February 28th, 2018 is a pretty important day for me as it represents the year I left a very comfortable, successful job at a corporate entity to start my own.
When I first made the announcement, most people didn't believe me. My seniors and colleagues called to ask if I was sure, and each time, with a deep swallow and a lot of anxiety, I said, "yes, I'm sure".
Mentally, within the last 5-7 years, I was no longer an employee
Fast forward to the present day; as I look back, I can't help but smile at the irony of the change. I once wondered, "What's gonna happen if I made the step?" Whereas today I wonder, "What would have happened if I did not?"
It all came down to a decision and then conscientiously putting real action behind that decision. But, I realised one thing while looking back at the last five to seven years before leaving. Even though I worked with these companies for a considerable period, I was no longer an employee mentally.
As strange as that may be, I realise that I've been conditioning myself towards this point when I reflect. That conditioning is what got me here, but at the same time, it's what got me all of those promotions and job offers as well.
You're more than just an employee
To be a bit clearer, when I say "lose the employee mindset for growth", I mean don't just think of yourself as an employee. Each person serves a bigger purpose within an organisation. Whether that purpose is openly/communicated within the organisation or not, you represent something more significant than just being an employee.
When I first started sales in the automotive industry, it was made very clear that I was part of something bigger. I wasn't just selling a car; I was helping someone realise a dream or delivering a tool to them so they can do their job.
As a sales manager/team leader, I realised that I was responsible for people and the company's success. I've always seen my role as more than I initially signed up for, which helped me stand out and grow as an employee and now as an entrepreneur/business owner.
Start thinking like it's your business or about your business
This level of thinking helped me stand out, helped me grow within the organisation, and most importantly, helped me see myself at this stage in my life.
Whether you decide to stay and grow within your company, it's essential to understand that losing the employee mindset and thinking of your role as more extensive is key to your personal and professional growth.