Becoming the Boss: Shifting From an Employee to Owner Mindset

Category: Entrepreneur

Becoming the Boss: Shifting From an Employee to Owner Mindset


Being a business owner is as much a lifestyle as it is a job. Even a successful and productive employee may struggle with becoming the boss if they don’t have the right mindset. To be successful when starting a business, you must be prepared to adopt a business owner’s mindset.


Be Prepared To Wear Many Hats

As an employee, one day’s workload looks pretty similar to the next. Your job’s main duties can fit neatly into a few bullet points on a resume, and you generally never have to stray too far outside your comfort zone.

When you become the boss, every day is an adventure. While you may want to start an ice cream parlor to sell ice cream, you’ll also be responsible for marketing the ice cream, sourcing the ice cream, and cleaning up sticky spills. Everything from hiring and training employees to managing the finances will fall squarely on you.

Even after you’ve hired staff to share the load, you’re still responsible for making sure they’re getting the job done. It will take some time to get the right people in place, and more time still before they’re trained enough that you can trust them to do the job without supervision.

On the upside, the day-to-day variety is what many business owners love. No two days are exactly alike and monotony is a thing of the past.

Before kissing your current job goodbye, take a look at how the different departments in your company operate and get a sense of what those jobs entail.

If you’ve taken the franchise route to business ownership, you’re in luck. Franchisors know nobody is an expert in everything, and they have support and resources to help you learn the things you’ve never done before.


Create A Schedule And Stick To It

When you clock into your job, what’s the first thing you do?

Chances are, you know exactly what that first task is, as well as the one that follows it. Either you were assigned a routine workflow, or found one that works for the tasks you need to complete in a given time period.

But when you are your own boss, there isn’t anyone telling you when a task needs to be completed, or even what the tasks are. If you haven’t been in a managerial role before, you may find it hard to be your own manager. Creating a schedule can help you figure out what tasks you need to complete, and when you can reasonably finish them.

To start, try creating a weekly schedule of the tasks you perform at your current job. Visualizing how your week is actually structured and where your time is spent can help you see how long certain tasks take you, and where you can save time. Speaking of time…


Kiss Those 40-Hour Work Weeks Goodbye (For Now)

Even with a schedule, don’t expect that owning your own business means that you’ll be able to work less (at least at first). When you first start your business, there will be hiccups – some unforeseeable and others that can be prevented in the future.

For instance, an employee may call out sick an hour before their shift, leaving only you to fill in for them. There could be an emergency at your store just before closing which requires you, the owner, to get out of bed and talk to the authorities.

Remember those extra hats you’ll need to wear? All those tasks take time, which can quickly add up and cause you to work far more hours than you ever did as an employee.

The good news is that as your business grows, you will be able to push off more and more of your duties onto employees, managers, or contractors trained for these tasks. If you invest in a franchise, some of these tasks will be handled by the franchisor altogether, giving you more time to focus on the parts of your business you are passionate about.

Most business owners find working extra hours feels completely different when you’re building your own company instead of someone else’s.


Start Budgeting

Be honest: do you know how much money you spent last month, and where exactly it went? If you are like the two-thirds of Americans who don’t prepare a detailed household budget, you probably don’t.

When you become a business owner, you also become the business’ chief financial officer. Before you do that, you should become the chief financial officer of your own life. Creating a personal budget allows you to practice handling a business's finances, without the risk of potentially crashing one.

There are many different budgeting spreadsheets, apps, and tools out there that can help you create a detailed household budget. The short of it is that you want to be able to show exactly how much money came in each month, and where it went.


Keep An Open Mind And Keep Learning

Transitioning from being an employee to a business owner isn’t a five-step process that ends once you open your doors. It’s a lifelong process of learning what works and what doesn’t. As a business owner, it’s ultimately up to you to make your business a success.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to constantly reinvent the wheel. Learn from other business owners, and don’t be afraid to connect with other owners in your area to share tips and advice.

Create your own council of advisors. Connect semi-regularly with your franchisor, other franchisees in your company, and professional advisors like your accountant to get feedback on your ideas and find out what’s working in other businesses.

Becoming your own boss is one of the most rewarding transitions you’ll ever make. But it is a transition. Shifting your mindset before you start will put you in a much better place to pursue the path to success.

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