Nearly everyone wants to be their own boss. Guess what? Even when you work for someone else, you still work for yourself. Maybe you don’t have the title, the salary, or the freedom of an actual entrepreneur, but the truth is, you are the Chief Executive Officer of You, Inc.
You have the freedom to run your career how you want. You can give yourself whatever title you want. You can pay yourself whatever you want. Okay, that last one wasn’t true, but other than determining your own salary, you (and your career) are the business, and your employer is the client.
So let’s look at ways to think and act like an entrepreneur. The benefits of thinking like the boss include feeling better about going to work, and being better at work.
Since you are a budding and busy entrepreneur, I won’t waste any more of your time. What follows are several suggestions to put yourself on the path to “Empowership” (a term I coined for those people who want to get the most from their jobs by thinking like an entrepreneur).
Quick and Easy Things To Do
1. Focus on Solutions.
People pay for solutions, which is what the best businesses provide. Seeing problems as opportunities to shine and focusing on finding solutions changes how we think about our jobs. A solution-oriented mindset not only makes the day go by faster, one of our ideas could lead to building our own business someday. When Betty Nesmith worked as a secretary in the 1950s she was tired of having to retype entire pages when she made a mistake so she used white nail polish to cover up her typos and Liquid Paper was launched—making her a multi-millionaire.
Action Item: Start an idea journal—a place to store all of our wild ideas. It doesn’t matter how crazy our idea may be, or if it will ever be implemented, it’s the act of getting good ideas that matters most. We can also brand ourselves by creating our own business cards with whatever title we want. (Nobody has to see them, but creating our own logo, slogan, and title is empowering.)
2. Focus on Win/Win.
There is a saying that goes something like this, “If we don’t have goals of our own, we end up working to help others reach their goals.” Having our own goals and seeing where they intersect with our employer’s goals helps us understand that our hard work is not just benefiting the company we work for, but us as well. Take training for example. If the company we work for is willing to pay for additional training, that’s a win/win for both us and our employer.
Action Item: Creating a business plan for our career could be as simple as a choosing a person or company we admire and aspire to and writing down the steps they took to get ahead. We can then ask ourselves, what would Steve Jobs do (or whomever we choose as a role model) if he were me? A business plan doesn’t have be on paper, either. If we think up words that describe what we want and then use those key words to search for photos that represent our ambitions, we can put the words and images together and create a slide show we can watch when we need a boost or are unsure what to do next.
If we were the owner, what would we do? When we start thinking like an owner we not only have a better understanding of the business, we have a better feel for what it takes to run a company. Changing our perspective also changes how we think and feel about our job. Maybe we can’t be the boss, but we can think like one and if possible, take ownership of our job, a project, or an area. For example, at eBay, several employees decided they would start a “Green Team” and look for ways the company could be better for the environment. Over pizza these employees decided that all copiers would all be set to print only double-sided. The green team then grew from a handful of people and a couple of projects, to an important part of the company.
Action Item: When we treat the company’s customers like our own clients and our coworkers like fellow CEO’s, it improves how well we work. Also, by thinking like an owner we will likely look for ways to make money, save money, or come up with ideas to improve the image and brand of the business. We should start a success log and write down any high-profile projects we worked on, include the ideas we implemented, and note the ways we won a client over or helped improve the morale at work. (Also, keep your resume updated with your latest and greatest accomplishments.)
Lee Silber is the best selling author of 23 books. Lee can be contacted through Keynote Resource.
Copyright © 2018 Lee Silber All rights reserved.