Transitioning to entrepreneurship from employment is more about a mindset shift than learning business.
The Nurse Entrepreneur Mindset vs. The Employee Mindset
From clock-in, clock-out, repeat, to working when, where, and how much you want. Life as a nurse entrepreneur offers unparalleled personal, professional and financial freedom that can’t be gained from a traditional facility-based job and is such a different experience that many nurses can't understand or grasp how it could work.
Making the leap from employee to entrepreneur is an empowering move that also requires you to reframe your entire mindset around your role. Gone are the conventional parameters of 8-5 or 6-6; you’re running the show now, and you’ll need to shift your mindset accordingly.
Recognize Your Strengths
Don’t limit yourself by thinking that your only professional assets are items on your resume. Sure, those are your hard skills that give you the background and training to make the leap as a nurse entrepreneur, but what about the characteristics that make you so good at what you do? Are you particularly strong at program planning? Analytics? Connecting with families? Whatever your superpower is, embrace it, and gauge how you can apply it in your new business.
To embrace entrepreneurship is to embrace uncertainty. There is no constant paycheck, no locked in work schedule, no predictable progression. But on the flip side, the possibilities of what could be are infinite. Reframe it as flexibility: you get to work when you want, you don’t have an earnings cap, and you get to determine what your career path looks like based on your priorities, not a reporting structure. For example, consider your response if you were offered your normal paycheck amount for the month, split into two week payments like usual, or $25,000 all at once to decide how to divide and spend.
Get Ready to Manage Yourself
Say goodbye to days at the water cooler where you collaboratively wonder what the heck your manager was thinking with that new change because… well, you’re your new manager! Accountability to yourself is a huge component of shifting to the nurse entrepreneur mindset. You are now the one managing your own time, your performance, and your business. Take time to assess your working style, and use it to identify areas where you know you might struggle. Time cannot be changed or managed, we can only manage ourselves well.
Wear Many Hats
Marketing, finance, sales, accounting. Girl, it’s all you now. But that isn’t a bad thing! We know how resilient nurses are, and their ability to learn new things is endless. Rest assured, if you’re wondering how to do some of these things, others have too! Lean into learning new skills that will help make your business stronger; after all, no one knows it as well as you do.
Having your own business mean you should do it all, and I don't know anyone in business who says you should try. An accountant should your taxes, someone who is an expert in marketing and social media should do your marketing and social media. This isn't always possible in the start up phase, you will be able to add more support as you grow your business.
Successful Nurses In Business Agree
Looking for more practical, tangible tips and transparent conversation about shifting your mindset from employee to entrepreneur? Check out the Nurses Making Waves podcast; we have an episode on The Employee Mindset that breaks it down even more, and will help you know that you’ve got this. Plus, my interviews with nurses in business consistently focus on mindset as the biggest area to overcome to have a successful business as a nurse. it's that important.