Have you quit your job to become your own boss? If so, then this is for you. I want to address the struggle that many people have during this transition – something that I call “9 to 5 detox.” To make the transition work, there are some tips about how you can change your mindset and set yourself up for success.
Figure Out Your Habit Type
When we are employees, there is a structure where we have to get to the job at a certain time. You have to be there. Whether things are crazy busy or it is a slow day, you are expected to be there and warm that chair.
It is hard to get out of this mentality that the #1 thing is to be there.
When you transition to being your own boss, you think, “What am I going to do today? What am I going to start with?”
Sometimes you have really productive days. Some days aren’t so productive. This simply isn’t going to work in the long run. You have to amp up your productivity. The thing is that we all have different ways of boosting productivity. What works for me might not work for you. I talk about this in my post about increasing productivity. I highly suggest you read that for starters. Once you know what your habit type is, you can find out which things will support your productivity best.
Priority Not Priorities
When transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, you’ve got to prioritize. There is a great book that I love about this called Essentialism. One of the things the author says is that priorities shouldn’t even be plural. It should just be priority.
The author is really ruthless in talking about what’s essential and what isn’t, and how to get closer to doing just the essential things so you can move forward towards your goals.
As an employee, we're not used to prioritizing because we are expected to FILL THAT TIME. We often don’t have much say in what we need to get done or how to do it — even if it doesn’t make sense or there’s a more efficient way to do it.
You are an entrepreneur now! Don’t just give yourself another job! Sometimes you’ve really got to take a step back from your business, look at what you are doing objectively, and ask yourself, “What part of this is important, and what parts of this should I either get someone else to do or ignore completely?”
This advice is unconventional because we are talking about productivity. Shouldn’t it all be about go, go, go and work more, work harder, and work faster?
The truth is that those periods of rest are where you get your best ideas and where your creativity has a chance to spark. This is also not something we are used to as employees with 9-5 jobs. As an employee, you didn’t get to sit down by the pool in the middle of the work week with a notebook to strategize!
Rest is something that you should work into your business plan, and even schedule in some rest time. You don’t need to go 24/7.
If you have been building your business during evenings and weekends like I did, then it is even harder to get that rest because you’ve probably been working 60 or 80 hours a week. All of a sudden, when you quit your day job and become a fulltime entrepreneur, you have more time and you are just not used to it. But, when you are tired, you are not doing your best work. Slow down and focus on what is really important.
When Do You Do Your Best Work?
One important thing I want to focus on is when and how you do your best work. This has taken me a long time to figure out – and I’m still figuring it out.
Are you the type who needs quiet time? A quiet space where you can sit down and do your work?
Do you work best if you are at a café where it’s bustling and noisy and there are lots of other people there?
Do you work best in the early, early morning? Do you work best in the evenings?
Do you work best in video or in written form?
Focus on what your skills, talents, and desires are, and do more of that. Don’t force yourself to do things that you are terrible at. And, for those things you are terrible at, hire an assistant. (I talk about this in my post about the best personality quiz).
I hear from entrepreneurs all the time that are saying, “Oh, I should be doing this and that,” but they don't want to do it. Then why? WHY are you doing that??? And that leads me to my final point, which is value your time.
Value Your Time
I'm a big fan of outsourcing. If you've been reading my blogs and watching my videos, you'll know that this is something I talk about a lot because I think it's essential for you not to do everything yourself. You are the CEO of your new business. Even if it is just you right now.
You need to value your time and know what it is worth. If you want, put a dollar amount on your time. Anything you can outsource for less than that, you should not be doing yourself! For more on outsourcing, see these posts about delegation skills and tasks to outsource to your assistant.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you transitioned from a “day job” to full time entrepreneurship? Please leave a comment below!
2 thoughts on “Transition from Employee to Being Your Own Boss”
I agrre with what you are saying about outsourcing but when you’re just starting out and you don”t have the money to pay someone else to do it, The entrepreneur gets stuck with all the duties. At what point in my business expansion should I be planning to outsource. I mean what are the milestones I should be looking out for. So I know it’s the right time.
If your business is your side hustle and your goal is to make it your full time job some day, I would use every dollar you can from your business to outsource. Meaning, if possible, pay yourself zero from your biz for a little while since you have your day job anyway, especially for tasks that you can outsource for a lot less than what you’re earning at your day job. If you’re spending your evenings and weekends working on $10/hour tasks you’re not going to make progress very fast. PLUS you’ll exercise that outsourcing “muscle” in the process and learn how to be a better delegator which will help SO much later on in your biz.
Here’s a little list of some tasks that you can outsource sooner rather than later: https://sylviemccracken.com/outsource-virtual-assistant/
Hope that helps!