Amputate the victim mentality

Last night I sat up late listening to a 20 minute webinar with a heartful Texan. John Jackson told the story of Aron Ralston, an experienced outdoors hiker and all-round adventurer from Colorado. Maybe you’ve read his book (Between a Rock and a Hard Place) or seen the film (127 Hours)?

Aron knew the rules of outdoor conduct very well: letting people know where you’re going, when you plan on getting back, bringing enough food and water. One weekend in 2003, he decided to do a solo hike in Utah – but he made life-changing mistakes.

Yes, he had told his friends he was going to Utah, but he didn’t tell them where exactly, and Utah is a big place. He didn’t check in with the Park Ranger, and he didn’t leave a note on his car windscreen to say where he was going.  No one knew who owned the car or how long it had been there. Besides, it wouldn’t be unusual to see a car parked in such a place for days or even weeks at a time. It would be quite some time before his family and friends would miss him.

Aron Ralston

Aron Ralston (pic from

Aron was climbing down a canyon when a heavy boulder became dislodged, 800lb of rock pinning his right hand irreversibly to the canyon wall. He could only move a few inches in any given direction, and he had very little water left, just 350ml, roughly the same amount that would fill a soft-drink can.

Aron’s situation was dire; his prospects were not good.

But as we know, the creatures of this earth are hard-wired to struggle to survive. Being an engineer, Aron weighed up his options.

He could chip away at the boulder, which he did for the first few days, in an attempt to free his arm. But it was futile because the rock was unbreakable and unmovable.

The next option was to seek external help, shouting and yelling in the hope that a passerby might hear him. This was to no avail. The situation was deteriorating.

Aron went through a range of emotions, a burning rage building up inside him. He raged at the canyon. He raged at the boulder. He raged at the weather. And in his anger, a fundamental change in his mind jolted Aron into taking radical action.

He understood that there was no point getting mad at the boulder; after all, the boulder was only doing what 800lb boulders naturally do.

He had an epiphany: he understood that he was the one who had created this situation. He had chosen to come to this remote place. He had chosen not to tell anyone where he was. He, on some level, had created this accident.

And now it was time to solve the riddle – and free himself.

Utah landscape

Utah landscape (pic from

Armed with a pocket knife he got free with a $15 torch, Aron experimented, cutting through the soft tissue in his arm with the knife that had been blunted by his previous efforts to scrape out a groove in the boulder to free himself.

And then there were the bones in his arms. There was no chance the knife would cut through those. More radical action was called for, and in a moment of inspiration, Aron realised that if he broke the bones in his forearm, he’d be able to separate his trapped hand from the rest of his body. Sickening, but that is what he did.

45 minutes later, Aron was free, from the boulder at least. He still had to climb a sheer 65 feet cliff face and make the 8 mile trek back to his car. Along the way, he met a family from Europe who was holidaying. They gave him Oreo biscuits to eat and called for help.

6 days after having his limb crushed by an 800lb boulder, and 6 hours after detaching the rest of his body from his trapped, gangrenous hand, Aron was rescued.


Not all stories are extreme as Aron’s; still, it’s worth thinking about the parallels that can be drawn between his predicament and our own.

What is the 800lb boulder that is pinning you down, seemingly irreversibly? What radical, crazy action do you need to take to free yourself? What are you so attached to that you now need to let go of in order to move forward?

Look, we can all continue to blame the boulder – but if we do, we remain stuck, unable to move, staying in one place until we die.

We (meaning you) can get out.  But if you want out – if you really want out – there’s work to be done. And you’re the one who’ll have to do that work. No one else can do it for you.

It’s time to make things right. It’s time to realise the potential that has been sitting patiently at the bottom of your existence, waiting to heat up and bubble and spill over onto the surface.

To finish up, here are the parting words of John Jackson on his webinar last night:

John Jackson, The Champion Movement and Digital Experts Academy trainer

John Jackson, The Champion Movement and Digital Experts Academy trainer

“Most of us won’t have to amputate a body part to ensure our survival, but we will have to amputate some other things, things that we hold near and dear, in order to thrive, not just survive.  Whatever your beliefs are – I’m too old, too young, too stupid, too smart, not able – it’s the victim mentality. Amputate it immediately.”

ACTIONS: Ask yourself some questions.

  • Where do you see yourself as a victim in your life?
  • How has that held you back?
  • Where can you make a change?


John Jackson is founder of The Champion Movement and a trainer with Six Figure Mentors and Digital Experts Academy. Find out more about how they can help you get the skills to leverage the internet to run a business based on your passions. Access their free 7-day video training course here

Satya Gillen, host of the Hazelnut Interviews

Satya Gillen, host of the Hazelnut Interviews

I’m Satya Gillen, host of the Hazelnut Interviews. I spend my time between my home country, Ireland, and a village in the Himalayas in India where I attend meditation retreats. I run two services – Irish language translation and coaching, and the Hazelnut Interviews, to help you get the education you need to run your own business online on your laptop from anywhere.


Who am I supposed to be? Building your authority site

One of the most common things I’ve seen people grapple with when they start a business online is: which persona do I put forward to the world? When people come to my authority site (my main, official website), what do I want them to see?

The guidance given by teachers and mentors nowadays is: just be yourself. The problem is, so many people don’t even know who they are! Do you know who you are? Who is your real, essential self? Or do you have a quick personality swop depending on who you’re talking to? Do you even go as far as selling yourself out and putting on a false persona altogether?

Building your authority site

Don’t be afraid to reveal what’s beneath the mask.

When I was going through my formal education at school and university, the advice dished out by well-meaning people of influence was different to what I’d tell a young person today, or a person of any age for that matter.

I remember going for a job interview and being advised, “Tell them what they want to hear.” Even if it’s not really true? Of course!

We were told to blag and exaggerate, put on a show, act. In other words, be someone you’re not.

There’s a difference between putting your best foot forward and presenting yourself in the best light, but the message being transmitted was – who you are is not good enough, so you need to be someone else.

Let’s just pause for a few seconds and ponder how incredibly harmful this message is. Who you are is not good enough? Seriously? If you were to believe this and internalise it, you would spend your life in great pain as you tried to eliminate and change your very essence.

How on earth can you be anything else other than you? The real tragedy is that many people end up spending their lives acting a part, never actually being real, never knowing themselves or allowing others to get to know them and take delight in the gifts they have to share.

Is it any wonder newcomers to online business are so confused as to ‘who’ they should present to the world on their authority site?

Don’t get me wrong – none of us is the finished article. There is untapped potential in all of us that hasn’t been realised yet. But the essential flavour of who we are is present in us from the very beginning of our existence. We carry a seed inside with all the information we’ll ever need to be a person of value and assistance to others. And with the right nourishment, the seed will grow.

Your essence is inside - just let it show and let it grow.

Your essence is inside – just let it show and let it grow.

People see through you and your authority site

People see through you. Even if you’re a great actor or have developed a psychological tool that allows you to disown the more negative parts of your psyche, the cracks will eventually start to show.

People feel you – more than you could imagine. Human beings are highly sensitive; they pick up information on a subconscious level. Although this information may never reach the conscious mind, it certainly feeds our actions. So if you choose to be something you’re not – if you choose to project something false into the world – prospective customers will pick up on this intuitively. They might not even be aware of the reason they’re recoiling from you, but their instincts will lead them away from you.

By the same token, people also feel when you are being real. They know when you’re just being you. This is a very attractive quality in a person. When you are just being you, you are relaxed; there is no juggling or spinning of plates to keep up a front. You are content and at peace with yourself. And this radiates out to others and makes them feel secure, confident, and trusting.

Of course, first impressions are important. You do need to present yourself well. But if what you’re projecting doesn’t have its source in your core, your image is just a play of light and an illusion – it is not real.

Just today, I was looking at the website of a top law firm in my own city. It’s clearly been a good while since they updated the design of their website; it looks like something that would have been fashionable about 8 years ago.

But that doesn’t matter one iota, because the quality of the firm shines through. There is a sense of groundedness. This firm knows what it is all about from within itself. It focuses on excelling in its own field and looking after its clients well – so there is no sense of trying to hoodwink the customer or distract their attention.

Many’s the website, on the other hand, that has the latest fashion in layout, fonts, colour palettes, graphics, and animations; but scratch beneath surface, and you discover that the substance just isn’t there. It’s all fluff.

To illustrate the importance of how being yourself serves you well, let me share a scenario that happened to me recently. I was trying to find a tenant for my flat before going on retreat in India. The letting agent had made a loose arrangement that a prospective tenant would come for a second viewing at 12pm on a Sunday – just 2 days before the removal van was coming to take my stuff away.

Since nothing was confirmed, I decided she wasn’t coming. You can imagine how deeply I cringed when there was a knock at the door at precisely midday. The place was in a shambolic mess. I was still in my pyjamas and old woolly jumper, trying to pack things away in boxes and sort piles of papers and clothes. The lady had brought her mother along too, who was seeing the place for the first time. I had to sweep things out of the way with my foot to make a path into the living room! Not the ideal way to showcase an apartment you want to let. (Remember we spoke about the importance first impressions earlier? Well the mother’s first impression was written all over her face!)

But you know what? It didn’t matter in the end. I explained the situation – removal van coming in 2 days, wasn’t sure if they were coming, I’m off to India for 4 months on Thursday, so much to do before I go etc. I was real with them. And I was able to relieve their concerns about things like security and carbon monoxide proofing and answer their questions with clarity. We were all happy with the outcome.

So the modern day mentors are right. No matter who you decide to be on your authority site, just make sure it’s yourself. You don’t have to reveal everything, but what you do show must be a true part of you.

This is not advice to be taken lightly. It has much wider and more serious implications than just the success or otherwise of your online business. It is a question of you being content and at peace with who you are. After that, you need little more to experience fulfilment in life. And isn’t your happiness ultimately what it’s all about?

Building your authority site is much easier than you may imagine. You can use templates and then tweak them to fit your own tastes. I recommend the following option to get started:

A membership site for new and existing online business owners. The focus is on marketing, so the fee includes templates for impressive authority sites you can use to attract customers. You can have yours up and running with just a few clicks (meaning less than 5!). Access their free introductory video training by clicking here and entering your email address.

Fearless As always, I am more than happy to help you in any way I  can. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 Satya Gillen

Satya Gillen – Who am I supposed to be? Building your authority site – Top of page


Outsource a task today – I challenge you!

Today I am setting you a challenge to go and outsource something in your home life, just to get used to the idea before you start outsourcing in your business. (We’ll move onto that tomorrow.)

Yesterday, I spoke about how those with a Self-Employed Mindset in particular can be very reluctant to spend money hiring other people to do something for them either because (a) they’ve convinced themselves they don’t have the budget or (b) they have just gotten into the habit of doing everything themselves.

In fact, I’m going add a third reason as well – (c) their control freak tendencies and basic mistrust of other people’s abilities to do a job!  This is a scenario I, reluctantly, have to admit to myself. (Take the control freak test.)

If you still find you are resisting the idea of outsourcing a task in your business, let’s take a look at the things you already outsource in your everyday life. Perhaps you don’t use the word ‘outsource’, but that’s exactly what it is: using the services or goods of an outside supplier; buying in parts from someone else rather than making them yourself; subcontracting work to someone else.

Do you grow your vegetables yourself, or do you buy them from a supermarket? Do you have milk delivered to your door? Have you ever ordered a birthday cake from a bakery? Do you have window-cleaners who come around every couple of weeks? Who empties your bins? You see – you’re already an outsourcer!

Outsource a task at home

I have this garden type thing outside my flat that it is my responsibility to maintain. By May of this year, it had grown into something akin to a jungle.

I borrowed by uncle’s hedge clippers and got stuck in one day, but soon realised that the job would be too big for just me and one pair of hedge clippers. Even if I went at it everyday for 2 hours over the course of a week, it would still have been overgrown. Plus, my hedge trimming handiwork can only be described as a hatchet job.

I swallowed my pride and got real, and the same uncle who loaned me the clippers suggested I call this guy who does his son’s, (my cousin’s) hedges.

outsource a task

3 days later, the garden space was looking far better and much neater. The crazy hedges had been pared back and shaped nicely, the weeds had been removed, and bark had been put down to curtail their further growth. And the best thing of all was that the gardener took all the cuttings away from here in his trailer to the city dump where they take green waste for re-use.

I was flabbergasted at how much work he and his petrol-powered hedge trimmers got done in just a few hours. The jungle was now a nicely landscaped green space of respectability. I could look the neighbours in the eye again!

And I would have gladly paid triple the amount of money he asked for since it had been a weight that was lying heavy on my mind for such a long time.

Other tasks to outsource from home

I will be heading on my annual trip to India next month. Every year for the last 3 years, I’ve been saying I’d rent out my flat. But every year I’ve changed my mind because the thought of having to pack everything up, move out and find a suitable tenant was too much.

This year, however, because I am cultivating a new Entrepreneur Mindset, I am looking at ways to turn this property into an asset rather than a liability. In other words, the search is on for the perfect tenant!

I am putting out feelers because I want to find someone I know or who comes recommended by a friend. But since I also have limited time, I’ve employed the services of a local letting agent to find me the perfect person.

As for the uninviting prospect of a deep clean before my new tenant moves in? I honestly can’t stand the thought of its, so I’ve booked two wonderful ladies in to come on Monday afternoon to sort out that job. Between the three of us, this place is going to be transformed into a sparkling palace. The job will get down in about 1/10th of the time it would take me to do it myself, and it’s costing about the same amount as a meal for two in a reasonably priced restaurant.


In the hours that I’ll be saving, I’ll be able to get on with money-producing activities. Not only will I be making more profit, so will the ladies who run the cleaning business.

So, I leave you with this thought before you go off and complete your outsourcing challenge (which is to outsource one task today that can be done at home).

You owe it to society to spread your money around so it reaches the pockets of others, who will in turn pass in on to others yet again. You are creating employment and opportunity for service providers to expand their businesses and hone their skills. Spread the love, and everyone’s a winner!

outsource a taskMy first step on the journey to becoming an entrepreneur started with a 7-day video training series with online entrepreneurs who are helping others make the mindset shift. The series is complimentary, and you can access your copy by clicking here and entering your email address.


Tomorrow: the kinds of jobs that can be outsourced to quality freelancers for affordable prices.

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Outsourcing: “I get other people to do the work so I can get more done”

This post is a follow-on from yesterday where I discussed time as a precious resource.

Every now and again you hear a phrase that stops you in your tracks. For me, this was one of those phrases:

“I get other people to do the work so I can get more done.” (Stuart Ross, co-founder of Six Figure Mentors, which provides training for both novice and experienced digital entrepreneurs)

Throughout this series of blogs, I’ve been looking at the Shift from the Employee to Entrepreneur Mindset. Today, however, I’m going to look at how aspects of the Self-Employed Mindset hold us back from being entrepreneurial.

The person with the Self-Employed Mindset takes on more responsibility for generating income than those with the Employee Mindset. When I started working for myself as a self-employed translator (both at home and while travelling), I took responsibility for absolutely everything – except I confused ‘taking responsibility’ with ‘doing everything yourself’. And that just made me one very busy person who wasn’t making much progress from a wider perspective.

Outsourcing for home business owners


What a huge mistake that was! There are two reasons I feel this way.

Firstly, there’s only so much one person can do in any given day, so if you’re spending your time doing mundane, repetitive tasks, it keeps you back from mastering the one thing you’re already really good at.

And secondly, it brings the growth and expansion of your business to a complete halt. Once you’ve reached saturation point, no more growth can happen until you change your approach.  Without growth, you’ll never reach your goals or realise the vision you have for your life of more time freedom to travel, have adventures, spend time with the family or whatever else is more important to you.

When I first set up my online business, which delivers an education to those who want to leverage the power of the internet to give themselves more time freedom, I still had the Employee and Self-Employed Mindset. (In fact, the whole point of all the blogs I’m writing this month is to smash the old mindset and replace it with a more expansive and healthy mindset, what I like to call the Entrepreneur Mindset).

I was doing absolutely everything myself, even though many of these tasks could have been outsourced. I was spending my time grappling with things that I didn’t really know how to do, and the results were amateurish, nowhere near as good as they would have been if I had just gone and hired someone else who was properly trained and qualified to do it.

Now, if you’re like me, you may be thinking: ‘I don’t have the budget to be hiring other people to do stuff I can have a go at myself.’ And I fully understand how that is a legitimate concern.

But that’s a very narrow way to look at things, and it doesn’t take into the account the equation of balancing hours worked against earnings.

Outsourcing for home business owners

Let’s consider 2 scenarios.

Scenario A

You earn $100 an hour for services you have mastered and are easy for you.

You need to do a task you’re not proficient in, for example designing a banner ad to place on a website. We’re not asking for anything too flashy, just something plain and simple.

For you, it will take 2 hours of fiddling with software you’re not familiar with, trying to get everything to look right. In the end, your banner ad, although passable, doesn’t look great.

Your total earnings: $0

Scenario B

You earn $100 an hour for services you have mastered and are easy for you.

You need to do a task you’re not proficient in, for example designing a banner ad to place on a website. We’re not asking for anything too flashy, just something plain and simple.

You go to an online service such as Odesk or Elance to find a qualified and talented freelance graphic designer who lives in a country with a weaker economy and so only charges $7 an hour. They spend 2 hours creating a professional, quality banner ad.

In the meantime, you’ve earned $200. Subtract from that $14 (for the graphic designer) and $50 (for the half hour at most you spend writing your job spec and reviewing drafts of the banner ad).

Your total earnings: $136

Now you’ve seen the figures done out before your eyes, what choice will you make the next time you need a job done that you can outsource at an affordable price?  (Get hunting for talent on Odesk, Elance and Fiverr is the correct answer!)

Congratulations! You are now thinking like an entrepreneur! Life is about to get a lot more interesting.

Tomorrow: Outsource a task from home challenge.

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six figure mentorsMy first step on the journey to becoming an entrepreneur started with a 7-day video training series with online entrepreneurs who are helping others make the mindset shift.  The series is complimentary, and you can access your copy by clicking here and entering your email address.



Collecting water in the Himalayas – a lesson in precious resources

On the face of it, this family that hosted me in a tiny Himalayan village in north India in March of this year and the designer-clad, Lamborghini-driving hot shot who I count among my mentors as I build my online business (Stuart Ross) don’t seem to have much in common.

But they do. They both deeply appreciate the importance of precious resources. In one case, it’s water. In the other case, it’s time.

time is a precious resource

I always examine closely what the experienced business owners in the Digital Experts Academy (of which I’m a Platinum member) think, say and do.

Although we get the same training (depending on our level of membership), and in spite of the fact that we all have access to the same archived content, this business of online marketing is much easier for some than others.

There are different reasons for that – past experience, previous skills and knowledge, and of course the fact that some people have a bigger marketing budget than others!

But the thing that I’ve noticed across the board is that those who rise to the top – be they new business owners or those with more experience – share something in common: the mindset of an entrepreneur.

Over the last few days, I’ve been contemplating the Shift from the Employee to Entrepreneur Mindset. And today I want to mention something that is of vital importance to all entrepreneurs. This is something that all successful entrepreneurs I have come across understand very well, and they work hard to optimize this one thing.

It is the issue of how you spend your time.

Time is a precious resource, and you can’t ever get it back. In tomorrow’s blog, I will go into this topic in a lot more detail, but as an introduction, here is a video I made earlier this year when I was in the Himalayas in north India.

It had been raining constantly for 48 hours, we were encapsulated in a sphere of grey, wet mist – and suddenly I noticed something that had never paid any attention to before!  Have a look at the video and all will be revealed!



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six figure mentorsMy first step on the journey to becoming an entrepreneur started with a 7-day video training series with online entrepreneurs who are helping others make the mindset shift.  The series is complimentary, and you can access your copy by clicking here and entering your email address.



“It’s absolutely stupid to continue doing things you don’t like.”

Here’s a short video with Alan Watts that asks an important question.

What do you desire? What would you do if money were no object? Once you know the answer, he tells us, that’s the thing you should do. The money isn’t important.

Why spend your time doing something you don’t enjoy? Why not spend it doing something you love?

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six figure mentorsMy first step on the journey to becoming an entrepreneur started with a 7-day video training series with online entrepreneurs who are helping others make the mindset shift.  The series is complimentary, and you can access your copy by clicking here and entering your email address.

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Control freak or attention to detail?

Welcome to Day 4 of this month long series with Satya Gillen – The Shift from Employee to Entrepreneur Mindset.

Are you a control freak? Do you have a tendency to micromanage everything? This is an attribute that may not serve you well on your journey to becoming an entrepreneur. In this article, I consider the differences between being a control freak (unhealthy and unhelpful for others) and being attentive to detail (healthy and empowering).

From what I’ve noticed from observing very successful entrepreneurs, like Stuart Ross for example, it’s clear that there is a difference between:

(a) being a control freak – having an unhealthy need to exert power over others or make sure everything is just as you like it, and
(b) being attentive to detail – wanting to do your best and achieve excellence, which is a much healthier approach for all concerned.

What’s the difference between the control freak and someone who pays attention to detail? Let’s look at the control freak first of all. There are two different kinds of control freak.

Control freak

There are those who do not feel comfortable when things are not planned properly. They don’t like ambiguity, confusion or unpredictable circumstances. They don’t trust their ability to ‘wing it’.

When someone is a control freak, this usually has its roots in a traumatic event or an unstable childhood. Having control over your outer circumstances can act as a soothing counterforce to all the turmoil inside. This is what Glenn Croston, author of The Real Story of Risk says in an article for Psychology Today:

Some people have a greater than normal need for control, making them what some would call “control freaks”. These control seekers often grew up in a chaotic environment as children, one in which their parents were absent or not effectively able to provide a stable nurturing environment, leaving them with a constant sense of anxiety as they grew older. Finding it difficult to soothe the anxiety they carry inside, they reach out to control the people and objects around them. “When you don’t have control over your inside world, you tranquilize and sedate yourself by controlling the outside world and other people,” said Edie Raether, consultant and a practicing psychotherapist for many years.

The second type of control freak are those who are power hungry and feed off the control they exert over others. According to futurist Karl Albrecht, also in Psychology Today, this need for power is often unconscious, meaning the person doesn’t even realise they’re doing it. He also nods to the fact that people may get a buzz from feeling like they have power over others:

They’ve become almost addicted to the feelings of proving themselves, being in charge, and getting their way.

I have to put my hands up and say that I have had more control freak tendencies than I’d care to admit to. During one contract I had, I am sorry to say that I didn’t trust colleagues to do certain tasks. I focused in my mind on their weaknesses rather than on their strengths. This in turn made me not trust in their ability, and I ended up taking on far more work than I should have.

When it came to the time for me to take a few days off to go on a Zen retreat, I ended up having a panic attack on the way there. The irony of it!

control freak

I had to take 2 weeks off work and it was a while before I built up the confidence to drive on long journeys again. When I got back to my job, the responsibilities that I had been taking on up until then had been shared out among the team, and things were running a lot more smoothly!

Maybe letting go and trusting is the ultimate way to have control?

Which brings us on to part (b) – attention to detail.

Why attention to detail is much healthier than being a control freak

The person who pays attention to detail and demands the same of others they work with is not necessarily a control freak. The difference is the intention.

Energetically, a control freak is in a contracted state, whereas a successful entrepreneur is in an expansive state and is moving ever forward. If you catch yourself mid-control freak mode, check in your body for tightness or holding on, probably in the abdomen and shoulders. Otherwise, you’re most likely feeling quite balanced and light inside.

One who has an entrepreneur mindset wants to improve and empower others, and her attention to detail comes from a place of taking joy and pleasure in reaching excellence (which should not be confused with perfection – entrepreneurs are well-known for their ability to throw things together at the last minute!)

A person with the entrepreneur mindset (who may also be an employee, by the way) trusts others to do their jobs properly and to a high standard. This is incredibly empowering, because when someone puts their trust in you, fully expecting you to come up with the goods, that’s exactly what you’ll do.

Checking over the detail of someone else’s work can be done in a positive way that motivates them to do even better next time. Attention to detail is about appraising rather than trying to find fault; it’s about nurturing growth rather than stifling it.

control fre

One last point I want to make about attention to detail is the fact that an entrepreneur mindset forces us to have thorough knowledge of the workings of our business; an accurate handle on our facts and figures; how much is being spent and on what; how much is being earned; and knowing precisely where the business is headed because you have a comprehensive vision for what you want to achieve.

Exercise for today – take the control freak quiz!

This is a fun one. It’s a quiz by Karl Albrecht, PhD (not the reclusive German entrepreneur who founded the supermarket chain, Aldi, and was the 4th richest person in Europe – a different Karl Albrecht!). Discover how far along the control freak spectrum you are.

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six figure mentorsMy first step on the journey to becoming an entrepreneur started with a 7-day video training series with online entrepreneurs who are helping others make the mindset shift.  The series is complimentary, and you can access your copy by clicking here and entering your email address.

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What to do when your employee mindset tries to pull you back into your comfort zone

I was in its clutches, and I couldn’t escape its grip. I’m not talking about the clutches of a wild animal or a harmful relationship or a vicious cycle of poverty. I’m talking about the clutches of my comfort zone, my security blanket.

employee mindsetIt’s nice to snuggle up at night, under the covers, feeling warm and safe. But have you ever wakened up in the middle of the night to discover that the sheets have become tangled and the blankets are laying heavily on your chest, pinning you down?

Because that’s exactly what our comfort blankets can do to us. At first they are inviting and cosy, but try to wriggle your way out and kick them off and the blanket tightens itself around you.

This is exactly the experience I’ve been having on my journey to Shift from the Employee to the Entrepreneur Mindset.

The employee mindset is like a comfort blanket,
all familiar and soft and inviting.
But try and step out of it, and it will kick back!

As discussed in yesterday’s post, our long-held beliefs and thought patterns give us security. When the part of your psyche whose function it is to protect you senses that its equilibrium is about to change, it kicks back using any number of strategies.

This is the ego, and when it senses that it is in any way under threat, it uses all manner of strategies to protect itself. That’s been its job all through evolution – to keep you alive!

Even if your higher self decides it wants to make a change – to leave the world of traditional employment behind, for example, to embark on a more entrepreneurial activity like setting up your own business – the ego does not agree. It will resist everything that effects the status quo, and it will do this in many different ways.

How to recognise that your ego’s employee mindset is trying to keep you in its comfort zone

Understand that the ego is a master of disguise, so you won’t always recognise it.

  • The Fear Strategy

Even though you may feel you want to change your mindset, fear of the unknown may well keep you back from taking action. There is the fear of losing money, the fear of failure, the fear of being ridiculed, the fear of the pain and discomfort that comes with the early days of being an entrepreneur with the long hours and late nights.

This fear can be enough to bring you back into your comfort zone.

  • The Snide, Sneering Strategy

Who do you think you are, trying to better yourself? You’re worthless! You’ll never make anything of yourself! You’re not capable! You’re not cut out for this! You have the wrong mindset, and you’ll never be able to change!

Recognise any of these? When you do gather up enough determination to overcome your fears and leave your life as an employee behind, you’ll go through a period of expansion, creativity and self-confidence. You believe that anything is possible.

But you can be sure that your old friend will eventually rear its ugly head again – your deepest, darkest insecurities.

It is imperative at this stage that you see this for what it is – another strategy of the ego to kick back and keep you in a place where it’s comfortable.

  • The Softly, Softly Strategy

This one is most ingenious, and perhaps the most harmful! With the two above, you will be in some kind of emotional pain or discomfort, and you will know that something is out of sorts. But with the nice, gentle strategy the ego uses to resist change, you can easily be duped. It’s like a drug that gives you a nice buzz, but throws you back to earth with a heavy thump!

You must be super-vigilant.
The ego will become your friend again, and rather than use self-depreciation as in the above examples,
it will lull you, woo you, court you, seduce you, and flatter you
back into a sense of security.

You’ll start to think that maybe your job isn’t that bad after all, that the pay is enough to be getting on with, that you’re one of the lucky ones and should be grateful that you have a roof over your head at all. You may even have a new-found appreciation for your station in life and experience all sorts of warm, fuzzy feelings.

But this will not last. And before long, your higher self will start to cause an itch that you must attend to – once and for all!

What to do when your employee mindset tries to pull you back into your comfort zone

  • Start noticing!

Notice your thoughts and your feelings. You can set some time aside everyday to just sit quietly with your eyes closed, with no distractions, and just notice – without judgement – what thoughts come up when you just allow them.

Notice how random it can be (and how ridiculous!)  Notice how your thoughts can change in an instant from one topic to another.

Understand that your mind is like a juke-box that plays one song, and then a different song, followed by something else.

Your employee mindset is the same. It’s just a bunch of thoughts, one triggering the next, triggering the next. It is like a computer programme that will keep running until you step in and give it instruction to stop.

However, even that is not the most effective way to deal with it. Not giving it any attention is the best. Just let it be, running in the background, while you get on with the more important business of learning a new way of thinking and new approach to the way you make money – the shift to the Entrepreneur Mindset.

The Law of Attraction says that what you think about manifests. So if you have to think at all, do it consciously, and have thoughts that help you on your journey rather than act as an obstacle.

  • Surround yourself with influences that support you.

Read a book or listen to a podcast or watch a video with someone who inspires you to keep moving in the direction you want to go. (Suggestions: Jim Rohn, Wake Up Call with Jay Kubassek, Tony Robbins, Eric Worre for network marketers).

  • Most importantly of all – remember your WHY

Why do you want deep down to make the Shift from Employee to Entrepreneur Mindset? It’s because it’s going to give you a better life. When you change your mindset, you change your thoughts, you change your behaviour, you change your actions, and you change the way your whole life looks.

But always remember the reason behind the reason for all this effort you’re making – that’s the one thing that will give you the strength to break free from the tentalces of your so-called comfort blanket.

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My first step on the journey to becoming an entrepreneur started with a 7-day video training series with online entrepreneurs who are helping others make the mindset shift.  The series is complimentary, and you can access your copy by clicking here and entering your email address.

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Your mindset was moulded by others who were afraid or disenchanted

From the feedback to yesterday’s blog, the Shift from Employee to Entrepreneur Mindset is a topic that strikes a chord with people who want to change the trajectory of their lives.

Today I want to talk about one of the main reasons why some people find it so hard to unstick themselves from the employee mindset. My argument is that the employee mindset helps us feel safe and secure. It’s a comfort blanket. So why would you want to remove yourself from your cosy position and face into the cold world of business where it’s harsh and unforgiving? Right?

changing the employee mindset

Employee Mindset will have thoughts along the lines of: “Get yourself a good job with a decent salary and a pension. You can rest assured that you’ll be able to pay your bills and have a comfortable life-style.”

And if you try to argue with it, because your salary isn’t that wonderful, for example, and you don’t have the life-style you always dreamed of having, Employee Mindset will come back at you and say: “At least you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing a pay-cheque will be making its way into your bank account at the end of the week or month. It might not be much, but at least you’re secure and comfortable.”

According to Employee Mindset, the equation is very simple:

you do your work and you get paid.

And for the most part, that’s the way it works out – unless exceptional circumstances arise where the company you work for goes out of business and you have to go and find a new job. But that’s OK too, you tell yourself.

Even if the worst does come to the worst, there are mechanisms in place to protect people whose jobs are at risk – the trade unions will negotiate the best deal possible, you’ll get a redundancy package, and the government will intice new business owners and new jobs into the area.

It’s all OK. This is what you tell yourself, and it’s what most people in society tell you too.

But is it really OK? Or have you been brow-beaten into lowering your standards and expectations, quenching your potential and your passion?

changing the employee mindset

“The Market Place” by LS Lowry

Get them young

Our view of the world is shaped when we’re young by family and society. Our minds take in everything, meaning we are malleable and mouldable. In fact, this continues far beyond childhood and into our mid-20s and beyond.

We used to think that the brain was fully developed by very early teenagerhood and we now realise that the brain doesn’t stop developing until mid-20s or even early 30s.
Sarah Helps, Consultant Clinical Psychologist. Source:

We are more susceptible to the opinions and views of the older people we look up to. And I use the word ‘susceptible’ quite deliberately, because if you come under the influence of people who have been wearied by life, then, sadly, this can have a detrimental effect on your outlook for many years to come.

So the likelihood is that you came in contact with people when you were younger who, for one reason or another, had a negative opinion of business and entrepreneurship. And their reasons for this were most likely three-fold:

(1)    Fear of the unknown

(2)    Distrust of those wily entrepreneurs who are just out to make a fast buck, or

(3)    The fact that they had or have their own business and it was really hard, and now they’re disenchanted with the whole thing!

I, for one, can see that all three attitudes have made their way into my subconscious, shaping my actions and choices in my working life in particular. I can even name the people who had the most influence on me!

Number 3 in particular stands out, and I can still remember to this day a conversation I had with a business owner 20 years ago!

I was 19, it was the summer between my first and second years at university, and I was given a job for a month in a solicitors’ firm helping out with some of the heavy lifting. It involved lots of time in a dark room with filing cabinets and a photocopier, making tea, and trips to the post office.

changing the employee mindset

One day, one of the firm’s partners took me to see the inside of the courts as a little treat. As we stepped out of the confines of the office and into the street, the lawyer let out a sigh, his body deflating like a slow puncture, his face lined with worry.

He confided in me that it was a hard station being co-owner of the law firm. Then he said something that shaped my choices for the next 18 years.

“Take my advice, and never have your own business,” he said. “There is so much hassle, and you can never leave it behind. It’s on your mind 24-7. Just get yourself a nice job that you can walk out of at 5pm and forget about!”

Over the years, his words rattled around in my head, and any time I had an idea for a business I would have to take responsibility for, it only barely made it to my conscious mind and then I forgot about it. I took this business owner at his word. He should know what he’s talking about; he’s been there and done that after all!

The Lesson from Day 2

Undoubtedly, having your own business and being an entrepreneur is tough, and there are days when it all becomes overwhelming. When we are feeling like this, our remarks and comments are coloured by our emotions.

So the lesson is, when listening to what other people have to say, don’t take anything at face value. Understand the context in which the comments are made.

Know that there is a bigger picture and that this is just one person’s perspective. For every person who is tired and jaded of what they’re doing, there are many more who are feeling excited and passionate.

Your Exercise for Today

  • Find the blog of someone who is passionate about being an entrepreneur. Tap into their energy and enthusiasm, and notice how it makes you feel.  (Suggestions: Richard Branson, Jay Kubassek, Darren Hardy, Stuart Ross)
  • Notice what’s going on in your own life when your employee mindset starts to quench any notions you have of making a change. Just notice without judgement. When we can see what’s going on, that’s when we have the power to change it.

What to do when your employee mindset tries to pull you back into your comfort zone.

This blog is part of a series by Satya Gillen: The Shift from Employee to Entrepreneur Mindset.

A gift for you!
If you would like to discover practical tips from two successful online entrepreneurs who have helped thousands of students throughout the world to make the shift from employee to entrepreneur mindset, avail of a complimentary 7-day video series where you will meet Jay Kubassek, Suart Ross and some of their students who have gone on to great success. Click here and enter your email address to access your free videos.

Satya Gillen – Your Mindset Was Moulded By Others Who Were Afraid Or Disenchanted – Top of Page


The shift from employee to entrepreneur mindset

It’s the first day of October – my favourite month because of the autumn colours and the last vestiges of heat in the sun-rays before winter comes.

It’s also a time of reflection because my next birthday ends in a zero! So with the new decade on the horizon, I’m looking in two directions – backwards, but mostly forwards.

I embarked on a new venture around this time last year, and I have learned a huge amount about online marketing and running an online business. I’ve also had some success in terms of sales and helping others build their own businesses.

However, something that I’ve experienced for myself and that I can see in others is a challenge that has nothing whatsoever with the knowledge, information and skills you may gather.  It’s all about something much more fundamental – having the right mindset.

Many people – and maybe even you – see the good sense and incredible opportunity that’s available from having your own online business, but something gets in their way.

Deeply ingrained, unhelpful thought patterns are still clutching on for dear life, dragging them back, time and again, to the comfortable, cosy default position.

However, If we want to make any serious strides forward, then our mindset has to change. So that’s why I’m dedicating the next 31 days to the Shift from the Employee to the Entrepreneur Mindset. And I want you to inspire you to do the same.

Some of the employee thought patterns  I’m going to shatter are:

  • Fear of failure and being judged
  • When the going gets tough, falling back into the employee mindset that swapping time for money is a “safe” solution (this gets me nowhere in the long term)
  • There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything
  • I’m not capable of achieving the results that others are enjoying for this, that or the other reason

And some of the entrepreneurial qualities and mindsets I will develop are:

  • Taking full responsibility for my thoughts, emotions and actions
  • Choosing to succeed and making it happen
  • Having a realistic plan and sticking to it
  • Becoming more productive
  • Overcoming my addiction to micromanagement
  • Creativity
  • Clear goal setting and a clear vision

I’ll be enlisting the help of others in the form of interviews, articles and videos. And when the mission is complete, I will collate everything into one complete package that I will share with you.

Let’s do this together – from where I’m standing the entrepreneur mindset looks very inviting and liberating!

My first step on the journey to becoming an entrepreneur started with a 7-day video training series with online entrepreneurs who are helping others make the mindset shift.  The series is complimentary, and you can access your copy by clicking here and entering your email address.

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Satya Gillen – The Shift From Employee To Entrepreneur Mindset – Top of Page