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I recently had a call with one of my best friends who moved to London to work for a large multinational public company. She is talented, successful and hardworking.
Yet she called me full of tears, anxiety and anger. “They’re restructuring the company, they’re cutting jobs. My role is about to die.”
I suggested she apply for the same position at other companies, companies that could offer multiple benefits, from remote work to stock options. I explained to her that with her talent, her potential and her ideas, she could even start her own business by freelancing for various clients with contracts. She could pursue her version of success and happiness. And she could probably end up with more money and even more freedom.
“You do not understand.” She says. “I don’t want to be nobody. I want to work for the best companies in the world.”
Maybe I don’t understand. But I also don’t understand why talented and hard-working people like her want to invest their full potential in hierarchy and politics for prestige. Why do they let their companies fill them with stress, ruin their day, restrict their career options and define their worth?
Related: 7 Signs It’s Time to Go From Employee to Entrepreneur
Do not mistake yourself; there are many great people who recognize their value and consciously choose to champion the employee mentality. They are okay with that.
But if you’re fed up with the corporate world, feeling like it’s limiting your options in life, and wondering when’s the right time to leverage your skills and make a transition, this is it. probably is now.
Here are seven signs that you no longer have an employee mindset.
1. You like the idea of working where and when you want
Flexible working hours and location independence started to become the norm after the pandemic in 2020. You have proven to your employer that location does not affect productivity and that a strict 9 to 5 workday could wear you down instead.
And while many companies allow work-from-home days and flexible work hours, you still need to provide your location and total hours worked.
However, with an entrepreneurial spirit, complete flexibility in location and time is your dream; you know the only way to do this is to fully own your freedom by creating your stream of income instead of waiting for a paycheck.
Related: Remote Work Is Here to Stay: Are You Ready for the New Way of Life?
2. When you’re in a meeting, you daydream instead of participating.
The average employer spends at least 3 hours per week in meetings, with 30% saying they spend more than 5 hours per week.
And instead of actively participating in that meeting, you think about how to skip the next one so you can work on something instead. You know you could spend your time more productively than attending corporate meetings, but there’s nothing you can do about it.
An older person has requested your presence; you must be there. So here you are visualizing how you can escape this wasting of your hours, wasting time when time is money.
Related: Your time is money, so stop wasting it
3. You absolutely despise titles and hierarchy.
When you have an employee mentality, you get so caught up in titles. You fool around with pride, brag on Linkedin, gossip about other people’s abilities, and jealously broadcast your best wishes to co-workers who won C titles first.
When you’re a business owner, you don’t care about job titles. You want people to work with you, not for you. You also know that a title cannot determine your value. Anyone can go on Linkedin and claim they are the CEO or an executive member of a 5 person company.
What does it mean?
Fancy titles in corporate jobs almost always mean less freedom, less time to work on your relationships with others, and less time to spend with your children before they grow up.
C titles while moving up the corporate ladder also means less time investing in planning for your personal care, well-being, and personal skills and less time enjoying life.
4. You experiment with several side-to-side shakes after or before work.
With an employee mindset, you look at the clock at a quarter to six and know it’s time to shut down your laptop and get on with your day.
And while maintaining a work-life balance is crucial, as a business owner you are constantly testing concepts and trying side hustle to create multiple streams of income whenever you can. You are not dependent on a client, an idea or a salary, but you are ready to test, take risks, fail and start again.
Related: 4 Creative Side Businesses That Fight Inflation and Make Extra Money
5) You are not afraid to build relationships through outreach.
As an employee, you are terrified of cold terrains. You don’t like being rejected or ignored because that usually happens. You don’t try to reach out to others unless you’re selling something; in this case, you are dealing with awareness as a transaction and not as a relationship.
However, as an entrepreneur, you know that expanding your systems by connecting, advising, or simply interacting with others is one of the most vital steps in building a personal or professional brand.
You don’t underestimate the power of community and networking; you aim to connect daily with one or two new people in your industry. Within a year, you are amazed at your reach and the usefulness of your network.
6. You know that generating passive income and making money online is 100% possible.
When you have an employee mindset, you don’t care about investing or creating passive income online. Even if you care, it sounds too good to be true and you don’t bother creating a diversified portfolio.
On the contrary, when you have entrepreneurial tendencies, you get excited about passive income ideas and turn your world upside down to create an income online.
The creator economy is not a too-good-to-be-true scenario or a quick ploy. It’s a reality available with no barriers to entry, and as a business owner, you love that challenge. You know that spending x time creating the smallest passive income stream can yield 10x results in the near future.
They know they need to find what they love to create and work on it daily.
7) You constantly enrich your knowledge and skills to increase value.
You trade your skills and experience for payable working hours as an employee. However, as an entrepreneur, you offer your skills, idea, or business as a service that solves problems and provides value.
You don’t charge by the word, hour or month. You charge based on the benefits and usefulness of your solutions. You answer questions and provide results. And because your expertise is directly linked to the value and results you deliver, you work daily to improve and enrich it.
Maybe you’re not 100% ready to escape the rat race. However, if any of the above signs hold true, you know it’s time to start taking charge of your career and following a path you can fully control.
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