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Employee to Entrepreneur: How to Transition

Employee to Entrepreneur: How to Transition

Employee to Entrepreneur - Introduction

Are you bored from working as a full-time employee? Do you hate waking up daily and drive to work just to achieve almost the same tasks? Do you refuse supervision? Do you want to be your own boss? Do you love taking risks? Are your job tasks process oriented and repeatable so you feel technology will replace you soon?

If the answer of one of the above questions is YES, then you are in the right place and you need to read this article. 

This article is intended to employees who love the change initiatives, who are the leaders of challenging their organization status quo, and who accept new challenges with motivation and passion in order to earn their financial freedom. 
It is not meant to employees who prefer monthly salary as their only income source, with boring daily tasks and supervision. It is not meant to employees who doesn't undertake risks and aren't adventurous by nature. 

Note: Even if your job and position are amazing, to be an entrepreneur is always a better decision, and we will list all the benefits in this article; So, if you doubt or don't accept this idea, please jump to a different article or close this page, because no matter you will find here as beautiful reasons to be an entrepreneur, you will always find excuses not to do it. 

Employee to Entrepreneur - Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Often you will find these two terms linked and associated together in most of the articles and books that you read in all regions and all languages.
 
They are linked because they cannot be separated as a real matter of fact, for simple reasons: Today, you will find billions of business ideas and more than 60% of those ideas do not have a long life just because of technology disruption or simply because there was no innovation from day one and the purpose was only to generate money.

You need an innovative and creative idea to start with and to differentiate yourself from others, to be unique and leader in your niche. Thus, you have to expect competition and failure and embrace them as the most beautiful part of your business. Both will come in different flavors, tasting them is a must but learning from them is much more important to succeed.

Let's define each of them here and highlight their importance before digging in this article.

What is Innovation?

Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation. And they need to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation.
Peter F. Drucker - Innovation and Entrepreneurship

What is Entrepreneurship?

The French economist J.B. Say said in 1800 that an "Entrepreneur" is the one who shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield. 

In the U.S., the entrepreneur is often defined as one who starts his own, new and small business
It is also one of the 4 key drivers of Economy: Labor, Land, Capital and Entrepreneurship.

Employee to Entrepreneur - Mindset Matter

Heraclitus once said: The only thing that is constant is change.

There's a life concept called risk-return spectrum, which states that the more risk you take, the more return you earn. 

HBR Professor Clayton Christensen, in his amazing book, The Innovator's DNA, defines how people can reach an innovative idea with the "Associational thinking": 

Employee to Entrepreneur, Associational Thinking, The Innovator's DNA, innovation, entrepreneurship, change, risk
Employee to Entrepreneur - Associational Thinking - The Innovator's DNA


Change and risk are both related to how our mind understands, defines and executes them.

What is Change:

Remember when your boss came to you and your team, and informed you that the company is going to change how it handles customer support, then left to his closed office and shared a very long email about the details of adopting a new software to record every single interaction with clients. The company earlier used to give the sales reps the freedom to report with Excel or Word. 

Or, remember when you the top management advised that they will hire new experienced employees for certain critical positions you dreamed of. You boss promised you earlier to promote you to one of those positions as a compensation for your achievements. 

Or, remember when the board of directors invited all company branches to an event to inform all their employees about the new restructuring policy where there might be layoffs or relocation of some employees and you are among them.

All of these changes are driven initiatives, not by you, but you have to adapt to them sooner or later, otherwise, you will leave the company. 

If it was your decision, as an employee, to discuss those changes, you would fight to death not to adopt them, or even you will list 100 reasons why not to adopt them, simply because they will add extra efforts and tasks to your daily routine. 
Fighting change is a human instinct that come with us as new born and continues to death, unless you hold that entrepreneurial spirit which allows you to drive change instead of waiting for it to arrive.

To understand the importance of change globally, take a look at the learning platforms for courses about change management, as well as search Google for Change Management organizations established to teach us about change.  

The whole world is changing due to an invisible virus, go ahead and take that step towards your outstanding future.

What is Risk: 

At your desk, as an employee, there are risks in everything that you do. Even when presenting your job assignments to your boss, you risk to show him/her something that doesn't catch his attention, so you might lose the chance to explain your idea in the future meetings.

In your personal life, you risk daily going out and having an accident, or even hurting someone unintentionally, or even eating something that hurts your stomach. 

Yes, as you noticed, I was pessimistic when talking about risk. If you think like that way, you will sit at home idle and never enjoy your life. 

I cannot count the adventures that I've taken personally where there was a huge risk of staying alive. From sky diving 4 KMs high, to scuba diving with sharks, to hiking alone in South Korea mountains, to driving alone in the desert at night, to swimming alone at night, and many more, which I don't recommend to do to become an entrepreneur. 

The idea of risk here is to have the courage to do new things, to explore, to try adventures that gets you out of your comfort zone. By that, you will not be able to remember all things you have done in your life where you were proud of yourself, because this history is what will create your future and define why you have chosen to be an entrepreneur. 

Employee to Entrepreneur, Associational Thinking, The Innovator's DNA, innovation, entrepreneurship, change, risk
Employee to Entrepreneur - Adventure and Risk
 

Employee to Entrepreneur - Excuses and Obstacles

Stop bragging, if you want to do it, you will find thousands of reasons and ways to do it, and if you don't want to do it, you will also find thousands of excuses and obstacles to put not to do it.

I believe and understand that not everybody should be an entrepreneur, there should be employees and labor to serve our business community but trust me, the percentage of employee to entrepreneur existence is very high towards employees and there is a tremendous chance for you to increase the entrepreneur's percentage. 

Employee to Entrepreneur, Associational Thinking, The Innovator's DNA, innovation, entrepreneurship, change, risk
Employee vs Entrepreneur mindset

Instead, start thinking about the gains: knowing your life's values, doing what you were born to do, earning your financial freedom, being your own boss, and setting your own policies and terms. 

Why not? someday you might grow to be like the biggest gig companies and acquire or merge with high-end tech organizations. Search Google for successful startups like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, GE, and other companies. Notice how did they start from small garages and how they are now globally distributed around the world.

Excuse 1 - It's not the Right Time

It will never be the right time. Right time is anytime you feel it's time to be independent. Harvard Business Review published a recent research that the average age of successful startup founders when starting their companies was 45. 

Search for entrepreneur's startup stories and you will find plenty of articles talking about different ages for startups, it just need to tick in your mind, so focus on that tick and concentrate your efforts to make it succeed whenever it comes. Trust your inner gut and start planning for the best innovative idea that fits for you.

Excuse 2 - I Failed Several Times

Jack Ma, builder of Alibaba's Empire, is not better than anyone of us. He was working overseas in the U.S., looking for funds for his idea and he failed more than 30 times to find a job in China. Here's his story on YouTube: Jack Ma Inspirational Speech

Many other leaders and influencers have their own stories and they failed also but they believed in their dreams and seeked for realizing them. Thomas Edison said: "I have not failed. I found 10,000 ways that won't work". That's how they understood failure and embraced it.

Excuse 3 - I Don't Have Enough Resources

Today and alone, with the availability of internet connection, you start your own blog with tiny budget. Just buy a domain for $2.5 USD per year and link it to your blog and that's it. Start blogging and enroll in Google Adsense program for earning money from your content. 

Or, with your free Gmail account, create your own free YouTube Channel with your unique content and start talking about what you enjoy, what you know, your expertise, how you can teach others from your lessons learned in life. Be unique, honest, and clear, than you will have millions of views. Later on, you can upgrade to higher subscription models and buy advanced equipment to enhance your content.

Your startup doesn't have to be big from day one, you just need to start. 

Excuse 4 - My Situational Circumstances are not Suitable

We all have our own circumstances, you are not unique in this. Circumstances mean time, resources, or tools.

If it comes to "Time", do you want to convince yourself that you cannot spare one hour daily of your time, to plan for your business? If so, you need to consult your trusted family members or friends to help you manage your time. I'm sure you can delegate tasks to some of them to help you dedicate one hour daily to plan for a small business idea. Think about making partnerships with people who helped you, maybe in the future. 

 We have explained resources reasons in the paragraph above, so when you say I don't have the right tools to start, then you need to read more about startups who launched their DIY businesses from scratch without having tools. They have built their handcrafted items with available home tools and waited until they earned income to cover the expenses of buying professional tools. 

Excuse 5 - My Mindset is not Entrepreneurial

Now you have to excuse me because this is not right. Entrepreneurial style is in the DNA of everyone of us. We just need to nurture that body cell to grow and to be noticeable on our radar, then feed it again to start. 

We've all heard of the two "good and evil wolfs" instilled in our DNA, the one we nurture more will grow with us and define our future.

Entrepreneurship and innovation are both practices that can be learned by anyone. Willingness is only the thing that I'm trying to motivate here. Are you willing or not?

Note: If your target is only financial freedom, then please leave this article or jump to one of my older posts about life purpose here, than come back here to join where you left.  


Employee to Entrepreneur - Recommended Things to Do/Check


Here are my recommendations for the first things that you need to do in order to become an entrepreneur: 

-- Here, you are an Employee --
  1. Find you WHY: why are you doing this? There should be a noble reason behind this purpose, totally different than money. Focus about your values and morals. 
  2. List your skills and passions: Priority is very important. Start by listing where you are highly skilled than lower to lower.
  3. Find a problem that you can solve: Search within your local community. Watch and observe, ask and brainstorm until you pick up a certain pain that you can help solving.
  4. Budget your initiative: Simple calculations are required which can be performed in Excel or any other software. Use your calculator and estimate your expenses. It is very crucial to compare the actual vs planned expenses to alter tasks based on budget.
  5. Get feedback from others: Trusted family members and friends are an extremely reliable source of evaluation during the steps of your process.
  6. Find a market for your idea: Use Google search and Google Trends with social media accounts to make a robust and reliable marketing plan.
-- Congratulations: Here, you are an Entrepreneur --

Employee to Entrepreneur - Recommended Books to Read


I highly recommend reading the following books: 
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship - by Peter F. Drucker
  • Start With WHY and Find Your WHY - by Simon Sinek
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation - Global Insights From 24 Leaders - by Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship - Creativity and Innovative Business Models - by Thierry Burger-Helmchen
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship Workbook - by Bill Aulet
  • 101 Crucial Lessons They Don't Teach You in Business School - by Chris Haroun
  • The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Entrepreneur's Handbook - by Harvard Business Review,
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship - by John Bessant and Joe Tidd
  • Lean Entrepreneurship, Innovation in the Modern Enterprise - by George Watt and Howard Abrams
  • Start Your Own Business, The Only Startup Book You'll Ever Need - by the staff of Entrepreneur Media Inc.
  • The 5 AM Club - by Robin Sharma
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - by Stephen R. Covey 
  • The Art of Creative Thinking, How to Be Innovative and Develop Great Ideas - by John Adair
  • The Innovators DNA, Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators - by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Christensen

Note: To request the above books, head to the Contact Us page and drop me an email with the name of the book you need, and I'll send it right away. Good luck!
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