An exit sign pointing to the left. It is time to exit your old employee way of thinking, and start thinking like an entrepeneur.

How to exit the employee mindset.



I recently flipped my mental mindset from employee to entrepreneur. It did not happen suddenly, like the flip of a switch. I wish it were that easy.


Quite the contrary, it was much more like the slow, painful removal of a loose tooth …or at least how I remember removing my teeth from when I was a young lad. While I am fortunate to say that I have not actually pulled out any of my teeth since those days, I can still recall the feeling – and for me, the analogy is spot on.


Analogies aside, what I am trying to tell you is that if you currently have a 9 to 5 job, and you have intentions or plans to start up a business (or even a side-hustle), you need to prepare yourself mentally. An “employee mindset” is a real thing, and you may not even realize all the ways it could hold you back if you intend to start working for yourself.


I am here to tell you that the employee mindset will not give up its hold on you easily, and the switch to thinking like an entrepreneur may even be a painful process.


How did I make the switch? For starters, I took a course on entrepreneurship. It was incredibly eye-opening for me, and it was a big part of the reason why I started this website. I wrote more about my experience with this course here. This course was NOT a simple thing, so I won’t go into detail about it in this article. (Teaser: It was amazing for me because it happened to be the exact right content for me at the time – but it is not necessarily something I would recommend to everyone.)


So what is the simple trick that I was also doing (while taking the course) that played a BIG part in helping me to switch my mindset? Answer: AUDIOBOOKS! Does that sound too easy to be true? Well just wait – there are some further instructions related to this suggestion. You can’t change your mind on this topic by listening to just any audiobook. You have to listen to the right kind of book. But even with this caveat, listening to my suggested audiobooks (listed below) is something I can recommend that is relatively simple and that can have a BIG impact on your life. So if you follow the suggestions I list below, you can get started on changing your mindset right away (and even for free)!


Let me take a quick step back for a moment in case you are one of the few people who still need to be convinced of the incredible usefulness of the audiobook format in general. In fact, I was one of these people (until relatively recently). But I am sure glad that I finally caved in to the idea, because I may not have been so willing to make the leap of faith into entrepreneurship without the aid of some of the books I list below.


Why are audiobooks so perfect for changing your mind? Because you don’t have to change your routine by much to start filling your mind with useful information. Prior to my newly-developed habit of listening to audiobooks, I made some (half-serious) attempts to find time to read somewhat regularly – usually at bedtime, and before I’d go to sleep. But if I’m being honest, I have to say that it would take me months, sometimes years to finish a book that was sitting on my nightstand. The simple truth was, I just didn’t make reading a priority in my hectic weekly schedule often enough. (Can you relate to this? Then get listening!)


But now that I've started consuming the audiobook versions of the right kind of books, I was able to find MUCH more time to squeeze in “reading” sessions during my normal routine (especially during my commute). In so doing, I found that I could easily finish a book per week or so – and I did it without adding any extra stress on my weekly schedule. I realize now that audiobooks will help you take advantage of the power of multi-tasking.


Is listening to a book as good a reading a book? Comprehension-wise I’m not sure it is. There are probably scientific studies out there that can answer this question better than my armchair speculation. But I can tell you that it certainly is FASTER!


So if you are worried that you won’t be able to “pick-up as much” from the audio format of the book, I can tell you from personal experience that since I can get through a book so much faster, I’ve found that I will often go back and listen to a book again a second or a third time (sometimes with eager excitement to hear the ideas again). I’m sure that this level of ease makes up for (or MORE than makes up for) any comprehension loss that might be a result of consuming the audio format. In addition, a BIG part of the point of the specific type of book that I am recommending is to help you change your thinking, so I’d argue that the quicker you can get new ideas into your noggin, the better.


(Also, keep in mind, I'm not advocating for eliminating all reading from your routines. Reading the "old-fashioned way" is still an important muscle to train and flex, so don't stop doing that regularly!)


Are you convinced to start listening? GOOD! So let’s start by listing all the tools you will need to start right away:


  • A smartphone or a tablet, which I'm assuming you probably already have.
  • The Audible app (from whatever app store your smartphone uses).
  • Sign Up for a free trial of Audible here (or click on the ad at the top of this page.*) I recommend doing this from a laptop or a computer, especially if you are on an iPhone or iPad (Amazon doesn't let you sign up for services on an Apple device.) You will also get credit for 1 free book if you use the Premium Plus option! (You can always change this later after you get your book credit.)

Then, once you have your Audible account set up, here are the books with which I’d suggest starting:*


I believe that the odds are pretty good that you’ve heard of, or possibly even read some of these books before. That’s fine, but now I’m telling you that you should finish this list, and listen to them in your spare time. If you find 30 minutes per day to listen to these books, you'll be done with this list within a month.


And here’s another reason why I believe listening to these books in particular will help you make a critical step toward thinking more like a successful entrepreneur:

Most of these books specifically address (or at least touch on) the topic of changing your mental blueprints or the “employee mindset.” If you end up doing as I did, you will probably even be listening to these topics while you are commuting to your current 9 to 5 job. For me, there was something extremely powerful about the combination of listening to the inspirational words of the authors (who are each massively successful entrepreneurs), while I was caught up (often quite literally) in the middle of the rat-race that made the words even more powerful, inspiring, but also jarring and motivating.


A progress bar image, saying that your new mindset is the process of loading.

So there you have it! Simple right? Now get listening and get started on changing your mindset now!


But as I mentioned at the outset: It won’t be easy to change your mind, even with this “trick.” It is never an easy thing to change your mind. For me, I had worked very hard in my career path to get to the point of being comfortable. When I recently started to train my mind to think like an entrepreneur, it meant that I had to willing to forgo my feelings of comfort and stability and instead try to get used to some new (and sometimes scary) ideas like risk and potential failure.


On the other hand, for as scary, intimidating, and challenging as some of the ideas within the entrepreneurial mindset are, there are plenty of ideas that started to sink in that helped to inspire, motivate, and help me overcome the fears. For example, I started to learn how entrepreneurs see challenges differently than employees do (they think about how to overcome them, not avoid them). Or how thinking with a fear-based and safety-nest mindset (like I had) keeps us thinking small, whereas entrepreneurs allow themselves to think BIG.


Are you ready to think BIG? Start listening to the books I listed above now! And after you make it through this list in a month or so, please leave me a comment and let me know how it went for you!


*The links in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to buy any of the items through these links, you will be supporting this website with a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price for you.


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