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Whether Or Not You’re Starting A Business, If You Want A Job, You Need To Think Like An Entrepreneur

Here are three reasons why

If you want to land that job, you better start thinking like an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur sees the job posting as a company’s way of generating leads for new stakeholders (in this case, new employees), not just a mere announcement. 

An entrepreneur sees the resume as a sales brochure they give to an interested customer/client, not just a piece of paper where you talk about your past work. An entrepreneur sees the interview as an exploratory discussion about how the candidate and employer can work together, not at all an uncomfortable interrogation. 

An entrepreneur sees salary negotiation as a measure of each other’s value propositions, not at all greed or powerplay of any kind. An entrepreneur sees employment as a partnership to help the organization thrive in a competitive market, not at all slavery or ownership of your person. 

In the same way that companies behave that way about their business dealings, so should job seekers towards employment opportunities. Below is a compilation of three reasons why the entrepreneurial mindset can put you into an advantage in your next move in the job hunt. 

Being an entrepreneur who does business, you recognize that you must provide value 

As someone with talent and resources that can solve problems, one recognizes how valuable these are to other people. Entrepreneurs evaluate the value of their product and/or service in the market and that’s how they determine a fair and reasonable price for it. 

Oftentimes, however, people downplay the value they deliver to others. “A lot of people can do what I do.” 

“It’s just using Google spreadsheets.” 

“It didn’t really cost me much to voice out your concerns.”

People dismiss their talents as something other people have too. Without knowing that other people perceive them as an important part of the team. 

Non-entrepreneurs frequently compare themselves to people with, for example, coding skills, stock trading expertise, and executive consulting services. They base their value on the complexity of their skills, which is definitely not always the case. 

Entrepreneurs recognize that they don’t have to be like them. They know that in one way or another, there’s something about them that’s considered by others as a goldmine. It could be as simple as knowing how to organize files in a computer folder or diplomatically communicating a co-workers disappointment about a manager. These entrepreneurs know that simple talents like this provide immense value. They know that it contributes to the overall health of the organization somehow. 

Given the above situations, imagine it here in detail. 

Let’s say someone’s line of business deals with data and information. They are put in a situation where their computer files are extremely disorganized and they have about 5 minutes left to save the company from a USD 10M loss. Obviously, chances are they will definitely incur that loss. This is where one starts to realize that having someone to maintain clean and organized files is worth investing on, especially in that situation. 

Here’s another example — let’s say an employer has a people management problem. They’re looking at the report of a 70% annual attrition rate (termination/resignation rate) in their company. This can be problematic considering clients need human resources to run their projects. If only they hired someone who knew how to effectively communicate and resolve issues within the company, then perhaps those people didn’t easily resign or underperform. 

Looking at these cases, one can see how entrepreneurs consider themselves a cheat code in company pain points. The larger the pain point, the more valuable skills are regardless of the level of complexity. The reason why this is so is because other factors are also considered for a good employer-employee match such as one’s availability to start, one’s rate against the company budget, one’s quality connections, and one’s other existing resources. 

Having an entrepreneurial mindset helps you see opportunities in places others can’t see 

Entrepreneurs think critically and creatively. They look at situations differently which is why, even in times of economic crisis, they know that opportunities can arise and they are not afraid.

These people look for challenges and are very eager to spin situations around to their favor. They know that in cases like this, thinking traditionally is a limiting belief. In that sense, entrepreneurs indeed embody the phrase “I can do it for as long as I put my mind into it.” 

For example, it is well known by HR professionals that 75% of jobs in the market are hidden. 

If typical job hunters say “I can’t pursue this profession. There aren’t any openings for it on the online job boards.” 

The entrepreneurial mind will say “There aren’t any openings, I guess I will just offer this service to companies myself.” 

Thinking like this absolutely gives a huge advantage in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment. 

Being a true entrepreneur develops your sense of camaraderie 

Entrepreneurs are sometimes people pleasers. If not people pleasers, they try their best to be civil with people even to the point of forming alliances with people they don’t like. Because they know that to solve problems, people with talent need to work together. That also means learning how to speak to each other in a diplomatic way as much as possible. 

One way to do it is to try Positive Scripting. 

It’s basically, for lack of better words, doing a business-related conversation with empathetic tones. 

Here is an example of positive scripting in the context of employment: 

Case Study: Requesting for payroll that is already due. 

Actual Message: Any updates on my payment? 

Ideal Message: Hi Janine! I hope you had a nice and relaxing weekend. I just wanted to check in and see if my salary is ready for disbursement? Do let me know if you need any help on my end. Thank you so much! 

Entrepreneurs know when to review their words. They know that failing to do so will result in a lot of lost opportunities.

As an entrepreneur, you know how to weigh the cost and benefits of an important decision 

Not a lot of people know this but entrepreneurs know when to forego opportunities, no matter how prestigious it is. This is simply because they know it won’t serve them well. 

For example, if someone offers them a PHP 50,000/month fixed salary only to let them work 18 hours a day against their will, they are potentially sacrificing future opportunities to earn about the same amount for just 8 hours of work per weekday. 

Another example, let’s say a company offers them to do a PHP 500,000 project but disrespects them by yelling at them, telling them that they’re not really worth the price, and boasting about how that company can do the job better than them. Entrepreneurs recognize that this is an opportunity that they can let go of simply because that kind of treatment reduces their value and respect from other people in their network. That is a potentially high loss. 

Entrepreneurs know that they should stop taking in offers that look like good opportunities if it will hurt future opportunities that have more value. Of course this is considering available resources that they have. 

It’s time you start thinking like an entrepreneur 

It doesn’t matter if you never want to own a business. Thinking like an entrepreneur gives you a valuable card to play in the job hunt. It protects you from losses and even positions you as someone of high value just because you know the ropes of how business is being done. Resources are now readily available online to educate netizens on entrepreneurship. 

It’s only a matter of time until you learn how it can provide value to you. For seasoned professionals, they would advise that another source to acquire the mindset is to approach a career coach specializing in entrepreneurship. They can teach learners about the sales and marketing skills necessary in the job hunt as well as other skills like persuasion and negotiation. These career coaches are usually found lurking on LinkedIn so best to find the best match for you through a quick search. Good luck!

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Danica Octa
Written By

Danica Octa is a Fortune 500 Career Coach, Personal Branding Expert, and a Talent Consultant. She has helped over 200+ job seekers find meaningful jobs again some of which were displaced during the pandemic. She is an HR professional with expertise in talent acquisition and career development coaching. In her spare time, Danica likes to sing songs from her wide range or repertoire, scuba dive in the oceans of Batangas, write blogs, and conduct other life coaching services. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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