How to Stop Thinking Like An Employee And Start Thinking Like An Entrepreneur
Re-wire your mind by unlearning the employee mindset
“I made $8,000 this month.”
I remember a conversation I had years back with a fellow Medium writer.
She’d been writing on the website for a little over a year and started to hit that moment in her career where the same level of effort yielded much higher rewards.
See, in the beginning, you don’t make all that much from your efforts because you’re learning, experimenting, and getting better at building a profitable skill.
If you think like an employee, you’d see her initial efforts as fruitless, which is exactly what happens to a lot of new content creators and would-be entrepreneurs.
This is just one of the many limiting beliefs you develop because you’ve been trained to look a life through the lens of an employee.
Let’s break this first example down further and discuss a few others.
Employees Think About $ Per Hour Output, Entrepreneurs Think About Exponential Growth
Nassim Taleb once said:
“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”
So many aspiring entrepreneurs and creators quit very early because they’re not used to doing work that doesn’t provide an immediate and predictable reward.
In the beginning, your dollar per hour output is going to be close to zero.
I wrote free articles for about 18 months before I ever made a dime from my writing, and even when I started making some money, it wasn’t much.
I’ve seen some writers on Medium complain about how the platform doesn’t provide a living wage. They just don’t get it.
With entrepreneurial income, you don’t have any guarantee of making money. But you also get to experience the massive upside that can come with exponential growth.
I remember a blog post from the writer I opened the story about. One of the readers calculated her wages based on the time she spent as something like $5/hr, which was true at the time.
Fast forward a few months, and she was making hundreds and thousands of dollars for a few hours of work. If you want to get big wins, learn how to work for the sake of building skills first.
There are also a bunch of limiting beliefs and dangerous mindsets that come from being addicted to earning money through wages:
You plan your life as if the money is always going to come in, when, in reality, you could lose your job at any time. Just ask people who lost their jobs when the pandemic hit.
You get stuck on all these concepts that limit your earning potential in your mind. Do you want a ‘living wage’ or do you want to be rich?
You get accustomed to earning less than you’re worth. By definition, a company has to charge more than what its services are worth to make a profit
Employees Are Fragile, Entrepreneurs Are Antifragile
People with the employee mindset create a fragile lifestyle that is full of risk. Counterintuitively, entrepreneurship can be less risky than having a job.
A fragile lifestyle is the type of lifestyle that requires perfect conditions to stay intact.
If you look at the life of a typical employed person, they are sitting on top of a gigantic pile of risk.
It reminds me of a quote about the ‘Turkey Problem’ from Nassim Taleb’s book Antifragile:
“Consider a turkey that is fed every day. Every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race “looking out for its best interests,” as a politician would say. On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.*”
Most people who think and live like employees are turkeys. Everything is fine, usually, until it’s not. Then, when things go south, they go south very quickly.
Let’s look at some typical elements of an employee’s lifestyle that leave them susceptible to ruin:
Living check to check because of the false belief in job security
Racking up consumer debt because they think they’ll always have money to pay it back
Making massive purchases based on the belief that they’ll be able to pay them off. Think: people who bought houses they couldn’t afford before the 08 crisis
Failing to save money and keeping a rainy day fund
Not staying sharp and building new skills because they believe the industry they’re in will last forever (when it probably won’t)
All it takes is a catalyst to spark a series of negative events that can ruin the life of someone who thinks like this — pandemics, housing crashes, recessions, inflation, etc.
A lot of people are about to get punched in the gut these next few years, all because they live a fragile lifestyle
Entrepreneurial thinking is antifragile, which means you put yourself in a position to benefit from chaos instead of letting it hurt you.
Of course, there’s still downside risk, but that’s where the idea of convexity comes in. convexity means you place bets with a known downside and a large upside.
For example, you can’t sell negative books, but you can sell millions of copies. Your downside is known, and the upside is unlimited.
Here are some other benefits of antifragile entrepreneurial thinking:
You’re never asleep at the wheel because your income isn’t consistent. You have to stay on your toes instead of letting a paycheck lull you into complacency
You take several small risks instead of living a life where you’re susceptible to huge risks like the turkey
The more bets you make that payoff, the more bets you can continue to make, creating an upward cycle of exponential growth
Employees Rely on the Kindness Of Others, Entrepreneurs Take On All The Risk But Get All the Reward
So many people stuck in the employee mindset are always focused on someone else coming to save them.
“Raise the minimum wage!” They say. Instead, why not just build a life where the living wage doesn’t matter at all.
As an employee, your entire lifestyle is based on the whims of your source of income. Often, your employer knows this and exploits this.
Wages are one of those exploitations. I agree that people often don’t get paid enough. Most companies pay you just enough to not quit. And there’s a famous saying that having a job means you’re ‘just over broke’
You shouldn’t complain about things like wages because they’re a voluntary agreement you make to avoid perceived risks. Because you rely on others for your income, you’re subject to their rules.
The entrepreneur takes on all the risks, which is why they deserve to reap the most reward. If your business goes bust, it’s not like you can just up and get another job.
Entrepreneurship as a whole is fueled by tons of people who try to become successful at business, yet fail. The risk-taking of entrepreneurs makes society a better place.
Capitalism has many problems. And some mega-rich people due benefit from crony policies, but, overall, it’s a process that’s better than others because of the incentives.
The promise of being able to make a fortune and reach lots of people drives individuals to do things like create content and build businesses.
In order to make that promise real, you have to put all the faith in yourself and take on all the responsibility.
The good news is that in 2022 and beyond you don’t have to break the bank to start a business or create content. You can do it on the side. But the mindset still has to be there.
No one is coming to save you, ever, period.
You can try to change the minds of your employer or your government to help you get the money you think you deserve, or you can just go get the money on your own.
When you do it on your own, you can make money the way you want to make it and make as much as you want without asking for permission.
Bet on yourself.
This article is all i needed today...thank you!