Entrepreneur vs Employee Mindset – Why Startup Businesses Fail


We’ve Been Taught to Live a Lie

We’ve been taught a big lie! When we arrived on this planet; when we emerged from our mother’s womb as mere babes, we came hard-wired with a sense of joy, individuality, creativity and wonder. Just observe the average baby. We see that they possess an innate sense of joy and discovery. Babies tend to laugh more, to play more and are generally happier than adults. We all came forth to be happy. A baby’s entire life and the lives of those surrounding him are focused on one thing and one thing only – making that baby happy. Everyone focuses their energies on pleasing that baby. You see, finding joy is our natural state of being. However, as we get older we are taught to live our lives to please others (not ourselves), which is contradictory to our first experiences of life. Nothing is wrong with pleasing others, but it must never be at the detriment of our own happiness.


Our Education System Creates Employees not Entrepreneurs

Our education system has compounded the lie. Our entire education system is built on the notion of pleasing others. The education system today is built on creating followers not leaders; on creating consumers and not creators. Schools are set up to churn out graduates who work their butts off to please – to please the teacher and their parents with good grades and ultimately to please their boss with good performance in their jobs. In addition, the school system is designed to train students to pass examinations. Consequently, we have been programmed in a particular way. We’ve all been told to, “Go to school. Get good grades. Graduate from college. Get a good job. Work hard. Get a promotion. Get a raise. Retire happy”. That’s the process that we have been programmed to follow from day one. We’ve been taught to place our lives in the hands of someone else (boss, government, church, parents, etc). Entrepreneurship, individuality and creative thinking are not taught as a result. We learn a formula, which we are then required to regurgitate at an exam and ultimately in life. Real-life lessons are seldom taught in the classroom.


Entrepreneur Mindset


We’ve Lost our “Why’s”

Do you remember how the small child used to ask why for almost everything? Remember how you used to get annoyed after a while? Remember how you used to end the series of why’s with a “just because” or “because I said so”? As babies, we all grew up asking why, why, why for almost everything. We wanted to understand how things work and whether they served our best interest or not. Understanding why is the first step of learning and of creating. This is our nature. But our why’s have been stifled and we were taught to then ask who, who, who; who we should please; God; parents; our boss? We take orders and follow blindly. We give up our individuality and our sense of wonder and creativity. We place our lives in the hands of others. In fact, the way our society runs today is no different from the way mammals behave in a herd. You are taught to follow. Just look at the fashion industry and you’d see how easily we are swayed to do what everyone else is doing. We’ve stopped thinking for ourselves.


And when it comes to earning income to make a living, we give up our joy for a few dollars. We are tricked into accepting pittance in the form of a salary. And belittle ourselves to believe that we can’t do better. Usually, we are afraid of losing our jobs. Are you then surprised that the majority of people are unhappy in their jobs? Whenever we are placed in a situation that is contrary to our true nature of freedom and joy, the result is uneasiness, stress and unhappiness. And this is true of the corporate world in many instances. There are some who are trying to break the cycle, such as Vishen Lakhiani at MindValley.


Why Some Startup Businesses Fail and Others Succeed?

You are probably wondering where all of this babble is leading to. I’m getting to the point. Don’t worry.

If you’re just getting started with a blog or you are now getting the feet wet as an affiliate marketer, then you can be categorized as a startup business. You are investing the time, talent and money into a business opportunity that you hope will generate enough income in the future to allow you to either quit you job or to supplement your existing income. But why do some startup businesses succeed and others fail?

I’ve been a member of Wealthy Affiliate for some time now. If you don’t know, Wealthy Affiliate is an online community of over 900,000 Internet marketers, online entrepreneurs, and startup businesses. I’ve interacted, communicated and dealt with a number of different individuals from all walks of life (different ages, stages, genders, nationalities, religious backgrounds, etc.). And I’ve seen many succeed and I’ve observed many others failing. And I’ve asked myself, “What causes some to fail and others to succeed?”

Wealthy Affiliate offers each person the same training, the same tools, the same techniques and the same opportunities. Barring the fact that people chose different niches, there is no other real explanation for why some fail and some succeed. When I speak about failure I’m not talking about trying and things not going the way you planned. I’m talking about trying and then quitting when things don’t go the way you planned. They are two different scenarios entirely.

I’m no scientist or psychologist but through mere observation I’ve come to one main conclusion. The problem is not the training or the platform or the tools or the strategies that are recommended by Wealthy Affiliate or any training program for that matter. There is a fundamental trait that differentiates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones. And I believe that I’ve been able to unlock the secret trait that separates the two groups. That secret has to do with their mindset. You see, you cannot play at an entrepreneur’s game with an employee’s mentality. Starting and running your own business (in other words, being an entrepreneur) is different from being an employee and working for someone else. It’s a different game, with different rules and therefore, requires a different mindset altogether.

We have NOT been taught to be entrepreneurs. We have been taught to be employees. Entrepreneurs take their destiny into their own hands. They are creative and possess a sense of curiosity. They don’t wait for luck; they make their own luck. Employees on the other hand, wait to be told what to create and how to create. They place their future into the hands of a company or a boss and hope that at the time of retirement they will receive some form of compensation for their years of hard work. They are paid a monthly wage which is just enough to keep them dependent but not enough to make them truly happy.


What is an Entrepreneur Mindset and Why You Will Never Succeed Without It?


Not everyone who owns and runs a business is an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word. Someone could own a business and run it with an employee’s mentality. The converse is also true. Someone could be an employee and have an entrepreneur’s mindset. I bet you’re one of those – an employee who has an entrepreneur mindset. No wonder you’re so darn unhappy with the job situation. An individual with an entrepreneur mindset will never feel comfortable or flourish in an employee environment. It’s just not in their nature. So if you are feeling unhappy about the job, it’s not necessarily because you are ungrateful. It could simply be that you are in the wrong place and need a change in the life.


I have to be honest with you, when considering the entrepreneur mindset, I have failed at many of the key elements. I’m a procrastinator, usually because of fear. I hesitate before taking action, because I second-guess myself at every turn. I know I’m talented, because everyone tells me so, but I often don’t see what people are talking about. And I could go on an on if you give me a chance. However, by recognizing my failures and shortcomings I am able to take corrective action.

One of the success stories that I’m following is Vishen Lakhiani. Vishen is one of the most successful entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. He originally worked at Microsoft as an employee. But because he had an entrepreneur’s mindset he didn’t quite fit in and ended up not doing very well at Microsoft. He was fired within a short period, because he couldn’t do it the ‘Microsoft way’. He ventured into starting his own online business, almost as a game and today, Vishen has one of the fastest growing companies in the world and has revolutionized the corporate world by creating new rules and ways of running a business. Read Vishen’s story here.

Vishen developed the concept known as a ‘Brule’ – bullshit rule. He claims, and I totally agree with him, that we all have a set of brules or bullshit rules that we are taught from young. These brules become repeated patterns of thought over time or what you call a mindset. Our respective mindset rules our lives. Have you ever been in a situation you wanted to get out of but just couldn’t find the strength or the way to overcome that situation? Often times, you are tied down by the ‘brules’. I’ll explain using a story I learnt as a child.


The Elephant and the Rope

There was once a very carefree and joyous elephant that lived on the plains of the Serengeti. He had everything going for him. His mother was always around, nurturing and caring for him. He loved running wild and free in the plains. And at only 3 years his special love was swimming and playing joyfully at the nearby watering hole.

However, one ominous day, hunters came along, killed his mother and captured him. They sold him to a circus where he would be taught to perform tricks. From the very first day they tied a rope around his left front leg and fastened it securely. For days and days the young elephant would try to break free. He tugged and pulled at the rope with all his might, but no matter how hard he tried he just could not break the rope. This went on for days and weeks and months. Eventually, after trying what seemed like thousands of times without success, the young elephant submitted to his fate and gave up the struggle. He just stopped trying to break free because he believed that it was impossible to do so.



After some time, his captors started simply tying the rope around his leg but not around the tree. In other words, not being actually tied to anything meant that the young elephant could escape at any time. However, his mind was convinced that as long as the rope was tied to his leg he could never escape. Now, it was not the rope that was holding him back. It was his belief that he could never escape that was keeping him tied down. He had developed a mindset that was not serving him. And that is the same thing that happens to us. We are taught beliefs as children and youngsters, which control the way we think, feel and behave for the rest of our lives. Some of those beliefs serve us well, while others can hold us back or even be harmful to us. And at the core of our beings we know what some of these brules are:

  • Money don’t grow on trees
  • Eat all you food, children are starving in Africa
  • Don’t do this or that. You’d go to hell
  • You’re a bad boy
  • You’re a bad girl
  • Boys don’t cry
  • Girls don’t play baseball
  • You’d never amount to anything
  • You’re not good enough
  • You’re not pretty enough
  • You’re not smart enough
  • Maybe you’d be better off at….
  • If you don’t do this or that for me then you are selfish
  • And the list goes on and on and on

Can you think of any bullshit rules or brules you’ve been taught as a child? Leave a comment below and let me know.


bullshit rules


Entrepreneur vs Employee Mindset

What does all of this have to do with being an entrepreneur? You see, unfortunately, most of us were taught the same ‘brule’ – the employee mindset – a mindset that is not inherently bad, because we do need employees for the world of commerce and business to be a success, but if you want to be an entrepreneur, an employee mindset will actually set you up for failure. The herd we call society, decided that ‘divergents’ were risky and unpredictable. And this is not suitable for the stability of society and so, rather than allowing us all to flourish in our own creativity, the general consensus is that they squeeze us into little groups to make sure we conform for ‘the greater good’. Some are fortunate to be able to break free, like Vishen; while some of us continue to suffer and don’t know why we are unable to succeed in life or in business.

In order to fully understand the entrepreneur’s mindset, it will be useful to compare the mindset of an employee to that of an entrepreneur.



1. Employees Follow the Rules. Entrepreneurs Make the Rules.

Employees typically follow the rules. Entrepreneurs often make and sometimes break the rules (and live with the consequences). I remember when I was in high school I got into a lot of trouble for not attending the allotted class time for Accounts. You see, the Accounts lecturer was not a very good teacher. I felt that sitting in his class for 90 minutes every day for five days a week was a complete waste of my time. Instead, I decided to ‘skip’ his class and go to the library instead and do my own research and learn in my own way, which I felt was more productive. What was the outcome? I had to go to detention for each class missed. That means I got detention for an entire academic year, because you know that I was not budging. I didn’t care. The model student had become a rebel. I made my decision and was sticking to it. In the end I got an A and the highest grade in the entire class that year. The same teacher shook my hand after results were released and complimented me on a job well done. How ironic.

Sometimes following the rules is not the best approach. If you look at many entrepreneurs today, you’d see that at some point in their lives they had to either create their own rules or break the norms of the day. For employees, breaking the rules is risky. They are afraid to make a move. This reminds me of a friend of mine. At one time, we were going to the pharmacy. However, there was no parking available directly in front of the pharmacy. Next door, however, was a clothing store. There were loads of parking space available. For me, it was a no-brainer – park in front of the clothing store. Do you know he refused to do it! He said that we were not customers of the clothing store and it was impolite to park there. We eventually had to wait until a parking space became available in front of the pharmacy. If you’re siding with my friend and believe that he was right and I was wrong, guess which mindset you fall into?


Entrepreneur Mindset


2. Employees are Afraid of Risk. Entrepreneurs Understand and Take Risk all the time.

Employees perceive a level of security and comfort in their jobs. It is a steady and sure source of income as long as you follow the rules and do what the boss wants. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly exposed to risk. But not everyone can tolerate risk all the time. You need a particular constitution to be able to live in uncertainty for a prolonged period.

What employees do not realize is that the perceived job security is actually a lie. The global recession of 2008 is a perfect example. During the heart of the recession, there were millions of job losses in the United States alone. Where was the job security then?

Also, what many employees really risk is their happiness and peace of mind. Are the few dollars earned at the end of the month worth the happiness? Many employees do not see what they are truly risking. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, understand that risk. They understand that what they are really losing is their happiness, time with their family, peace of mind, health, the ability to have creative freedom, etc. Because of this understanding of the real risk involved in having a job, they are willing to risk other things such as hard work, the possibility of making losses, not having a steady salary at the end of the month and much more. They rather give up their job for joy. Robert Kioysaki once said that he and his wife had lst everything and were living in their car. They prefered to live in their car than go look for a job. They believed in their long-term vision of a successful business.



3. Employees See Spending as a Cost and Not an Investment.

Spending money is one of the challenges that people with an employee mindset face every day. People with an employee mindset see spending in their business as a cost. Those with an entrepreneur mindset see spending as an investment. Whether it is spending on new technology, new software, on employees, whatever, entrepreneurs see it as necessary to make their businesses a bigger success. Employees dread spending and often cut back cost and lose opportunities to become more competitive as a result.

These first three outcomes or characteristics are classical examples of the risk tolerance trait. Some of us are tolerant to risk and some of us run from risk – whether it’s about breaking or bending rules or taking a leap of faith or our outlook on money. It’s all about our constitution to tolerate risk. The next three characteristics that I’m going to discuss has to do with expectation. You’ll see that even if you are a risk taker and are willing to give up something in order to get something else unless you have a solid mindset around the expectations you won’t get very far. I’ll explain why having a poor mindset when it comes to expectation set’s you up to fail early on.


4. Employees Expect a Fixed Outcome. Entrepreneurs Adapt to Any Outcome.

Employees work a set number of hours per week or per month. They carry out specific tasks during their work hours. And at the end of the month, they expect a set salary for their hours and efforts put in. However, an entrepreneur is totally different. As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to work the hours and carry out tasks over a period of time and not get the required outcome. You can work forty hours a week and get nothing in return. No money at all. If you cannot stomach that, then you are not cut out to be an entrepreneur. Often people with an employee mindset see the successful entrepreneur with the fast car and fancy house and the long vacations and think that those rewards happened overnight. What they do not see are the long hours, missed holidays, sleepless nights and all the hard work it took to get the business to the point where it runs itself. They want to get to the destination without taking the journey.


5. Employees have Short Term Expectations. Entrepreneurs Have Long Term Vision.

From my observation, this is one of the biggest reasons people fail at their online business. I remember a recent post at one of the Wealthy Affiliate community forums. A guy (we’ll call him Fred for anonymity) had started building out his website about two weeks in, had about two posts and had only completed the second level of the five level Certification Course at Wealthy Affiliate. Fred’s beef was that after two weeks he was not seeing any results and was considering quitting. I see this sort of thing happen all the time. People put in two weeks of half-way done work and expect to be raking in the millions. It just doesn’t work that way. Fred exhibited classic employee mindset. Fortunately for Fred, he was surrounded by lots of people with an entrepreneur mindset who were able to guide him accordingly. Fred is still working on his business up the time this article was being written. Fred’s example also shows that even if you have an employee mindset, you could learn how to develop an entrepreneur’s mindset over time. 


6. People with an Employee Mindset Give up Easily. Entrepreneurs are Persistent and Determined.

If you are following me, you may already be familiar with what I’m about to say. The name of the game is to stay in the game until you win the game. This is one of my mantras. And as a matter of fact, that is how most entrepreneurs think. Going back to the example of the baby given at the start of this article, we see that toddlers learning to walk have precisely that mentality. Babies focus on their vision of being able to walk. They fall down, cry, shake it off, laugh and get back up again. And before they know it, they are attempting to walk the second time around. They keep at it, fall a few dozen times and keep at it with a positive and open mind. In all of the history humankind, never has a baby attempting to walk given up entirely after falling down the first time. That has never happened in the millions of years that babies have been learning to walk. If that were the case, many of us would still be crawling around on all fours. We are all born with an entrepreneur mindset but someway, somehow we forget and are reprogrammed to think, feel and behave like an employee.

Similarly, we cannot afford to give up on our businesses when we fail a few times. Ask any successful entrepreneur how many times they failed before they got it right and they’d all probably say “many times”. I’m currently doing a case study on many of the successful online entrepreneurs and I see this repeat throughout. Failure and struggles are constant. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Vishen Lakhiani and many others have all experienced hardships both in business and in life before they became a resounding success today. Do you want to know what else was a constant? Getting up and trying again. Those with an employee mindset, give up at the first sight of failure. Entrepreneurs understand that failure is part of the journey towards success. It is estimated that Thomas Edison made over 10,000 attempts at creating the light bulb and when asked why he wouldn’t give up, he declared that he found 10,000 ways not to do it, meaning he was no closer to success than before. That is the mentality we have to adopt. Failure is just feedback of ways NOT to do it.


Road to success


7. Entrepreneurs Find Strength and Inspiration Inwardly. Employees look to others.

Another marked difference between employees and entrepreneurs is that entrepreneurs find their strength and inspiration inwardly. Employees look to others for their strength. This is why it is so easy for people with an employee mindset to blame others when things go wrong. An entrepreneur will take responsibility and move on. Drawing on another real life example. Recently, one of the top community contributors at Wealthy Affiliate (we’ll call him Jim for anonymity) had to close down his WA account because another member (we’ll call him Tom) was threatening to sue because of some advice that Jim had given him that did not work and cost him a few dollars well. You see, Tom blamed Jim for his failure. But in reality Tom is responsible for his business, not Jim; whether Jim told him to go jump off of a bridge to make his business a success does not matter. Tom is ultimately responsible and should have taken due diligence and done some additional research. I’m sure if Jim’s advice was a hit, Tom would not have offered to share the profits with him. But only when things did not work out, Tom blamed Jim. This is a classic employee mentality. Mind your business. Do your own work. And neither rely on others for success nor blame them for failure. Being an entrepreneur means the buck stops with you. No one else.



8. Employees are Always Waiting for the Right Time. The Right Time is Now.

People with an employee mindset are always waiting for opportunity to knock. Entrepreneurs create their own opportunities. Employees are endless waiting for the right time – They have an “I’ll do it when…” mentality. I’ll do it when I finish my degree. I’ll do it when the kids get older. I’ll do it when I’m 40. I’ll do it when I get married. I’ll do it when I retire. And before you know it when has gone and there are no more opportunities. You always hear people say that when you are on the death bed you never regret the things that you did, but rather, the things you did not do. There could not be a better time than now to become an online entrepreneur.


What Kind of Mindset Do You Have – an Employee or an Entrepreneur Mindset?


Take the test below and I’ll share with you the secret of the entrepreneur mindset.

I’ll show you the Five Dimensions of the Entrepreneur Mindset and the Five Elements that run through each dimension.

Use this to take control of your life and become a winning entrepreneur. 



Entrepreneur Mindset

43 Comments to Entrepreneur vs Employee Mindset – Why Startup Businesses Fail

  1. Brent says:

    You are rocking’ it man!! That was an awesome post and I am with you 150% on everything you said, who you mentioned (Vishen is THE man), the elephant, the whole bit.

    You nailed it with the whole article/post. You make so much sense and I had an epiphany myself on all your points. So thank you for that.

    Great work. Very well received.

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Awww, Brent coming from you that is a HUGE compliment. I’ve seen your work and only strive to be like you.

      I am so glad that you enjoyed this post (which I put a lot of thought and work into). You mind sharing your epiphany? Was there anything in particular that jumped out at you?

      Oh and did you take the quiz?

  2. Lee says:

    What a absolutely brilliant read that was. I’m currently an employee but can happily confirm that after reading this post, I believe to have an entrepreneurs mindset.

    I could really relate to both of the mindsets described because until recently, I probably fell into the category of an employee.

    I was starting to plan for my retirement and was investing a small amount of my income into stocks and shares. Maybe it was thought of working for another 40 odd years for someone else, doing a job I don’t really want to be doing, that changed my mindset. I decided to take that small amount of monthly savings and invest it in myself now so that I can enjoy my life now and not in 40 years.

    Thanks for sharing, this post was an eye opener for me and will help prevent me from falling back into the employees mindset.

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Thank you for your comment Lee. The wonderful thing about the mind is that you can change it. Having an employee mindset is not the end of the world. You can take control of your life as you did. The hard part is to unlearn one before you can really learn another. You find yourself falling back into your old employee habits. But knowing the differences between the employee mindset and the entrepreneur mindset is the first step in taking corrective action.

      I am really glad that you found this post enlightening and edifying.

      All the best as you continue to strive to be a true entrepreneur.

      Did you take the assessment? What were your results?

  3. nick says:

    I love your website. I’m kind of similar in the fact I can be hesitant when making decisions as an entrepreneur. But this is a good website for motivation. It really does make sense that there are two different mindsets. The mind of an employee and the mind of an entrepreneur. Thanks again for the motivation!

  4. Justin C. says:

    I was just having a conversation with a friend on mine about this subject the other day.

    The concept of out educations system focuses on making factory workers. We need to ask to go to the bathroom. We sit in a nice straight line. We are often times arranged in alphabetical order. We all compete to the best grades with an A being the best.

    The whole system is outdated. We are using an education system that is pretty much the same as it was some 100 years ago if i’m not mistaken.

    Like you i’m also a member of Wealthy Affiliate and i’m very proud of it. I have also seen people in the live chat talking about taking a break, canceling their membership because things are just not working out.

    These people are not entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur you must be hungry! You have to want to succeed more than you want to breathe. Success is always on your mind.

    When things get hard we charge onward because we know that one day things are not going to be as difficult.

    We continue to put int he 12+ hours days on a regular bases without days off because winners don’t take a break from their business we do whatever it takes to make things happen.

    Entrepreneurs are winners. Winners are not afraid to fail, work hard, sweat, or ask questions. If you don’t have this mindset or something rather similar than you are an employee not an entrepreneur.

    You can change though… It takes time and it takes effort. When things get hard you got to push on through.

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Hi Justin,

      I couldn’t have said it more eloquently. The world is designed to create “slaves”. At the end of the day that’s precisely what an employee boils down to – a modern day slave. They are given a so called salary at the end of the month just to keep them from complaining. We are given a false sense of freedom. But only when you really take control of your life, and start a business of your own, only then do you experience true freedom. But as you said, it does not come easily at all. It’s a lot of hard work, long hours, sweat and often tears. But the taste of success is so sweet that all of the hardships are worth it.

      Doing what I’m doing, I’ve failed and made mistakes many times. But you know what? I see people succeeding every day. If they can do so can I. None of them are made of some magical stuff that we were some how not given. We are all capable of achieving great things.

      Thanks so much for this comprehensive comment.

      All the best


  5. jeremy says:

    Great article, great read. Here’s the thing, anyone looking into being an entrepreneur and especially if you’re reading these comments, make no mistake, you would be wise to read through this and really understand what is said. It might sound simple to just “have a good mindset” but we all know its not and it really is the key difference. He is dead on about people being educated to have an employee mindset. Break out of the system and find yourself. Don’t be a slave to the system.

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Thanks Jeremy for your comment. Appreciate the vote of confidence.

      There you have it folks. It’s not just my crazy rants and raves. People agree with me. The secret ingredient to your success as an entrepreneur is your MINDSET. Not the training. Not the techniques. Not the strategies. MINDSET. Anyone can learn SEO but adopting a mindset requires reprogramming. A whole different level of training altogether.

  6. Terei says:

    I agree with what you mentioned at the start of your article. I think that if we set a simple mindset as we did as children/babies then things would be as easy as 123.

    I also believe that having an article like what you have done will encourage low educated people on being an entrepreneur and help in simple ways to reframe their mind.


    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Thanks for your comment Terei. We do come with the right mindset as babies. Sadly, we are trained out of the right mindset as we get older. Knowing that alone, is such a powerful thing.

  7. Juan says:

    I totally agree. I quit my job just a year ago to build my own business. I can totally relate to everything you say. Great post!

  8. Anthony says:

    Mindset is truly everything. Sadly, I can’t show you all of the sites I have created over the past two years, but you can tell what sort of mindset I was in based off of the site itself.

    That quote from Zuckerberg is true. For those wondering if you should jump the gun, take a look at Kevon. By jumping the gun and taking that risk, you are now here on his website reading his content.

    Not every risk taken will work out, but if you give up after that, you will regret it.

    Awesome read, Kevon.

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      This is so true Anthony. “Mindset is everything”. I see so many people give up easily. And another thing, is that some people can’t even follow simple instructions. Believe it or not, that’s a mindset. So no wonder they don’t get the most out of the training at Wealthy Affiliate.

      But as you said, quitting is never the answer. My mantra is, “The name of the game is to stay in the game until you win the game”.

  9. Don says:

    Excellent post on entrepreneur vs employee mindset, Kevon! I have to admit I’m always trying to perfect my skills. This is a deep post and it has me thinking deeply. There was a time when I was more of an employee mindset. I would procrastinate, often out of fear – over analyzed things and therefore, talked myself out of doing what was needed or should have been done. I missed out on a lot because I should have been taking every opportunity by the horns. I have grown more towards an entrepreneur mindset even though I have not reached that goal fully. I believe this is a lifetime journey, erasing the mindset that has been taught to us throughout our informative years. Thanks for this great information.


    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Great Don. I’m glad that you liked this post and that you found it helpful.

      You are totally correct. Developing an entrepreneur mindset is a lifetime journey. There is always some area that needs to be perfected. The hardest part is not learning the new entrepreneur mindset. The hardest part, as you said, it unlearning the old employee mindset.

  10. deraj says:

    Wow what a great post. Completely agree with all points. I like what you said “Our Education System Creates Employees not Entrepreneurs”. That is so true.

  11. Vince says:

    Kevon this post has blown my mind. You have some serious talent man.

    I’m borderline on employee and entrepreneur as I have a my side businesses but also the comfort of being employed.
    They say people are just born entrepreneurs but I thinks that’s bull. You can learn to be an entrepreneur and develop the skills and mindset if you can move past the brules.

    Bending reality is one of my favourite concepts from Vishen and this can help move the mindset from sheep to wolf.

    Really appreciate the share.

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      WoW Vince. You just made my day. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

      Yes, bending reality is totally possible. So you CAN learn the right way to be an entrepreneur. But the entrepreneur mindset is NOT determined by whether you have a business or not. Some people own businesses but do NOT have an entrepreneur mindset. Some are employees working for the proverbial man but can very well have an entrepreneur mindset. It all depends on your outlook.

  12. Dennis H says:

    I was always told to not be lazy and that if you don’t go to work and work 9-5 or whatever you will amount to nothing, and when I din’t do as I was told then I could not live under their roof, well I moved out the week before my 18th birthday because no one was gonna tell me how to live my life, this was a great read, I love the elephant story, and can relate to it, and I think Wealthy affiliate is the best place to start a new online business even though i’m being put down for that too ass I tell you this now,.it never seems to stop until one day they need your help then it’s all a different story, thank you for this KEVON

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Hey Dennis,

      You are welcome!

      I can totally relate to your story. Living your life to please others is never ideal for your journey towards greatness. Follow your own path buddy. Do what is right for you. Those who belong in your life will come to you. The negative, naysayers will fall by the wayside.

  13. Steven says:

    Excellent post, full of great information and totally agree the bit where you say “Entrepreneurs create their own opportunities, Employees always wait for the opportunities”.

    Well done.


  14. Melissa says:

    Hi Kevon,
    This post is on a whole new level. I am sure many of us have never looked at our lives in this perspective, do we have an employee or entrepreneur mindset? I am trying to have that entrepreneur mindset and Wealthy Affiliate is a great place to be for that. Being around like-minded people is a great way to help. I never thought about how the education system plays a part in making us people pleasers. I better start now on making sure my children understand the importance of living for themselves. Thanks for the post!

  15. Alice says:

    Very well on point I must say, and I agree with pretty much everything you said. The difference between the entrepreneur and employee mindset spells all the difference as to why the former almost always succeeds and the latter almost always fails.

    I’ve been an employee for 21 years, still am actually, but I realized there’s something I can do to change it so I am now taking every step necessary to make it happen.

    Thank you so very much Kevon for this well written article, an eye-opener indeed!

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Thank you Alice.

      I know sometimes life is an adventurous journey and we take detours. So perhaps, you were on one of your detours. So don’t regret where you come from but appreciate where you are going. You have made the right choice and are taking control of your life. I think that is commendable.

      I wish you much success on your journey to becoming an entrepreneur. Take the quiz to see what areas you need to work on specifically to ensure success.

  16. Krystal says:

    What an amazing article,

    it’s too bad that what you are saying is totally true. We have all been programmed to think a certain way, act a certain way and hold certain values that in the end, are not to our benefit but to someone else. I think this goes for many things in life, not just strictly being an employee vs an entrepreneur. It’s important to have someone like you who can open some peoples eyes and act as a pillar of guidance and support. I think you did an amazing job of outlining the many different ways an employee thinks versus an entrepreneur and the mind shift that needs to be made to transition from someone who works for someone else (living life someone elses way, by someone elses rules) to someone works for themselves (lives their own way and gets to make their own decisions).

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Thanks so much Krystal for your vote of confidence.

      I am happy you enjoyed this article and that you believe what I do will help “open peoples eyes”.

      I like the word “Shift” that you used. Because that is exactly what is required, a mental shift from the employee mindset to the entrepreneur mindset.

      One of the ways that can initiate that process is to
      1. make the conscious decision to become an entrepreneur and start your business today, and
      2. to actually surround yourself with like-minded people.

      Thanks for your comment

  17. Norman Richards says:

    Awesome post, very informative with a lot of great information that will really help your readers. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Michelle says:

    WOW….AWESOME article, Kevon. I LOVED it!! You covered the whole gamut of success and the mindset. Thank you for taking the time to educate and motivate. I sure hope a lot of people take away whatever is meaningful or relevant to their journey, I know I will.

    No amount of teaching can remind us all about the importance of being individuals and the importance of taking action once you have chosen your appropriate mindset.

    Yes, we choose to be the victor or the victim – it’s all in the mindset!

    Kudos to you and much success on your journey.


    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Thank you Michelle for your kind words

      I am so delighted that you found this article on employee vs entrepreneur mindset to be ‘AWESOME’.

      I really do hope that people can be educated in some way through this website job-2-joy.com

      I really want to be able to help others realize their true potential and unleash their inner entrepreneur.

      It can be done.

      I see so many failing for simple reasons that could have been avoided if they just had the right mindset.

      Such a simple concept. But such an important one at the same time.

      I wish you much success


  19. Sylvia says:

    Wow, how did I enjoy reading your article and my heart literally jumped because you wrote about it the way I also see it and believe in it.

    I always say that being an employee, and this goes even more so in our day and age as it was for our parents and grandparents, is being a paid slave. I know this probably isn’t politically correct, but I can’t find a smoother expression.

    I am also with you about Vishen Lakhiani and his view of being an Entrepreneur, this is why I am a customer of his “Mindvalley” platform. I felt that I am in good hands there.

    Have saved your article to read it again, very insightful indeed.

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Thank you Sylvia.

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Being an employee is being a paid slave in most cases. Let’s not worry about being politically correct. It’s the TRUTH. Businesses claim that their employees are their most important asset. BS. As soon as things start to go south, the employee is the first to go. Look at the 2008 recession. I know of a few businesses that were actually glad they got an excuse to “shed some fat” as they call it.

      I had a friend who worked for an organization for many years. She got a minor stroke in her early 50s and the company treated her really crappy. She continued to work for them after she recovered. To this day I don’t know why/ Perhaps she felt she couldn’t do better. Sounds like the story of the elephant to me.

      I too, am a customer of Mindvalley. I just love their work. Currently doing a training program by Marissa Peers. She’s really good.

      All the best


  20. Sharon Whyte says:

    Hi Kevon,
    What a fantastic post – you covered so much. Mindset is huge and like you say if you have the employee mindset when tackling an online business, or any business for that matter you are destined to fail.

    I have teenagers still at high school and I am really guiding them in regards to not being beaten down by the whole get good grades, graduate, get a job etc. Yes, we all have to work hard to achieve, but I want my kids to absolute love what they do. It is so important.

    Once again, great post, thanks for your indepth look at this!
    Cheers, Sharon

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      Thanks Sharon.

      I think it is commendable that you are guiding your children towards having the right mindset. At the end of the day, let them get a job to learn a few skills, but ultimately they should really build a business around their passion. That’s the best investment they could make.

      Thanks for your comment.

      All the best


  21. Joseph says:

    I can’t agree more Kevon to your post, but I have some opinions to share with you.

    1. I think we need both parties(Entrepreneur and Employee)to run the world, in other words co existent.
    2. If we ponder, the wealth cannot begin from unemployed man.
    3. When someone built a business from scratch to giant and eventually multi million company, they need employees, they can’t do it alone.
    4. Then anyone of the employee might have enough ‘capital’ and resourcess to become entrepreneur.
    5. In fact some can became both concurrently, as one of the commentor here.
    6. If an employee adopt an entrepreneur mindset, they might not be obedience or underpaid cause he/she don’t mind to do everything.
    7. If an entrepreneur adopt an employee mindset, he/she might not willing to close current business(do well previously due to their employees, but not now) and built a new one from scratch.
    8.The main source of ‘capital’ to an entrepreneur is not money but bravery. Brave to ‘throw’ money at first for permanent freedom ahead. Many have/inherit lots of capital, but afraid to jump doing business to become an entrepreneur, afraid of undertaking the risk of unpredictability of the future. If we look the history of most successfull businessman of the world, they don’t mind ‘throwing'(investing) money.
    8. A successful entrepreneur can do many good deeds : create jobs, help those in need, permanent donors to charity etc.
    9. A loyal, trusworthy and hard working employee/s is a signicant contributor to the survival of any company/employer.
    10. Every parties have their role. Do well, everything will be perfectly in place.
    11. But ultimately entrepreneur split more wealth to others, because they can make the ‘economy cake’ more bigger to feed more mouth of the world. That’s my destination.

    *These are only my opinion Kevon, or else I agree with you
    100% of your post. Good job Kevon!

    • Kevon Wilson says:

      I totally agree with you Joseph. I’m not saying that we don’t need employees. What I’m saying is that to be an entrepreneur you cannot have an employee mindset. And unfortunately, society focuses more on fostering employee mindset than entrepreneur mindset. But employees are extremely important. But we all cannot be employees. It’s too lobsided.

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