4 Mental Shifts to Help You Move From Employee to Entrepreneur

4 Mental Shifts to Help You Move From Employee to Entrepreneur

In 2009, I got my first “real job” out of academia. I was single, living on my own and I finally bought a car to prepare for my commute. I settled into the 45-minute drive (each way), excited to have become a real adult.

But four years later, when I was coming off maternity leave with my first child, things began to feel less right. I started doing things that didn’t make sense to me. Things like waking up my sleeping baby in the morning to take her to daycare – where she would remain for eight of her waking hours. I’d then drive her home through rush hour traffic, she’d be tired and hungry and fussy. I did this in the name of adulthood and responsibility, but it was not consistent with my heart. Experiencing this dissonance was the beginning of the shifts in my thinking that led to where I am today.

Here are four major ideology shifts that helped me evolve from employee to entrepreneur:

Shift 1: Working to save for retirement is preposterous.

One hundred years ago, when jobs involved a lot of physical labour, retirement made sense. But today, with accessible healthcare and a global community, we are living longer and the potential to earn money without back-breaking labour is abundant. There is no reason why we can’t continue earning money doing what we love well past the age of 65. Plus, with young children at home, putting off living life until retirement sounds even more backwards. This first seed was planted when I read The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris.

Shift 2: There are more ways to earn a living than trading time for money.

As a consultant, for years I believed that I had to trade time for money and that depending on who you are, there is an upper limit on how much you can charge for that time. This was one of the hardest shifts I made and I still struggle with it. But I’ve structured my business so that it’s set up to bring in residual and passive income. Now, I’m not there yet, but that is the long-term goal that I’m working toward today. If you want an introduction to this concept, check out the Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn.

Shift 3: Commuting to work does not have to be an unfortunate reality.

I still remember the conversations I had with myself as I sat in the stagnant sea of vehicles on the QEW. This is what it means to be a responsible adult and contributing member of society. I’m doing my part by having a well-paying job and contributing to RRSPs. But that self-talk only worked until my first born arrived. The nagging feeling that things should be different – better – persisted. My husband and I started having conversations about what it would look like if I worked from home – started doing my own thing and became more accessible to our daughter.

Shift 4: There is more than enough in the world for everyone.

For a while I struggled with guilt for wanting more. I thought wanting more meant that I was not grateful for what I had. Even some people I talked to felt that I should leave well enough alone.

However, my husband put it this way to me: by wanting more and getting more, I’m letting the people around me share it in too and hopefully inspire them to want more and get more as well. He suggested I’d be doing a disservice to everyone by not reaching higher. When I think about my children and how I want to set them up for success, then I’m doing this for them as much as I am for me. This leads into the law of attraction and the vibrational frequencies of the universe. I like what Michael Bernard Beckwith has to say on this topic.


These shifts have shaped my life and my business into what they are today. And although they’re not perfect (my life and my business), they are much more consistent with my view of the world.


Holly Hagan is a mom of two, wife of one and owner of It’s Personal Branding.

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