Mindset Hacks for Freelance Consultants: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur
There are a lot of similarities between a freelance consultant and a large-business owner.
Both freelance consultants and entrepreneurs need to build their own brand, find clients and customers, handle their own accounting and pay taxes, take charge of their sales and marketing, and the list goes on.
For this reason, if you’re a freelance consultant, you need to have the mindset of an entrepreneur.
What is it? And how to cultivate it?
To find that, let’s first discuss how entrepreneurs think differently from 9-5 employees.
The Mindset of an Entrepreneur as Compared to That of an Employee
Fact is, a lot of entrepreneurs didn’t start as business owners. There’s a time in our lives when a vast majority of us begin our career with casual or part-time jobs and start to understand the concept of getting paid to work. However, some people become so used to getting a salary from an employer that they cannot even comprehend going their own way. Well, this is not the mindset of an entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur is someone who is confident in their ability to send invoices to clients instead of relying on payslips from an employer. They trust themselves to lead the whole situation themselves. And most importantly, they are self-motivated and will get up and do the work on their own. After all, when you’re an entrepreneur, there won’t be a manager managing you—you will be your own boss and manager.
The freelance consulting mindset needs to be very similar to this. Even though you don’t need to start the next McKinsey or BCG to become successful, you will need to think like the founders of these great consulting firms.
Break the Glass Ceiling
A ‘glass ceiling’ is a term used to describe a barrier that one has created in their own mind but it doesn’t exist in reality. Remember your first time riding a bicycle? You were so sure that you would fall and hurt yourself. And now, you probably don’t even remember the incident vividly.
Well, it’s the same with consultants who work as employees. Despite having all the key consulting skills, they depend on an employer for their livelihood because they’re scared that they will fall without the company’s support. But ask yourself: “If I have 5 years of experience working at a big consulting firm and have all the key consulting skills, why am I so scared to give freelancing a try?”
It’s true that leaving the employee mindset behind and adopting the mindset of an entrepreneur is easier said than done. But at some point, you’re going to have to let go of the training wheels and ride the bicycle of your career on your own. And that’s when you will realize that all those worries were just a waste of time. And from this point, the freelance consulting mindset will begin to develop and get stronger as you close more and more projects and earn more money than your day job.
Imagine That You Have Already Become a Top-Tier Freelance Consultant
Gandhi once said, “A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” Today, modern science has proved that this is not just a motivational quote, but a reality. Negative thoughts can make you physically sick. There has been a lot of research on this topic which concluded that chronic stress and anger can lead to conditions like hypertension, digestive disorders, and cardiovascular diseases.
Be Very Passionate About Your Industry
The founders of McDonald’s were passionate about food, the founder of Apple was passionate about technology, and the founder of Ford Motor was passionate about cars. The bottom line is, success as an entrepreneur is directly related to your passion for your line of work, which in this case should be consulting.
Enthusiasm is a very important part of the mindset of an entrepreneur. If it’s absent, you may get tempted to leave freelance consulting behind and become an employee again. Now, the question is: How to become and remain passionate about your profession? You can do so by staying up-to-date with all the latest developments in your field. Next, you could try your hands on content marketing. This would require you to post content in the form of blogs, videos, social media posts, etc. Not only will this help you stay ahead of the competition, but it will also show your potential clients how much you love consulting. And this will certainly affect their decision to hire you in a positive way. So, what are you waiting for? Start sharing your knowledge with all the world—content marketing for the win!
Expect Failure and Learn From It
There are not many schools that teach kids to become freelancers or entrepreneurs. Most of us are taught the skills that will help us get a job. For this reason, you may need to pass that learning curve at the beginning of your freelance consulting journey.
For instance, if you’re used to earning payslips, you wouldn’t know much about invoicing, accounting, and taxes. If you’re new, you may not have any idea about creating contracts and other legal agreements. For this reason, you could end up making mistakes—and it’s fine, so long as you learn from them.
In conclusion, having the mindset of an entrepreneur is a very important asset in freelance consulting. Philosophers have been teaching the importance of mindset for millennia, and now, scientists are proving it in laboratories. If you ever feel overwhelmed in your freelance consulting journey, come back to this article and use these tips to get back on track.