By Nan Nan Liu-Maffetone | Strong Female Leaders | Reading Time: Five Minutes
In a rapidly-changing world, the need for adaptibility is stronger than ever. While companies that adapt faster take the lead in their industries, companies that fail to do so struggle in every way. Leaders of the the former are said to have more of an entrepreneurial mindset, including having a growth mindset, being open to change, thinking out of the box, and giving employees the freedom and empowerment to make decisions. If you also want to adapt quicker to change, then consider adopting an entrepreneurial mindset. Your first step, then, is to differentiate between the employee and entrepreneur mindsets. If you need help, scroll down and find out what the differences are.

1. Employees buy while entrepreneurs sell.
One fundamental but often overlooked skill of entrepreneurs is their ability to sell. What they sell does not matter. It could be commodities, services, ideas and even themselves. What matters is that they excel at it, and like any successful sales professional, they never get discouraged by rejection.
Employees, on the other hand, are like buyers. They sit back, follow the company "song and dance," and "buy" into ideas that are thrown at them. While they are often easy to get along with, they also become complacent and miss opportunities to grow. The complacency might also make them slow to adapt to change.
The ability to sell is valuable. Being able to build relationships, strike up conversations, pitch ideas, present elegantly, negociate for a win-win and close a deal set entrepreneurs apart from the rest. The business world is changing rapidly, and someone with a sales professional's prowess can position him- or herself ahead of the change.
2. Employees fear competition while entrepreneurs live for it.
Competition can be healthy if you have the belief that pressure builds diamonds. Entrepreneurs are not afraid of challenges. In fact, they love being tested and never let a little competition get in the way of getting what they want.
Employees, however, fear competition. It makes them feel nervous, inadequate and self-conscious. They work better in a calm, harmoneous environment, and shy away from pushes for change.
Sure, no one wants to work in a hostile environment. But if the workplace does not offer a healthy dose of competition, opposition and confrontation, there is little excitement to go to work for. In any career, you want to grow, and pressure will help you do that. If you want an entrepreneur mindset, then start welcoming and embracing competition. You are a diamond, and you need pressure in order to shine.
3. Employees zone in on one skill while entrepreneurs have T-shaped skills.
Entrepreneurs are not specific to one skill set. They know a bit of everything and pick up new skills easily. They are comfortable wearing many hats and juggling different deadlines. They have no problem expanding their horizons.
Employees are specialists who focus on one skill and become subject matter experts. This often enables them to remain in one place for a long time. If they are lucky, they will not be replaced with the younger generation or with automation.
Entrepreneurs are likely to hire these specialists to work for them. If you want an entrepreneur mindset, think big and broad and not shallow and deep.

4. Employees coast along while entrepreneurs lead with the mission.
Every company has a mission statement. Entrepreneurs know it by heart. They live it, breath it, and put everything they do towards it. If an entrepreneur believes in the mission, everything that they do will help achieve that mission. The mission guides them, energizes them and motivates them to go above and beyond.
Employees know what the mission is. They can probably recite it as per verbatum. However, they are numb to it. They don't care for it, believe in it, and certainly aren't driven by it. They coast along by following everyday routines and do not raise concerns when their tasks misalign with the mission. Perhaps after spending years at the same place, they have become disenchanted? Perhaps they never cared in the first place? Or perhaps they are on their way out? It doesn't matter the reason. Employees are not driven by the mission, and therefore they lack enthusiasm.
If the current company mission doesn't excite you, perhaps you should look elsewhere for employment? Or, better yet, find your own personal mission within the company, and your life. An entrepreneur is always in search of a mission. If that is you, have faith. You will find it sooner than later.
5. Employees are tactical while entrepreneurs are strategic.
Planning strategically is not only a part of entrepreneurs' work but a part of their DNA. They have a grand vision and are always planning for how to turn that vision into reality.
Employees execute the plans that they are given and rarely ask why. They cannot see beyond the immediate years ahead, and are perfectly fine being shielded from the horizon.
If you want to be an entreprenur, start thinking strategically and see far beyond the next decade.
Parting Thoughts
Being an entrepreneur isn't about wearing the title but about having the mindset. And mindset can easily be adopted. Even if you work in a corporate setting, you can still have the take-charge, innovative entrepreneur mindset. If you have it, you are bound for success no matter where you work.
1) Learn the basics of launching your own business with HBR's Entrepreneur's Handbook: Everything You Need to Launch and Grow Your New Business

2) Learn how other fierce female entrepreneurs did it with Female Entrepreneur's Playbook: Secret Strategies From 20+ Women for Building a Business You Love and Getting Paid for It

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