Are you an entrepreneur or an employee? Although you may own your business, you may be stuck with an employee mindset. This is especially true if you started your network marketing business after working a regular 9 to 5 job. It’s difficult to snap out of that way of thinking; however, continuing to think like an employee can be detrimental to your business.
Why your mindset matters
How you think influences every other area of your life, most importantly how you act. Put another way, your actions reflect your thoughts.
For example, if you think like an employee, you’ll wait to act until you’re told. That means you may not connect with your network on a daily basis unless someone tells you to. However, if you think like an entrepreneur, you take it upon yourself to connect with your network daily. You don’t need a nudge from a mentor or your upline – you know it has to get done.
If you want to go far in network marketing and build a thriving business, it’s essential to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
What is an employee mindset?
An employee mindset dictates that you work for someone, even if it’s yourself.
An employee mindset dictates that you don’t have to plan for your business. It allows you to think that you can take a passenger seat – you don’t need goals or a vision; all that will come from your upline. All you have to do is move some product and get some other folks on board.
You’re just fine being told what to do to build your business, instead of seeking out advice and taking the time and space to plan it for yourself.
The entrepreneurial mindset
An entrepreneurial mindset is just the opposite. Sure, your upline may have some ideas to help you build your business but you know that you’re in the driver’s seat to make it all happen. Entrepreneurs take the time to analyze the numbers before setting goals that are ambitious, yet achievable. They focus on personal growth and look for ways to improve themselves. After all, the more they grow their minds and skills, the more their business will grow as well.
If you’ve worked for an employer for a number of years, it’s difficult to break out of this passive employee way of thinking. Even if you were just itching to break free, you might find yourself thinking the same employee-style thoughts you had when you had your desk job.
- I’ll set goals when I know what the target is.
- I’ll make more calls and grow my network when my upline suggests it.
- If I should be selling more, I’m sure my upline would tell me.
Do you see the difference? An entrepreneur sets the mark for themselves, while the employee waits to hear it from someone else. Sure, you may be able to make a few bucks operating like an employee, but it’s impossible to build a thriving business.
Business owners are leaders. Initially, they’re leaders of their businesses. However, over time, they even become leaders in their industries as well. They want to do more than make a few extra bucks (although there’s nothing wrong with that); they want to redefine themselves as business leaders of their communities.
So how do you make the shift from an employee mindset and cultivate an entrepreneurial one?
6 steps to developing an entrepreneurial mindset
See yourself as a successful entrepreneur
In order to flip your mindset, you have to start thinking you’ve already achieved success, even if you’re just starting out in network marketing. It’s similar to tricking yourself into being happier by smiling. Once you begin to think of yourself as a successful entrepreneur, you’ll start on the path toward becoming one.
The first step is to visualize a life of success, where you’re a success and your business is thriving. What does it look like? What have you achieved personally and professionally? Have you reached a particular sales goal or is your network a certain size?
Once you have a complete picture, the next step is to come up with a plan to make it happen. That’s where your goals come in. Set goals that will help you make what you see a reality. Since you may not be able to achieve it all at once, set smaller, shorter term goals to help you get on the path to success.
Learn from your mistakes
No one likes to make mistakes. In fact, some of us are downright brutal to ourselves when we make one. However, mistakes are the most valuable learning tool in an entrepreneur’s toolbox. Think of the famous Thomas Edison quote, “I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” You may laugh, but it’s true. The truly successful only achieved it after falling short many, many times. But with each failure, they’ve assessed the situation and have come up with a new approach. If that failed, they come up with yet a new approach and continue the process until they hit their target. Through it all, they don’t give up. Sure, they may take a break to rethink things, but in the end, they come back to it.
Challenges should be approached from the same perspective. Yes, they are inconvenient and at times seem insurmountable, but don’t give up. Think of them as an opportunity to grow beyond your comfort zone and into the next level of success.
Focus on professional development
Your business will only grow as large as your mind will allow. If you want to thrive in any market and any industry, you have to commit to personal and professional growth. The lesson of the year is that things are always changing. Although you may think you’ve planned for it all, along comes a pandemic to throw the game pieces in the air.
Even though no business was totally prepared, the most resilient business leaders were able to see this as an opportunity to hone their skills and learn new ways to grow and serve their networks. In addition to taking online workshops and classes, this is a great time to meet with a mentor and learn all you can about your industry. So many people are looking for information about your industry right now; make sure you’re at the top of your game so you can answer their questions. Now is the time to plant the seeds of future business.
Lean into accountability
At the end of the day, you’re responsible for your business. The biggest hurdle of the employee mindset is making this shift in accountability. When you’re an employee, the CEO is responsible for what goes on in the company and your boss is the one responsible for your department. However, when you’re the boss, it’s all on you.
The good news is this is another opportunity for assessment and growth. What can you do differently next time? How will you approach issues in the future?
Know where you stand in your business
When you’re an employee, you have a fuzzy relationship with the sales and income figures of the business. You may see them once a quarter during a meeting, but otherwise, you have no idea if sales are up, down, or sideways. But, when you’re the leader, you should know every figure of your business, from monthly sales to projected income.
Make your business a priority
Although network marketing may have begun as a side hustle, for many it’s become a full-time business. However, many continue to see it as their side hustle and don’t make it a priority. Then they wonder why they’re not making the income they expected.
When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s essential to make your business a priority. To do that, you must invest in it – invest your time, money, and energy.
- Time: Commit to a Power Hour daily. A Power Hour is 60 minutes where you focus solely on your business, with no interruptions. During this hour, you’ll connect with your customers, prospects, and distributors and take care of any loose ends in your business. Although you’d ideally get it all done in one fell swoop, you can break the 60 minutes into smaller chunks of time that fit within your schedule.
- Money: Had a great month in sales? Invest it back into your business. Although you’ll take some money out to cover expenses, don’t forget to reinvest back into your business.
- Energy: Your business deserves your energy and attention. This goes hand in hand with your time. Don’t wait to focus on your business until your internal tank is spent; take care of business while you’re still feeling fresh and focused.