Are You Running Your Business Like An Employee?

A couple of weeks ago, my nephew (who just recently moved out of home) sent me a text, that his fridge had broken down. I could sense his stress, and then 5 minutes later there was another text that said “I called maintenance and they are going to replace it, as they have spares. Who keeps spare fridges on hand?”

I could feel his relief through the screen, as he realized that the fridge wasn’t his problem.

I got a good chuckle, as I remembered the days of being a tenant, and not having to worry about anything but my rent. I had no ownership and therefore no risk. If something broke, somebody fixed it, if snow needed shoveling, somebody did it, if garbage needed picking up, somebody arranged it. It was quite an awakening to become an owner and suddenly be responsible for everything.

When you take the leap from corporate

There was no more “somebody”

I realized many entrepreneurs go through the same thing when they first leave their jobs and start a business. Instead of their employer taking all the risk, it’s now their turn, and it can freeze them up.

As an employee, there are no expenses. If you want training and mentoring, the employer pays for it using their new payroll software. If you need something to do your job better, you simply put in a requisition and hope it is approved, and you make do if it isn’t.

And if your role, like mine was, was strategic, to develop the company, you only do it once the board approves the work plan and the budget. If they don’t approve it, you simply don’t do it, and the lack of results are their responsibility, not yours, and your paycheque is not affected.

If your employer doesn’t have the money or available capital to fund necessary business growth initiatives, they borrow it, or find investors. There is no risk, but only benefit to you, as you have all the resources you need to get the job done and hopefully meet the objectives needed to get your bonus for the year.

When you make the decision to be come an entrepreneur, all that changes

It’s like that tenant making the decision to buy their own place. You are crossing a threshold and accepting full responsibility for every outcome in your business.

Many new entrepreneurs aren’t quite ready for what that means

I often hear “Well my spouse and I discussed at length and…” or “It’s not the right time” or “I can’t afford that” or “I will wait until my business hits XXX in revenue” “I’d prefer not to borrow the money but wait until my business has a reserve of cash” etc.

So they talk themselves out of investing in developing their brand, from investing in the training & personal development needed to help them grow their business, from investing in needed equipment, from hiring much needed team, and the list goes on.

That kind of thinking can kill your business.

They convince themselves that they are being responsible, when in fact, they are coming from a place of fear and quite frankly, an employee mindset. By not taking any risk,and a discomfort in investing in their business, they are limiting any potential they have to grow their business.

Have you ever found yourself justifying these, or similar reasons?

The thing is, if you need something for your business, you need it. Plain and simple. And by waiting until your business grows and increases cash flow before making the investments and taking action, you will find that you never actually do grow to the point where you can “afford” it. And that’s because by holding back, you have basically tied your own hands, and limited your growth and income potential.

In the long run, these decisions cost them even more, in lost revenue, lost business growth, and lost opportunity.

It’s no different than a home owner not making the needed repairs or upgrades, eventually that decision to save money in the short term, costs them a lot more money in the long term.

Make decisions from where you want to be

While I don’t advocate spending haphazardly without a plan, and structure for return on investment, it’s important to realize that as an entrepreneur you will be stretched, you will need to take risks, sometimes you will need to borrow money, and you will need to invest in things you never even contemplated before, even if you don’t think you can afford it, and even if it terrifies you.

And that is why to be successful, just like that tenant who upgrades to homeowner and needs to take full accountability for everything in the home, it is crucial that when you make that leap from employee to entrepreneur you leave your employee mindset behind and accept the risks and uncertainty that come with being an entrepreneur.

Nafissa Shireen

Nafissa Shireen is an award winning Master Coach, International Speaker and Business Mentor She has a gift for empowering and propelling people to their highest potential.

With 25 years' experience leading 6-figure to 9-figure companies, she strategically partners with entrepreneurs to help them focus on sustainable & scalable business growth, so they can create a highly profitable and luxurious business and life.

Passionate about helping women earn what they are worth and build their wealth, so that they can realize all of their dreams and desires. She brings together her vast business knowledge with the deep inner work needed to help entrepreneurs identify blocks, step out of fear and overwhelm, raise their wealth consciousness, and move forward towards their goals with measurable, tangible results.

She is a featured Expert and regular contributing author for Today’s Innovative Woman Magazine, and is profiled in Canada’s 2014/2015 Distinctive Women Magazine

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