You’re in a job. You’re a freelancer. You’re a consultant. You pay your bills with a salary or hourly rate.

Great. How do you earn that money?

More specifically, why does someone pay you that money?

Seriously, now. Take a moment and answer that question in your head. Better yet, say it out loud or write it down. It’s cool, I’ll wait.

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Did you answer, “Well I program abc” or “I design xyz” or “I write jkl”?

If so, you’re not alone – and if so, that’s exactly the attitude you have to fix to practice thinking like an entrepreneur instead of an employee.

Thinking like an entrepreneur means thinking about value. It means reasoning from knowledge about the other person in any transaction, not wishing about what you want.

Believe it or not, this is the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur and it’ll take you lots of practice before you get it.

So, yeah. You go to work and you do stuff. Maybe you even produce stuff.

That’s great and all, but how does that turn into money?

Even in something as simple & seemingly un-entrepreneurial as full-time employment, there are important, entrepreneurial questions we almost never ask:

  • Where does that number come from?
  • Why do people give it to you?
  • How on earth did you get that number?
  • How can you keep it going?
  • How can you make it go up? g These questions aren’t actually hard, but they’re harder than not questioning at all, which is why you rarely hear them in conversation… and why you haven’t really asked them of yourself.

Despite our incredible powers of higher reasoning, we act like rats in a Skinner box:

Press the lever, get the reward. Go to work, type code, push pixels, turn letters into words into sentences, get paid.

Like rats, we just about never raise our heads and consider the bigger picture. Hey, lever! Hey, food! Where’s that food come from? Sorry, too busy chewing. Hey, lever!

How much should we charge? Well, how much do other people with similar skill sets earn? They earn that much? That’s great, I want that much.

Ratty stimulus-response at work. And rats? Not known for creating business empires.

So, where does your money actually come from? And why?

Don’t be a rat. Think about it.

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