If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably got some of that entrepreneur spirit in you looking at the differences between and employee vs entrepreneur mindset?

However, is your mindset REALLY where it needs to be to call yourself a true entrepreneur? Or do you still have one foot out the door into the world of the employee mindset?

Before we get too far, it’s important to note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an employee or having a job. This article is not about bashing employees. The world needs employees and working a job is an honorable way to make a living.

But the truth of the matter is that if you’re of the entrepreneur mindset, and you want to become successful as an entrepreneur, you want to be all in and think the way a successful entrepreneur thinks!

Because truthfully when you’re on the fence, it puts you at a disadvantage as an employee and an entrepreneur.

Let’s face it. If you feel like you’re being held down, and you feel like you need to strike out on your own, then you’re not going to be the best employee you can be.

On the flip side, if you have struck out on your own as an entrepreneur, and you’re still in the employee mindset where you’re not 100% accountable for your own actions, then you’ll probably struggle as an entrepreneur longer than you’d like to.

So let’s get you set straight with the employee vs entrepreneur mindset!

This is a video I made a few years ago but I think it's still very relevant today and you will get a bunch out of it.

5 Vital Mindset Differences Between The Employee Vs Entrepreneur Mindset!

#1: Security VS. Freedom

Let’s face it, most of us were raised by employees.

Because of that, through conditioning, we developed the mantra of “Job Security” as the holy grail. You must graduate high school, go to college, get a degree, get a good well-paying secure job” with benefits, and save up for retirement when you’re 65+.

This is drilled into us by all the people that care about us, so we simply believe that it’s the truth.  Our parents, grandparents, teachers, most of our friends (because they were raised with the same beliefs) and then later of course our bosses and fellow employees.

And for some, it most certainly is the best way to go and there is nothing wrong with doing that.

If you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit, however, then there is a new way of thinking you MUST embrace.

Make no mistake, entrepreneurs value security as well. We have families, bills, homes that we’d like to be able to stay living in.

However, when it comes down to it, entrepreneurs value FREEDOM much more highly.

Both freedom in the present sense where we don’t feel like we’re under someone else’s rule and authority… but also the drive for financial freedom for our future.

When we have that freedom mindset, it drives us to be better. To help more people, and to set a greater vision, bigger goals, and a higher standard of who we are.

#2: Trading Time for Money VS Creating Value for Money

“Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living!”

Dolly Parton sang it to us in the ’80s, drilling it in even further. (Although to be fair, the song was railing against the grind more than embracing it.)

Check it out…

Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'

Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin'

They just use your mind and they never give you credit

It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it

9 to 5, for service and devotion

You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion

Want to move ahead but the boss won't seem to let me

I swear sometimes that man is out to get me!

No wonder Dolly Parton was such a successful entrepreneur. She totally got it.

Employees think by the hour. You work a certain amount of specific hours each day, and at the end of the week you get paid per hour. It’s the security that we talked about above.

However to someone with the entrepreneur mindset, thinking of exchanging time, one of our most precious elements of life to enrich someone else, is absolute torture.

Most People Highly UNDERVALUE Their Ideas and Their Knowledge

Why wouldn’t they? Companies have been stealing your best stuff coming from your mind and leveraging that to earn money on their own forever.

And paying you by the hour to do so.

Entrepreneurs VALUE Their Ideas and Knowledge and Demand That Others Do the Same!

When you value what you have, it’s very hard to give it away for $15, $20, even $50 an hour. This is why I charge $1000+ per hour for coaching and consulting and I am on the low side…lol

It’s why I can create a training product where I pour out my hard-earned knowledge and feel absolutely fine charging $497 or more for it. Because I know that the information I have has value to other people, and can change their life!

I know that it’s the information and ideas that people want, and they’re willing to pay that money for it fills a need in the marketplace.

In my mind, why would I give that away to a company so that they can use it themselves and pay me pennies on the dollar?

I’d rather make them pay me $1000+ per hour in consulting fees to get that info out of me! 😉 Not to mention that that knowledge could make them millions.

When you have value, and you can develop passive income because of that value, you never have to trade your time for money again!

#3:  External Motivation VS. Self Motivation

“Pour myself a cup of ambition” ~ Dolly Parton

Employees are usually not motivated to get out of bed and get to work. Thats not always the case, BUT a lot of times it is… So what gets them there? FEAR!

They fear losing that security we talked about so much, that they are then motivated. Ever say these words out loud as an employee “I’ve got to get to work on time, I’m going to be in trouble!”

What does that even mean “in trouble?”

Entrepreneurs get motivated by ideas and serving their prospects and customers with VALUE. Not by staying out of trouble or keeping their security.

Drive and ambition create motivation, and that drive and ambition need to come from the inside! From your VISION and GOALS. Not a cup of coffee like Dolly!

To entrepreneurs, our businesses don't feel like a job to us. We enjoy waking up and doing what we do, so it’s not working for us!

In fact, most of us hate sleeping because we’ve got more motivation than we know what to do with! But just to be clear, I do love my sleep too…lol

If you really want to dive deeper into what makes a great entrepreneur then check out this blog post called “7 Leadership Qualities That Are Super Attractive To Your Prospects

#4: Employee Vs Entrepreneur Mindset: Ridding Yourself of Fear

An employee, usually fears someone coming along and stealing their position or getting that promotion over them.

They see people who are smarter and more skilled as a threat. And frankly, in the employee setting, they’re right!

Someone like that is a threat to their security.

Entrepreneurs however get excited when they see someone come along who’s got great ideas and are more highly skilled than them.

In fact, we seek those people out… and we either hire them as an employee or we are absolutely fine (even excited) to pay them big bucks for consulting or coaching.

Because like our own ideas and knowledge, we value theirs! Because it becomes an investment.

If you still get a feeling of fear in your gut when someone better or smarter comes along, then you may want to start working on that pronto. It means you’ve still got some of that employee mindset creeping around in your head.

It’s not your fault, you’ve likely been conditioned for it just like I was.

It’s time to turn that around and understand that those with more knowledge, more skill, and amazing ideas in your field of expertise are your friends, not your enemies!

#5:  Being Held Accountable VS. Self Accountable

Employees often look for accountability from someone else. Their BOSS!

The boss tells them what to do, when it needs to be done, and demands that it’s done right. Or again… you lose that “job security!”

(They even tell you when you can use the bathroom, eat your lunch, and go on vacation!)

Employees are also often looking for someone else to blame when things go wrong. The employee world is usually a “pass the buck” culture.

Fellow employees are usually the target. This means that you could be the target of another employee eventually. (Are you starting to notice that job security is never actually secure?)

Entrepreneurs MUST hold THEMSELVES accountable. They must be self-disciplined, and get the things done that need to be done.

Now let’s be honest. We ARE accountable to others. Our CUSTOMERS!

But as an entrepreneur, you have no boss and no time-clock. So it’s up to YOU to be on time, get things done, and get them done right!

This means you have to hold yourself to a higher standard, and oddly enough there’s incredible freedom in that! Entrepreneurs would have it no other way!

Do YOU Have a True Entrepreneur Mindset?

You can look at the 5 mindsets above as a guide!

If you’re slipping somewhere it's okay. As long as you recognize it as leftover behavior from mindset patterns that have been hammered into your brain since you were a child.

Now that you know though, it’s up to YOU to rewire your brain and your mindset to go all-in as an entrepreneur, so you can succeed with your business!

If you get value from this blog post and video please leave a comment below and feel free to share with your friends.

Additional Resources

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    8 replies to "Employee Vs Entrepreneur Mindset: The 5 Critical Differences"

    • Jaye Carden

      Hey Mark, interesting topic you picked for today. Believe it or not, every time I call my leads for my network marketing business, I look for those who have the right mindset. It seems if a person has the employee mindset, they never commit, and I never try to get them involved anyway. But when I come across those who think like me, it almost always leads to a new business partner. Saves me a lot of time too just focusing on the people who like what we do. Great location you shot from today as well!

    • Starr Lucas

      Great Information! I am still half employee and half Entrepreneur. I am helping close down the company I have worked for close to 24 years now but also ready to continue my journey to enjoying and being an affiliate marketer for a couple of companies that work hand in hand with each other. I am learning new programs that I have invested in and know that there are a ton of hours to be put in. My problem as you said early in this video is perfection. I want the video or post to be perfect. Well, I use to feel that way. I came to the realization about a month ago and now know to do it to my best and let it go. I will get better with practice. It is better to get the word or post out now because if you are going for perfection, that video, blog or post will never get finished. Thank you!

    • Brett Langston

      I really got a lot of value out your video and took notes from what you said, Great Great Value Mark. People really need to think the way Entrepreneurs do for sure thanks!

    • Michael Kidzinski

      After years of reading,listening and watching materials about this topic I totally agree that mindset is the key to every result in business but also in life in general.

      Here’s what I also learned:

      Regardless of if we talk about negative or positive results it’s always success.

      Yes failing is also success because it was determined by specific data on a subconscious level of mind.

      So the key in my understanding is changing negative data into something positive because with different data we think different and take different actions and this leads to different results 🙂

    • Ken Damon


      You started appearing in my email sometime this year and today was the first day I actually read the email without deleting it. I am glad I did because I can offer this to the conversation; don’t waste 37 years like I did.

      I was finally “separated” from my job on 1/14/2016 and as they led me to the door I could not help smiling because I was ready.

      Now I am having a blast and jump out of bed every morning without an alarm and can’t wait to get going on my business.

      Thank You!

    • Phil

      Your timing to repost the Blog and present your Video is perfect for this entrepreneur. What you shared is extremely valuable in that you clarified the differences between the mindset of an entrepreneur and that of an employee. Thank you, Mark.

    • Megha

      Fantastic post. Great clarity. Value for time reading your posts. Genius stuff Mark

    • Frances Jackson

      I was never taught to work for myself. I was taught to get a Civil Service job because they did not fire you or laid you off. I am now retired. I am learning to make sales online .

      Thank you for this information.

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