This week marked my 2-year anniversary from when I gave notice at my agency job and decided to venture out on my own! WOH HOH! 🎉 And boy has it been a wild few years -- in the best kind of way. Being an entrepreneur is an adventure to say the least and something that I think you kind of have to experience first hand to totally get it. More than the lifestyle change, something that I've found really interesting (and challenging at times) is shifting your mindset. The way we look at things as an employee vs an entrepreneur can have quite the contrast and sometimes it can be tough to break out of that mold. Most of us have been conditioned from the beginning of our careers to think that way after all! Here's a look at some of those mindshifts I've experienced throughout my journey.
Every Day is a Learning Experience
Career development is important no matter what you're doing, but being an entrepreneur takes it to a whole new level. Whether you're a solopreneur or working with a small team, chances are you're going to be wearing way more hats than at your old 9-to-5. I can't even tell you how much time I spent researching business structures, paying estimated taxes, and learning about client contracts in our first year. Let me tell you.. it was A LOT! While I definitely recommend consulting with experts when you can, starting a business can truly feel like you're venturing into a new world. Spoiler, a lot of those things are not always that easy to sort out, especially when they're not your passion.
As an entrepreneur, the learning process is something that never stops and it won't just be things in your field. You learn logistics of running a business, how to best manage client communications, dealing with things that don't go right and everything in between. When your business and success is weighing mostly (if not all) on you, you have to roll your sleeves up and learn to handle it. Embrace the learning process and understand you're never going to have it all figured out. You're going to make a million mistakes along the way, but instead of getting tied up on what you did wrong or didn't know about, take a few breaths, learn and move forward.
Changing the Way You Look at Your Workday
When you work at a day job, you're usually bound by your work hours, but as an entrepreneur, that's not usually the case. One of the biggest adjustments for me personally was changing the way I looked at my workday. I'm big into routines and Mallory and I like to maintain consistent office hours, but having a flexible schedule is something that took a lot of getting used to. That doesn't just mean having the flexibility to run an errand here or there in the middle of the day either (also a nice perk). What I mean is more along the lines of maximizing your productivity and taking advantage of building a work schedule that works best for you. If you're hitting a wall, sometimes it's best to embrace that flexibility and take a break. You're not bound to your desk or work hours. Walk away for a little.. Your productivity will thank you. That goes for the office hours you keep too. Maybe you really do benefit from sleeping in a few hours and would rather work later into the evening when you feel more creative. Follow that energy and plan your days around what works best for you.
It Can Be a Rollercoaster... and a BIG one at That
Becoming an entrepreneur has been equally been one of the best and hardest things I've ever done in my life. While any career path can have a lot of ups and downs, those feelings seem heightened when everything is weighing on you at your business. Some days and months you'll feel like you're on the top of the world and crushing all of your goals, and then the next week you'll feel like a total bust. It doesn't matter how successful you are, this lifestyle has a lot of bumps and bruises along the way that I don't think anyone quite understands unless you've lived it. This graphic seems to pop up every month or so in the Facebook Groups we're in and I always get a chuckle at it. Because it's SO true!
Being an entrepreneur takes guts, thick skin, and wild ambition and it's just not for everyone. And that's okay! So if you have the guts then hop on the ride and buckle up because it's going to be a rideeee. Having this realization early on will really help process your emotions throughout your journey. Luckily for me, I have an awesome business partner to cheer me on when we're killing it and lift me up when I'm feeling total bummer sauce. If you're a solopreneur though, join a community or mastermind. Having a support system will help you manage the emotions and benefit you in so many ways. The important part to remember is no matter how your day/week/month is going another high or low is just around the corner. It's unpredictable, exciting and also terrifying a lot of times, but just remember that every time you're having a day and keep trucking along.
What do you guys think? Were there other big mindset adjustments you had to deal with when you decided to become an entrepeneur? Share with us below in the comments.