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Effective Mindset for Entrepreneurs with Full Time Jobs

404profound

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I don't claim to be an expert on entrepreneurial psychology yet, but I do think the past few months has taught me a couple valuable lessons.

As someone who maintains a full time corporate job and puts in almost as much time building my digital product, I've found it necessary to adopt a few mindset conditions to enable my ability to be effective in both environments. I am writing this as I know many people on the forum are in a similar position.

My first lesson is that you have to be able to flip a twitch to toggle between two different identities. One identity is the self at your job, the other identity is your self working on your business. Why? Because the personality and value requirements demanded by a job and by an entrepreneurial pursuit are VASTLY different. Consider this;

Job Requirements (these obviously vary based on the job)
1. Ability to complete tasks handed down from a manager.
2. Ability to communicate well and stay organized.
3. Ability to take orders.
4. Willingness to go against what you believe to be best-practice to do what your manager or client requests.
5. Willingness to agree to things as a team that go against what you want for yourself.
6. etc.

As you can see, a job environment demands obedience, communication, sacrifice, and negotiation. Some of these things are the very reason we seek entrepreneurship. And at the same time, some of these things are REQUIRED for entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial Pursuit Requirements (again, varies based on pursuit)
1. Ability to develop tasks for your project
2. Ability to set deadlines and stay organized in your work
3. Ability to be honest with yourself when you aren't doing enough / taking the easy way out
4. Willingness to sacrifice the comforts generally afforded to someone with just a job (social activities, video games, binging netflix, etc.)
5. Willingness to go where a lot of people just wouldn't go effort wise. (example, I rarely sleep more than 5 hours a night).
6. Willingness to maintain an objective lens of your work and the value it provides (so you can continue to improve it).
7. etc.

So, while some mindset requirements at work reinforce the entrepreneurial mind, others antagonize it. This is an important thing to be aware of, because awareness allows you to control it.

Lesson two, do not discuss your business efforts with work colleagues. For a number of reasons.
1. They most likely lack the same drive / perspective you do. You will often be met with skepticism, doubt, pessimism, etc. Unless you have an iron-forged mind, this will impact your belief in your chances of success.
2. They may spread rumors that you're trying to make money outside of work, out of spite or envy. If that makes it to the wrong person they can launch an investigation, fire you, sue you for your product or service assets, etc. Have to check the contract you signed for that one, obviously.
3. They will continue to pester you about your progress, since they have nothing important happening in their own lives. This will add unnecessary pressure to your efforts.

Lesson three, when you meet a hurdle that seems impossible to pass, seek advice and read. Unless it's physically impossible, it's possible. You may have to travel to some obscure places on google, read books written in Russian with a translation tool, or ping people on LinkedIn until someone takes mercy on you, but you can figure it out with persistence.

That's it for now, just wanted to drop some things I've learned on my journey.

- Cheers
 

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B. Cole

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Spot on!

Sharing your venture with slowlaners really brings out who they are as a person. I have a few really cool people that are supportive and amazed by the process, but 95 percent are waiting for me to give up or fail. They’re gonna be very disappointed when I shake their hand and say goodbye :cool:
 

Einfamilienhaus

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And don't forgot about the daily struggle your workmates have.

Always broke. Dead dreams. Depression. Not knowing what to do with their free time. No inspiration. Being on work searching for hours for online products which makes them feel better to buy. Maybe also having the good feeling that somebody or in this case something like a box of known present from Amazon is waiting for them. Destroyed relationship to themself as human being and to their family/friends. The only creature they can trust after 30 years of work experience is their dogs/cat or even a fish. Having the attitude all humans are bad. Animals can't be bad. But Humans are bad. Everything is bad. Being paranoid. Being always the victim of life. Having the attitude: "Why always me? Why I'M the only one who has the biggest struggle in life?" Daily insecurity which get under control with drugs or with aggressive and reckless behaviour. Being a psychopath at work place is the natural survival instinct. Knowing the own position as a slave but not willing to change it. Hating the job. Hating mondays and reading "funny" Memes about Hating Mondays. Spending their free time of 30 minutes in the cantine, eating terrible and expensive food with poeple they dont like and talking about work. Having the same opinion as their own television. Having the illusion of being free and independent but also worrying how to pay for the rent, food and the loan back. Walking in circles. Waiting for the next weekend. Waiting for the next vacation. Spending 357 days in the year to save as much money as possible for 7 days of vacation. Dreaming big living low. Trust the state and their authorities. Even if the authority in office calls himself the CEO of Coffee Preparation and Distribution Management. Waiting for a strong leader who finally changes everything. Feeling themself as a individual because they have the new iPhone limited edition, buying their coffee at starbucks and ordering at McDonald's the deluxe Burger. Being bored. Being realistic. Knowing everything and have seen everything in life.

But.

They don't do bad things or having a bad life because they are bad. They don't know how to live a different life.

If the last book you every had in your life was a school book. Than you are deeply in this system. If the last teacher you had in your life was a school teacher. Than you are deeply in this system. If you think buying starbucks coffee would save the poor African coffee farmer from exploitation. Than you are deeply in this system. If you can't trust yourself. Than you are deeply in this system.

That is the reason why you shouldn't expect from the majority of the people that they understand your way of life as an entrepreneur or what ever you have for ideas. Or how ever you identify yourself.

Be patiently to the people around you. Don't lose the focus. Their life is not yours. Their struggles are not yours. If you really want to help them. Give them something they need and let them get it in the way they know it the best and love it the most.

Buying it and feeling good about it. Having the good emotion: I do something great! Or I'm great!
 

jpanarra

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I'm in the same boat, I still work a 9-5 job.

One thing I've noticed with myself the more productive I am with my business, the momentum also moves over to my job. I've seen a massive uptick in productivity when I get a sale, project done, or another milestone.

I'm guilty of working on my ventures during my work hours, and even got called out on it by my boss to stay on task. What they don't realize I complete my tasks hours in advance because I'm in anticipation of working on something small for my business. If they remove that, the work will be stretched out to fill up the allotted time.

I'm looking forward when i can do this 100% of the time. The thing thats stopping me is I need to know that the MRR will be greater than my current income to ensure that i can cover medical insurance and other costs my workplace covers.
 

Ernman

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Great thread, thank you. Like you, I find myself in this conundrum. For the third time in my post Navy life, I am an executive at a big company...and hate it. In between each was a failed attempt, or attempts, to break out. Once again, I find myself using a slow lane job to pay the bills while my wife and I work together to get on the fast lane.

Interestingly, I have found two folks at work who are also closet entrepreneurs. I could just tell they were different, took them out to lunch one day and sure enough - they were working to escape the slow lane as well. They didn't have the luxury of reading TMFL or UNSCRIPTED. They were just doing it to get out of the rat race. We are now exploring how we might work together or at least share our experiences.

Unfortunately, I'm not very good at throwing the switch. But, as this thread very clearly observes, we must be careful. Many simply have no way to understand what we're talking about. Others will feel insecure, some even challenged. Most importantly, I must never allow myself to become comfortable enough that I give up the fast lane pursuit.
 

NMdad

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I'm guilty of working on my ventures during my work hours, and even got called out on it by my boss to stay on task.
I remember doing that when I had a job. :)

Like @404profound said, I found that it helped to compartmentalize the day job so that I mentally punched out / disconnected when I left the office.

The side-hustle should NOT be compartmentalized--it should be your obsession. For example, when I had a job, I'd make client calls early in the morning before I went into the office, since I had clients in different time zones; I'd make those calls from inside my car in the garage (super quiet, no chance of my kids waking up & interrupting me). I'd also make calls during my lunch or while on break--again, from my car, outside a coffee shop so I'd have internet & could remote in to the client if needed during the call.
 

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