Thinking Like an Entrepreneur While Being An Employee

EntrepreneurWhen we’re at work, we are employees paid to take care of certain responsibilities.  Your salary, or your wage, is what you get to fulfill your role for your employer.  In this sense, we are employees – and not entrepreneurs.

Nevertheless, I’ve been thinking that we are all entrepreneurs in one sense or another.  Regardless of what we do, or even to some degree what we do for our employers, we’re entrepreneurs cloaked as employees.  Or maybe we should simply try to recognize the value of entrepreneurial thinking in our jobs and lives.

Employees are Entrepreneurs

Here’s what it comes down to.  If we start our own business, we fit the category automatically.  If we’re working for someone else, we still are responsible for marketing a product, and making business deals outside the context of job responsibilities.  I say that because the product we are selling is ourselves.  There is a free market at play for services, and we strike a deal with a customer – our “employer”.

Once we’re at work, we aren’t anchored to the job.  Now, sometimes life circumstances can paint people into a corner where they need a job.  That’s probably most people, and it’s something that I aspire to break free from at some point eventually (not anytime soon, unfortunately!).  But my point is that we are free to look for another job if we don’t like the one we have.  We are free to get rid of the customer (just as they can fire us), and strike a better deal with someone else.

So really, we’re independent business people, even if working as employees.

Entrepreneurs on the Job

I think that while at work, within the confines of our job, we should also think like entrepreneurs.  My reasoning is that in any business, the idea is that the entity needs to make money.  If it’s not making money, it’s not going to be around for long.  So even if you have a job function not directly related to revenue generation – perhaps administration, operations, back office work, etc – it still helps to think like a businessperson.

My reasoning? The more you can demonstrate that you generate revenue for a business, the more likely you are to be deemed hard to dispose of.  Even better, a key player.  That’s because work that’s simply overhead is a necessary evil, functional but not really diving the business.  If we think of ways to help the company have an advantage in the market, handle customers better, etc – it can only help us.

Entrepreneurs with Side Hustles

Okay, so we are independent businesspeople even as employees.  And then, in our actual jobs, thinking like business people can be to our benefit.  The next step is to actually do something outside of your career and be an entrepreneur.

This could mean starting your own side business, related to your direct field.  Or, it could be a smaller hobby business.  Or, it could be having an online business.  This could even include blogging, as many of us know :)

A real benefit here is that we can channel our creative energies into something we truly enjoy, outside of our day jobs.   Something all ours.  This can even lead to some level of risk management, as we can diversify our income.  Having multiple income streams is a good thing!

Readers – What about You?

What is your opinion about the concept of thinking like an entrepreneur?

Are there instances where you think like an entrepreneur with your career?

Do you have any side hustles? Perhaps blogging? :)

12 thoughts on “Thinking Like an Entrepreneur While Being An Employee

  1. Pauline

    I had several side hustles when I was an employee, but close to zero entrepreneurial thinking within my job. I would rather put my energy towards personal projects than a maybe raise and a maybe better promotion.

    Reply
    1. Post author

      Pauline – we all have to do what works best for our individual situation. Sometimes personal projects can yield more long-term value, depending on our current activities.

      Reply
    2. eemusings

      Interesting point – there are many cases when there isn’t much room to make more at work and it pays to focus on cultivating other income streams (without slacking off on the day job)…

      Reply
  2. Edward Antrobus

    When I’ve had jobs that offered that kind of flexibility, I’ve always tried to be an “intra-preneur” There have been a number of times I’ve impressed my bosses by thinking to myself “how can I do this job better” and then just doing it without asking anyone for permission.

    My actual entrepreneurial endeavors, on the other hand, have never really met with much success.

    Reply
    1. Post author

      Edward – while perhaps your entrepreneurial endeavors haven’t worked out, that doesn’t mean future ones won’t. Learn from your experiences and keep coming back stronger!

      Reply
  3. Vaprisi Prosklitiria

    I was lucky early in my business career to receive this advice from an old entrepreneur. It was quite hard to implement it all the time since some of the employers DON’T like this type of thinking.
    Finally when I decide to start my own business, things was more easy for me since i had already some knowledge and experience on critical issues of being en entrepreneur after implement this type of thinking for some years as Employee.
    Thank you for this nice post.

    Reply
    1. Post author

      Thanks, glad you liked the post. I can see how having this experience as being an employee could help once you went out on your own.

      Reply
  4. The First Million is the Hardest

    One thing I’ve always had on the job is the thinking of an entrepreneur. Sometimes it’s thinking about how I can get ahead and get myself into a bigger/better position, and other times it’s thinking of other side hustles I can start to get myself out of there faster!

    Reply
    1. Post author

      First Million – I know what you mean. It’s important to think like a businessperson and have our head in the game. It’s usually better than moving along on cruise control or with blinders on.

      Reply
    1. Post author

      eemusings – yes, I agree that ultimately, most jobs involve growing or keeping the business one way or another.

      Reply
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