Entrepreneurship – Understanding The Difference Between Employee Mentality And Enterpreneur Mentality

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Before becoming a successful entrepreneur, one might have worked as an employee somewhere. But can all those who work as employees become entrepreneurs one day? Never! Some are simply born and destined to work under somebody else; their nature and characteristics are different from those of an entrepreneur.

Some of the typical “employee” characteristics are listed below:

Desire for steady income

They will be very particular about getting a secure, predictable and a steady weekly/ monthly income. They would like to have the best control over their income and expenditure, their capacity to borrow and repay.

Lack of initiative

Some of them will be comfortable and content in doing the work assigned to them; they will be least interested in taking self-propelled initiatives; When it comes to taking decisions, they would rather leave them to the boss.

No risk taking

They would not like to take any huge risk at their own cost; They may be excellent managers who have the capacity to take the right decisions and take the calculated risks within their scope of responsibility in the organization they  work for; but they make sure that they have the relevant safeguards in place; the safeguards are in the form of higher managerial support and the company’s capacity to absorb the consequences if their risk-taking backfire

Designation consciousness

They take pride in their designations, their ascent in the corporate ladder, the perks and privileges associated with their position in the organization and the security the job gives to their social and family life. Those who have grown to very respectable positions in their organizations know pretty well that some of the perks they enjoy could not be dreamed of by many entrepreneurs they know, who do business with their organization.

“Freedom is only a myth”

In their opinion, the idea that “being a master of one’s own affairs” or “not being answerable to anybody else” is not truly and absolutely practical. In an organization, you have to be answerable to your boss. In case of an entrepreneur, he has to be answerable to his customer, since customer is ultimately the boss. So, their line of argument is: if independence is the motivating factor, there is not much of independence even if you are self-employed.

Lack of mastery

Some of them will be jacks of all trades, bust masters of none; They would not have acquired any focused mastery in any line of activity that they can confidently and independently handle. When it comes to specifics to nuts and bolts, they will be at a loss to handle the spanner!

     It could be seen that for people of above nature, working as an employee is the best option and they are quite right in their own way. However successful they might be in their managerial spirit and administrative capabilities, they may not blossom to become entrepreneurs.

Those who have the entrepreneurial spirit in them have the following characteristics

A dreamer and a risk taker

They have a dream to realize; a pet idea that they believe will work; They are willing to pump in every breath of theirs to bringing life to their dream. They do not mind taking huge risks if their inner voice keeps saying “you can do it”. They know pretty well that no worthwhile success could be achieved without taking a calculated risk.

Not status conscious

They are least concerned about position, status, respectability etc in the early stages of working to realize their dreams and they know that once they succeed, everything else will fall in place. Being the chief of their own little county is more adorable to them than being one of the ministers of a huge empire.

Not too worried about steady income

They are flexible enough to be prepared to live with unsteady and unpredictable income. Either they guard themselves against ups and downs by judicious savings or by jumping into the river and trying to swim against all odds.

Being their own masters

They take pride in calling their own shots. It is not that they do not know the customer is the ultimate boss. They know they are answerable to their customers and other stakeholders. But the difference, in their perception, is that they have the freedom to choose which customer to serve or not to serve. By virtue of their risk taking capacity, they can exercise this freedom at will and be bold enough to face the consequences, unlike their counterparts at the corporate ladder.

“I know my job”

They have their niche areas where they are quite confident about their knowledge and expertise; When situation demands, the entrepreneur has no qualms to mantle the role of a mechanic and be ready to do a blue-collared job at will without hankering about prestige.

         Yes. Entrepreneurs are made of a different and sterner stuff.


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