’s needed to make your business successful. It is all up to you. Make sure you choose a business that will keep you motivated.
You have an investment, not a job
As an employee, you had a set compensation. You may have gotten raises and bonuses, but when you left the business, that was all gone. There was no equity. As a business owner, you are building something for the future. You may want to sell your business someday. Build it up and you can make money even after you leave.
You own your sales and marketing
Many people are afraid to sell. As an employee, you probably did not have to. As a business owner, you need to toot your own horn and that of your business. No one else can do it for you. At first people may not hear you. Keep going; they will get it eventually.
Owning and running your own business can be challenging and a bit frightening at first, but the rewards are great. Find something you love. Keep at it. Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them, and you can find more freedom and greater rewards than you thought possible.