In her book Flight Club, Felena outlines 10 tips to go from Employee to Entrepreneur; she was generous enough to share the first five here!
1. Dream and do at the same time. You must be the long-term visionary while simultaneously keeping the day-to-day tasks under control. As an entrepreneur, you have to project your mind forward, thinking about the potential pitfalls and opportunities that lie around the corner and making decisions based on uncertainty.
2. The buck stops with you. In a job, you're often waiting for things to happen—for someone to give you permission or for your boss to give you the "green light." Entrepreneurs have an incredible opportunity to create something from nothing, but this means you must be 100% self-motivated. You decide what you do, how you do it, and when you do it. While many long for this kind of autonomy, the reality of all this decision making can be challenging for some.
3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. As an employee, you have a significant safety net. In most cases, you have coworkers to support you if you drop the ball or make a mistake. You typically have checks and balances all the way to the finish line to make sure things don't go wrong. As an entrepreneur, there is no net. You see what others don’t, test new ideas, seize new territory, and take risks. This requires courage, a thick skin, and the ability to keep going despite rejection and skepticism—daily!
4. You can't only focus on what you do best. When you're an employee, you can typically hone your skill set on a functional skill: accounting, law, marketing, HR, operations, admin, etc. As an entrepreneur, you wear every hat simultaneously unless you have the funds to outsource what you're not good at or don't want to do. This is one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs. They want to do what they do well and ignore the other areas of the business. You can be the best social media strategist, but if you don't bill and collect from your clients, you'll be out of business in short order.
5. You're always seeking knowledge. As an employee, training is often delivered to you; the company lines up continuing education, which is part of HR’s job. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to find information on your own via online courses, books, magazines, or mentors. This can include learning to set up an accounting system, getting investors on board, marketing your ideas, crafting your perfect pitch, or using unfamiliar technology. It can be overwhelming to decide where to go to find the most relevant, actionable information, but as an entrepreneur, you must love to learn—you'll be constantly immersed in gathering new information.
Buy Flight Club here