Conformity: The Mindset of an Employee or an Entrepreneur?

Conformity: Yes or No?

Conformity: Yes or No?

Conformity: The Mindset of an Employee or an Entrepreneur?

Conformity is defined as: “acting in accordance with current customs and styles.”  Some people pride themselves on being conformists.  They will agree with anything that is said or done just to fit in.  I have worked with many people like that during a 35 year career.  You probably have also! Sometimes conformity is rewarded in employees.  However as an entrepreneur, you must break-free from the conformity mindset.  As you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur, the mindset shift from conformity to standing out may be difficult. This article will discuss why it is important to change your mindset as you transform from an employee to an entrepreneur.

Be a Risk Taker

Recently, I made a presentation to a group of women who are looking to make a change in their lives.  I encouraged the audience to realize just how powerful they were.  The speaker after me, an HR professional from the corporate world, told them to conform to the workplace.

Most people go through life conforming to other people's expectation of them. Conformity is the easy way.  However, as an entrepreneur, you do not have anyone setting the rules for you.  You are now the leader. There is no exact blueprint for you to follow. There are practices and business models that many people have used before to achieve success. But who knows if it will work for you!  Living with that uncertainty is part of being an entrepreneur.  Taking risks and not conforming shows entrepreneurial leadership.


Don't Be a Commodity!

If you are like everyone else in the marketplace, then you are a commodity. If you are a commodity, then you can only compete on price.  You often see this occur with professionals and hourly employees.  For example,  dentists or chiropractors who don't specialize are often treated as commodities. Their patients will leave them for the next dentist or chiropractor who offers a lower price.  As an entrepreneur you can not afford to be a commodity.  As an entrepreneur, you must strive to stand out in the marketplace. Otherwise you will lose out when some else offers  similar goods or services at a lower price.


Dare to be Excellent!

I recently read a book by Dorie Clark that had as the basic premise, the idea that standing out is no longer optional.  According to the book, in a world of rapid change and globalization, it is no longer safe to hide in your cubicle.  Conformity no longer works for an employee either! Doing what is expected of you is no longer good enough.  Excellence is required. You must aim to be the best! You must strive to be the recognized authority. One of my favorite sayings from my 8th grade English teacher, still holds true today: “Go Beyond the Call of Duty.”


Final Thoughts

As you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur you will need to make a shift in your mindset from conformity to excellence.  It will no longer be sufficient to hide in your office. An entrepreneur must (1) take risks, (2) not become a commodity, and (3) dare to be excellent.

Recommended Resource: Dorie Clark, Stand Out-How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It

We would love to hear from you about the ideas in this article. Do you agree or not?



Comments are closed.