Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the contributors are their own.
I recently received a call from one of my best friends who has moved to London to work for a large multinational public company. She is talented, successful, and hard-working.
However, she called me full of tears, anxiety and anger. “They are restructuring the company, they are cutting positions. My role is about to die.”
I suggested that he apply for the same position at other companies, companies that might offer multiple benefits, from remote work to stock options. I explained to him that with his talent, potential, and ideas, he could even be self-employed by working freelance for various contract clients. He could chase his version of success and happiness. And you could probably end up with more money and even more freedom.
“You do not get it”. She said. “I don’t want to be nobody. I want to work for the best companies in the world.”
Maybe I don’t get it. But I also don’t understand why talented and hard-working people like her want to release her full potential into the hierarchy and politics for prestige. Why do they let their companies stress them out, ruin their day, restrict their career options and define their value?
Related: 7 Signs It’s Time to Transition From Employee to Entrepreneur
Don’t get me wrong; there are many great people out there who recognize their value and consciously choose to champion the employee mindset. They are fine with that.
But if you’re fed up with the corporate world, feel like it’s limiting your options in life, and wonder when the right time is to take advantage of your skill set and make a transition, it’s probably now.
Here are seven signs that you no longer have an employee mindset.
1. You fall in love with the idea of working where and when you want
Flexible work hours and location independence began to become the norm after the pandemic in 2020. You proved to your employer that location doesn’t affect productivity and that a strict 9-5 workday could wear you out.
And while many companies allow work-from-home days and flexible work hours, you still need to report your location and total work hours.
However, with a business mindset, the full location and flexible hours is your dream; You know that the only way to achieve this is to fully own your freedom by creating your income stream instead of waiting for a salary.
Related: Remote work is here to stay: Are you ready for the new way of life?
2. When you’re in meetings, you’re daydreaming instead of participating.
The average employer spends at least 3 hours per week in meetings, and 30% report spending more than 5 hours per week.
And instead of actively participating in that meeting, you’re contemplating how to avoid the next one so you can work on something instead. She knows that she could be spending her time more fruitfully than attending company meetings, but there’s nothing he can do about it.
Someone of higher rank requested his presence; You have to be there. So there you are, visualizing how you can escape this waste of your hours, wasting time while time is money.
Related: Your time is money, so stop wasting it
3. You absolutely despise titles and hierarchy.
When you have an employee mentality, you get so caught up in titles. You delude yourself with pride, showing off on Linkedin, gossiping about others’ abilities, and zealously spreading your best wishes to colleagues who claimed C degrees first.
When you own a business, you laugh at job titles. You want people to work with you, not for you. You also know that a security cannot determine its value. Anyone can go on Linkedin and claim to be the CEO or an executive member of a 5 person company.
And what does that mean?
Fancy titles in corporate jobs almost always equate to less freedom, less time to work on your relationships with others, and less time to spend with your children before they become adults.
C degrees as you move up the corporate ladder also means less time investing in your personal care, wellness and skills planning and less time enjoying life.
4. You are trying out various side hustles before or after work.
With an employee mindset, you look at the clock at a quarter to six and know it’s time to turn off your laptop and get on with your day.
And while maintaining a work-life balance is crucial, as a business owner, you’re continually testing concepts and trying out side hustles to generate multiple streams of income whenever you can. You are not dependent on a client, idea or salary, but you are willing to try, take risks, fail and start over.
Related: 4 Creative Side Hustles That Fight Inflation And Earn Extra Money
5) You are not afraid to build relationships from disclosure.
As an employee, you are terrified of cold pitches. You don’t like being rejected or ignored because that often happens. You don’t try to reach out to others unless you’re selling something; in that case, he treats the disclosure as a transaction, not a relationship.
However, as an entrepreneur, you know that expanding your systems by connecting, advising or simply interacting with others is one of the most important steps in building a personal or professional brand.
Don’t underestimate the power of community and networking; your goal is to create daily connections with one or two new people in your industry. In a year, he is in awe of its reach and the ways in which his network has proven to be useful.
6. You know that generating passive income and making money online is 100% possible.
When you have an employee mindset, you don’t mind investing or making passive income online. Even if you do care, it sounds too good to be true, and you don’t bother putting the effort into building a diversified portfolio.
On the contrary, when you have entrepreneurial tendencies, you get excited about passive income ideas and turn your world upside down to generate income online.
The creator economy is not a too-good-to-be-true scenario or a get-rick-quick scheme. It’s an available reality with no barriers to entry, and as a business owner, you like that challenge. You know that spending x amount of time creating the smallest passive income stream can yield 10x results in the near future.
They know they have to find what they like to create and work on it daily.
7) You are constantly enriching your knowledge and skills to increase value.
You are trading your skills and experience with paid work hours as an employee. However, as an entrepreneur, you offer your skill set, idea, or business as a service that solves problems and creates value.
You do not charge per word, hour or month. You charge according to the advantages and usefulness of your solutions. You answer questions and deliver results. And because your expertise is directly related to the value and results you deliver, you work daily to improve and enrich it.
You may not be 100% ready to escape the rat race. However, if any of the above signs are true, you know it’s time to start owning your career and follow a path that you can completely control.