5 Mindset Shifts You Need to Adapt When Going from Employee to Entrepreneur

Feras Antoon
5 min readOct 6, 2017


They say if your goal is to get rich, you have to be your own boss. Many people dream of having their own business; maybe in a desire to acquire prosperity, wealth, or to make a change. Numerous employees don’t see themselves working in a 9–5 job for the rest of their lives. In fact, in a global survey conducted by Gallup, 87 percent of workers don’t envision themselves being employed by their companies for the long haul.

However, shifting from an employee into an entrepreneur requires preparation. If you’re about to undergo a radical change, you must be ready to face what’s ahead. After quitting your job, and starting your own business, your next crucial step is to be fully accountable to yourself. Your habits will dictate your success. Thus, acquiring the mindset of a great entrepreneur is of paramount importance. You must step away from the thinking of an employee, and begin seeing things like how the best leaders do.

There are beginners in the entrepreneurial world who had wrong notions of what it’s like to be in business. Their misconceptions led them to failure. To assure your path to success, here are 5 mindset changes you must possess when embarking on this new journey.

#1 Think outside the box

Once you leave the life of an employee you’re no longer restricted to the limitations of the corporate world. Your mind must be open to all and new possibilities. It could be possibilities that you never encountered during your life as an employee.

According to an article for TIME magazine, Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said, “People will always try to stop you doing the right thing if it is unconventional.”

In today’s tight competition, you need to think creatively. You need to step out of the box no matter what people say. Only you can see your vision exactly how it is. Thus, you must not let anyone stop you from turning that vision into reality.

#2 Create short-term and long-term goals

“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels,” Albert Einstein once told the New York Times.

A successful entrepreneur thinks unconventionally, and so must you if you want to be one. Envisioning your future is a necessary habit to reach your goals. You must have an idea about where to go and how to get there. As a leader, you must share your vision with your team members, and guide them to the path that you want to take.

Plan your business the way you see it, but keep your eye on the big picture at all times. Communicate your vision with your team, and make sure they know their responsibilities towards achieving your business’ goals.

#3 Be stronger than stress

Starting your own business is a serious matter. It involves greater responsibilities than what you had as an employee. You may experience more challenging, stressful times, but you must be strong to face them all. When building a startup, there is no other way but up. The climb can be difficult, especially when the life of other people is on your shoulders. Be brave and patient enough because once you get through, all your hard work will pay off.

Ryan Farley has experienced hard times, too. He was a corporate employee who turned into an entrepreneur to start lawn care marketplace LawnStarter Lawn Care. He said in an interview, “I was used to working extremely long hours in the corporate finance world.”

“I thought that would have conditioned me well, but nothing can prepare you for this amount of stress. It’s pretty common for founders to have the stress get so bad it affects your physical and mental health,” Farley added.

“But you have to press on, and you’re better off for it.”

Farley, and other prominent employee-turned-entrepreneur people like Brad Feld and Mark Suster, have shared similar experiences. Successful people like them, know that they must motivate their self because no one would. Unlike their corporate days when they had a boss, no one will remind them to get things done. To be able to cope up with hard work, great entrepreneurs keep organized and stay focused.

#4 Have the will to be a jack of all trades

Once you become an entrepreneur, everything will become your job. You can no longer say, “that’s not my job.” When you take the path of entrepreneurship, slacking is no longer acceptable. You have to grind, monitor your business, and make sure everything is on track. You will be a jack of all trades, and will handle the responsibilities of an IT manager, accountant, and marketer. Together with all these, you also need to lead the company.

The best entrepreneurs wear many hats, and they love to learn new things. A boss doesn’t get to slack, sit back and relax — different from what others think. However, the fruit of your hard work will always be worth it.

As an entrepreneur, author and investor Robert Kiyosaki has written on Twitter, “Entrepreneurs don’t finish when we are tired. We finish when we are done.”

#5 Be flexible, focused and optimistic

Perspective is everything; the right attitude is the key. As an entrepreneur, keep those words in mind. The success of everything lies on how you think — same when building a thriving business. Thus, the only way to succeed is to think positively, otherwise you’ll be your own undoing. Let your passion drive you, and remain focused.

“Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So, you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about; otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.” — Steve Jobs




Feras Antoon

Entrepreneur, tech savvy and passionate about cheese balls. Writer at https://ferasantoonreports.com