Some of us are working for ourselves and some for others, but we are all using our skills to gain independence in our personal lives and striving for the freedom to do what we love, even if it is in support of someone else’s company.
In years past, entrepreneurs were more likely to “live to work.” Their own success was defined by the success of their companies, their profit margins, their organization’s annual growth. Those are valid measures of success, certainly, but today’s entrepreneurs–and entrepreneurial thinkers–are “working to live.”
How can we think more entrepreneurially in a full-time job?
- Innovate–Tell your manager your ideas about new ways to solve problems. Make an appointment with her and use a professional approach and even a manager who is resistant to change might give your ideas a try.
- Network–Set a goal to meet a certain number of new people in your field or industry every month or every quarter. Even if you are not looking for new clients, you are definitely looking for new connections.
- Ask Why–Choose your moment wisely, but do question why things are done the way the have always been done. And don’t settle for “tradition.”
- Be Fearless–Let your enthusiasm show and it will spread to others in your organization, just like it would to freelance clients. If you love what you do, show it.
- Bounce Back–You will be criticized at times, especially if you are taking chances. Take something positive from every criticism and continue learning. Smile.
- Take Charge–Once you have been in a role for six months, it’s time to make it into the perfect role for you. Evaluate what you want to do more of and what you would like to discard from your job description. Sit down with your manager and see if you can make any of those changes work for the company. The happier you are, the better you will fit and the longer you will stay–that’s the benefit to the company. Turnover is expensive.
The greatest benefit of entrepreneurial thinking is the feeling of empowerment you get from being more in control of your work and personal life. You can get that feeling no matter where you work.
Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative