The Employee vs. CEO Mindset

Jun 02, 2022

Have you ever had a moment while you were at your 9-to-5 where you stop and say to yourself, “Damn I hate this sh!t”!  Just the thought of being there seems to irritate your soul and make you want to grab your purse and WALK...but then there’s reality, right?!  I can recall having moments like this while working and then something clicked for me after a good conversation with one of my mentors.  

After allowing me the space to vent and express all of my frustrations, she said something that really hit home.  She said, “You’re miserable because you’re thinking like an intern and not like a CEO.”  Can we say, mindblown?!  Initially, I had no idea what she meant by that statement but by the end of the conversation, let’s just say I had plenty of homework to do.

What I discovered on my journey was that the difference between finding joy in the workplace versus being a miserable, disgruntled employee was all about my mindset.  After reading a few books, spending a lot of time on Youtube, and with my Coach - I was really able to make some significant shifts that changed me forever and I’m going to share why you should consider taking the steps too!

We’ll start by dissecting the differences between an intern and a CEO mindset. We’ve all seen it..the excited Rockstar Intern who joins the company, constantly volunteering for projects and showing up early to impress the team on Day 1, but for some that hype does not last too long.  After spending weeks running random office errands and being voluntold for projects that do not fit the “job description”, the mumbling under their breath starts and if you pay close attention you might even catch their side eyes.  Nothing can kill excitement faster than failed expectations.  It’s the reason why most interns and employees opt to leave their employers.  However, the challenge here is that interns and employees can at times be short-sighted and expect immediate returns for their contributions to the workforce.  

Here are a few signs you may have an Employee Mindset:

  • You are constantly focused on the here and now.
  • You have a fixed mindset a.k.a you have limited beliefs regarding your talents, abilities, and intelligence 
  • You rather look smart than do the work to learn more on the job
  • Challenges at work annoy you and lead you to want to quit immediately versus making efforts to improve a process and/or work situation
  • Expect immediate returns for time investments
  • You see your job as just a paycheck


Having a mindset like this can be detrimental, especially when you have goals of pursuing entrepreneurship.  To step into entrepreneurship there is a level of grit, determination, and commitment that you must have to have longevity as a business owner.  Some of these character traits can be honed while you are at your current workplace, but first, you have to submit to the process.  Should you stay at a job that makes you miserable?! NOT!  However, it’s important to ensure you are making strategic career moves that will not jeopardize your growth, reputation, and personal brand.


Regardless of what position you are in at your 9-to-5, whether you are an entry-level manager or a bank teller, it is important to begin embracing a CEO mindset.  Beginning to establish your own long-term career goals and making strategic moves to bring them to fruition will be key to your long-term success (even if that means thugging it out a little longer at the job you hate but that has limitless potential to sharpen your tools).   

Here are a few characteristics of a CEO Mindset:

  • Lean into challenges and focus on creating solutions 
  • Believe each day is an opportunity to grow personally and professionally
  • Are big-picture thinkers = enjoy playing the long-game
  • Invest in developing their skills, and talents, learning new things and meeting new people
  • Focus on creating value for money versus trading time for money
  • Are ok with being the dumbest person in the room because it serves as another opportunity to grow

Now that we’ve covered the two, which are you??  Regardless of which you identify with most today, the beautiful thing here is that there is always an opportunity to grow and change.  We all of the unique ability to define our success and make efforts to achieve it every single day that we have breath in our bodies. 


WARNING: When you begin to embrace the CEO mindset, you may find yourself feeling a huge sense of relief.  There is so much power in realizing that you can establish your personal brand and hone your skills to be the #bossbabe you’ve always wanted to be.  There’s a different level of peace and autonomy that comes with embracing this type of approach to life.  

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