From Employee to Entrepreneur: Four Key Mistakes to Avoid

  Many people who enter coaching come from a background of being employed either in a corporate environment or small business. Often the mindset of an employee is very different than the owner’s when it comes to the success of the company. In fact this is a key challenge a new coach may face in the transition to develop a successful coaching career. As coaches move to establish their own business there are some key shifts that need to occur for them to move from that of an employee mindset to an owner mindset or their business will struggle and eventually die.

First, most employees tend to wait for things to come to them and be told what to do versus initiating ideas and putting things in motion. This could be due to a number of factors – boss holds a tight rein on things, fear about making a mistake, lack of initiative or ideas, etc. Whatever the reason, this type of thinking needs serious attention if it follows over to the coach’s business. As a business owner and entrepreneur you must take on the thinking that ‘if it is going to be it is up to me’. This is not to rule out the fact that God is at work helping you, but he isn’t going to write that Email, make that phone call or create that business plan – you must do it with the confidence that he will bless your effort.

Second, employees tend to view downtime and breaks differently than the entrepreneur. As an employee we can tend to ‘punch in and out’ with our time at work. Even in today’s culture with so many who are overworked and on call we tend to see our time differently than the entrepreneur. We can feel obligated to the job not invested in its’ success. Don’t get me wrong, having balance as a business owner is very important and observing times of rest and replenishment are very wise, but you will most likely not work a regular set of hours. This one challenged me early on in my coaching business. I had to recognize that my business wasn’t an interruption in God’s calling on my life – it was God’s calling. I also had to be okay with working hours in the evening, early morning or on weekends. Being employed in an I.T. job and also being an assistant pastor helped immensely with having a healthy perspective in this area.

Third, employees tend to do ‘what is expected’ versus what it takes to get the job done. As a business owner you will face obstacles and setbacks that an employee would just shrug their shoulders at and say, ‘not my job’. Developing perseverance and a positive can do attitude is absolutely essential for your business to be successful. It has been said that it isn’t the person with the most money or best ideas that wins out but the one who perseveres the longest. If you believe God wants you to be a coach than don’t let anything stop you from giving your all and believing that he will move you forward one day at a time.

Finally employees tend to view spending of money and time as an expense from present lifestyle versus an investment in future business. I have to admit that this one mindset still affects me and could be deadly to my business. As good business owners we need to evaluate what investments in education and marketing will be the best investment of our time and finances. Having fear of failure or a scarcity mentality can totally undermine what we are trying to do. One of the best things you can do is work with a coach yourself until you have developed a perspective that allows you to give your business both the time and finances it needs to grow and thrive. Remember, ‘my God shall supply all I need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

So what change does your business need you to make? What thing have you been putting off? For me it was writing this article.

Guest Blogger Michael Pfau, M.Ed., PCC is the owner of Crossways Life Coaching, LLC, adjunct professor for Assemblies Of God Theological Seminary and faculty member of the Professional Christian Coaching Institute. Michael can be reached at mike@crosswayslifecoaching.com or 484-461-6403

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