Earn Like an Employee; Think Like an Entrepreneur

By show of hands, how many of you have been a layoff casualty?  Reduction-In-Force victim?

raise your hands
raise your hands

The only thing similar to experiencing a layoff, is a punch in the gut. It’s been my goal to avoid a first time for the latter and never again experience the former.

While surfing the web, in search of background information on a company, up pops a website that I could only describe as layoff-repellent:  workonlinekenya.com (1)   Sheeroh Kiarie, the website’s publisher, describes herself as a life-long learner who lives in Kenya and makes her living online.   Her website is dedicated to growing her freelance career into big business.   The website charts her journey as well as others who have made freelancing their full-time vocation.   I thought of workonlinekenya during a recent telephone conversation with my friend, Casey.

“Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur,” my friend, Casey rebutted.

Right up until that point, our phone visit was easy.  As soon as I said, “everyone should have a side hustle.” the conversation became strained.

“Savings” Casey offered, “Everyone should have savings.”

“That’s not enough, ” I countered.  “It’s impossible to save without money.”  “We need to know how to generate income outside of traditional employment.”

We found common ground when Casey admitted she used the word savings but meant investments.   Investments generate income.  Savings are best suited for short-term financial goals.

Casey wouldn’t budge on the “Side Hustle” concept. And her position had me a bit baffled.  With job uncertainty in this knowledge economy coupled with Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y and millennials all vying for the same jobs -it’s in our best interest to think like freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Margie Warrell in her Forbes article “Learn, Unlearn and Relearn: How to stay current and get ahead” writes,

” When you synthesize your knowledge and skills well, you evolve from a knowledge expert into knowledge entrepreneur.” (2)

Not only is an entrepreneurial mindset lucrative for generating extra income; it’s also valuable in the work place.  An entrepreneur engages in conceptual thinking and uses creativity to solve problems.  She thinks in terms of the big picture -and listens to her intuition to find a solution.     One consistent trait that’s found among all entrepreneurs is their inherent ability to know how to learn.   This lends to entrepreneur’s ability to seemingly “reinvent the wheel”.

There’s only one way to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset and that is to work like one.  The best part is, like Sheeroh, you can work anywhere in the world and you’ll always have a job.

For more information:

  1. http://www.workonlinekenya.com/about-me/
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2014/02/03/learn-unlearn-and-relearn/#3f70b64e51c8
  3. http://www.inc.com/magazine/19980301/887.html