Entrepreneur mindset vs. Employee mindset by Deborah Neary

Deborah Neary



  1. a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.




  1. a person employed for wages or salary, especially at the non-executive level.

First off, who said you couldn’t follow your dream and be an entrepreneur?

Who decided that in order to be an entrepreneur one needs to take on greater than normal risks? I ponder, is this a way to keep us all down at the bottom of the ladder? The sheer definition is enough to scare half of us out of even entertaining the thought. I would say most people are not inclined to take risks we are taught at an early age that risk-taking is dangerous.

When I was six years old in the early 1960s, Easter time was exciting for me and my 3 siblings. We would always receive a surprise chocolate egg dressed in beautiful tinfoil covering, mounted like a fantastic ornament.

It was a shame to unwrap such a perfect gift, but we needed to get to the chocolate and, of course, all the foil would end up in the bin. I had this crazy idea that I would collect everyone’s foil and shape them into balls of varying sizes, then it occurred to me that someone may even want to buy one or two and I could make some pocket money.

This was my very first entrepreneurial act that I remember. I rolled them up into little jewel balls and proceeded to sell my wares to everyone in the cul-de-sac. Most of my prospects could not see the value in my product, except for one neighbor who bought a few and she was ecstatic about them. I was surprised that I was able to make an exchange of money for my invention from something so simple and recycled.

I felt empowered and excited, it was a ‘win-win’ experience.

Many of us from a very early age have felt that sense of accomplishment and pride because we came up with an idea, executed it, and had an outcome. It may have cost more than it paid back but that was not necessarily the point. Lemonade stands are a big example of that, here in Upstate New York.

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Deborah Neary
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