The first step is to realise that you will be responsible for your decisions from this point, the good and the bad. Entrepreneurs have this amazing ability to create something from absolutely nothing, and they know full well that no one else shall be able to do it for them. This means it's all on you, and the comfort of having decisions made for you shall no longer be an option. Moreover, a sense of urgency begins to bubble as decisions must be made promptly and accurately, and you must be accustomed to make these choices in a time-strained environment.
The need to plan for the future and as well as the present becomes a necessity. The difference lies in the practice of employees only concentrating their current job; prioritising its completion now, where the next job comes later. But as an entrepreneur, you need to forecast possible uncertainties which lie around the corner and prepare for it, for it affects you directly, both in monetary and physical terms, mind you. A sudden realisation shall arise with time that what you shall do today a self-earner, shall affect your business years down the line.
Tunnel vision grips you when you're working for someone else. Employees tend to think “inside your own box,” rather than outside it, and only concerned about the factors which cost and benefit them, speaking for the masses. But with regard to your own business, the risks you take, the employees you hire, the decisions you make, it all becomes your responsibility and you are held accountable. You must learn to embrace discomfort, and be comfortable living in it. You are your own boss, for you shall receive the jabs for your own and your team's mistakes and errors.
When working for an organisation, you are given a specific job description and expected to operate on a specific skill-set. An entrepreneur lacks that luxury, for unless you have the funds to outsource tasks and processes which you are inexperienced with, you will have to do it yourself. That includes giving presentations, setting up spreadsheets, closing clients, marketing your ideas, adapting to unfimiliar technology etc. When your business is at stake, there is no room for excuses, for you must do what must be done.
As an employee, all you were required to be concerned about, monetarily, is what's coming in and going out. Keeping financial roles out of the equation, as long as you kept your numbers straight, the organisation as a machine shall regulate smoothly. However, numbers turn into a whole new ball game as you run a firm. Your sixth grade math hacks come into play as you shall be forced to love numbers to survive and keep track of your cash flow. Eventually, it shall be these numbers – revenues, profits, losses, sales – which will determine if your night's sleep shall be a sound one or not. Without your constant outlook over the figures, your business shall probably sink into the smallest of puddles.
The lavish lifestyle of spending your salary in the first few days of the month shall no longer be an option once you run your own business. For the first few months, every penny matters and you shall be pushed into thinking not only for yourself, but for your significant revenue-generating other. Employees tend to be loose-handed as the company buck seems endless and insignificant to them, but when it's your own trade, you are your company.
A job is comfortable, in the sense that you have specified expectations and limits to operate in. You are not required to go the extra mile or keep doing tasks you despise to get your salary, and a sense of pleasure derives from doing exactly what is enough, but no more. With the title of an entrepreneur, unfortunately, the factor of loving what you do is a necessity, for the long hours and effort required is no easy task otherwise. However, many firm-runners fall into the trap of working “in” their own company rather than steering it forward as a leader. The mentality and perspective of your role is to change completely, for you run your firm instead of working for it.
A few fun factors are added into the entrepreneurial life, for if you break the rules, who's going to fire you? You are no longer required to follow the status quo, and have complete freedom to fly any way the wind takes you. The next step, possibilty and opportunity shall become your constant thought. There isn't a salary comfortingly waiting anymore.
The nine-to-five becomes a frustrating bind to many; to have to work specified hours to your disliking. The problems of your desk tend to disappear immediately as you punch out. Whether if you see this as a positive or negative factor is on you, for an entrepreneur has no fixed hours, which is also another way of saying you are at work every second. You will live and breathe your business, thinking of doing what you love even better, efficiently and more effectively.
Most tend to simplify the transition process from being an employee to an entrepreneur, for it takes time and a few compulsory backtracks, of course. The safest option is slowly develop the latter mindset while you still have a boss, and that safety net of a salary. The good thing is, the grey area is what most consider to be the perfect employee – driven, company-savvy and determined. Hopefully, you may just be starting your new business with a superb recommendation from the last job, well, if you ever need it.