5 Mindset Practices for Freelancers Who Want to Cultivate a Business Owner Mindset

Having a business owner mindset can make you a more successful and fulfilled freelancer.

Ping! A new client email enters your inbox.

*Sigh.* You were just getting into the writing flow, but now you drop everything to quickly answer…  

Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t feel pressured to get back to your freelance clients right away?

When you have a business owner vs. an employee mindset, you can set boundaries and still be confident your clients respect you – in fact, it’s likely they’ll respect you more. 

Cultivating a business mindset means thinking like an entrepreneur – which puts you in the driver’s seat of your freelance business and success.

To cultivate the business owner mindset, there are 5 critical mindset shifts you need to make.

Business Owner Mindset vs. Employee Mindset

As a freelancer, you’re always hearing about the business owner mindset vs. employee mindset. But what exactly is the difference?

Freelancers with the employee mindset view their clients as the boss and themselves as the employee. They rely on the client for direction and have the “client is always right” mentality.

These are a few signs that you’re still thinking like an employee. You…

  • Answer client emails immediately no matter what time they come in.
  • Say “yes” to extra work, even if it’s not technically covered in your project scope.
  • Always prioritize client work before working on your business.

If you’re used to working for someone else, it can be tough to shake that employee mindset.

You used to complete tasks based on your boss’ request. And pleasing your higher-ups was super important if you wanted to get that next promotion.

But back then, you were working to build someone else’s company. Now you’re building your own! 

Freelance business owners with business mindsets view themselves as equal to their clients. They give business ideas, set boundaries and expectations, and put their own business and growth first.

I know it can be scary to prioritize your business at first. But just imagine how fulfilling it will feel to have clients that respect you and a business that you run on your own terms.

5 Critical Mindset Shifts for Freelance Entrepreneurs

You’re probably thinking, “This all sounds great Sarah, but how do I actually start thinking like an entrepreneur?” It begins with being mindful of how you approach your thinking and work.

To get started, here are 5 practices for cultivating the business owner mindset:

1. Prioritize Your Growth.

Spend the most productive hour of your day working on your own business. This could mean client prospecting, organizing your systems, or creating your own content. It’s tempting to jump straight into client work and only leave your leftover energy for yourself, but work to break this habit.

Elevating your business and sense of self-worth ultimately benefits your clients, too. Allow yourself the headspace to work on your business by giving proper lead times for client work and not always rushing against a deadline.

2. Build a Value-Based Business.

Get crystal-clear on your own values and how you want to bring them into your business. Create a life and business that’s rooted in what’s important to you! If you’re passionate about helping a specific audience, choose clients that are serving them.

When you work with clients whose work you truly believe in, your job will feel purposeful. As humans, we crave purpose. And I truly believe that meaningful work will keep you more motivated and excited in the long run.

3. Question Self-Limiting Beliefs.

Self-limiting beliefs are the ideas that we subconsciously believe about ourselves. When left unchecked, these beliefs become part of our identity and hold us back, often without our knowledge. 

For example, maybe you loved writing creative stories as a kid. But after comparing yourself to others, you started telling yourself “I’m not creative enough to be a writer.” This self-limiting belief could then hold you back from developing your creative writing skills. 

We get in our own way much more than we realize. But through affirmations and intentional thoughts, we have the ability to change aspects of our personalities.3

4. Be Intentional With Your Thoughts.

Affirmations are powerful statements that challenge your self-limiting beliefs. While saying these in the morning sets up your day, the work doesn’t stop there. Throughout the day, you have to keep an eye on the negative self-talk that enters your mind. We tend to give these thoughts way too much power. 

When a negative thought enters your brain, approach it with curiosity. Don’t get mad at yourself for having them. The simple act of being aware of your thoughts helps you recognize that you are separate from them and you have the power to change your thought patterns.2

5. Challenge Perfectionism.

As an entrepreneur, you need to step out of your comfort zone a ton. If you’re afraid of failing or not doing something perfectly, it holds you back from growing.

Be willing to take risks and accept that you’re doing the best you can. Holding ourselves to perfection standards is a quick way to feel paralyzed from moving forward. Failing is a part of the learning and growing process!1

Mindset work is a lifelong practice for a business owner. But that’s what’s so fulfilling about entrepreneurship. You’re on a path of constant personal development, learning, and sharing your unique skills. 

As you grow, your business will too!

How to Cultivate the Business Owner Mindset

I love starting each day with intention and the ability to create my own mindset – and I know you will, too.

If you’ve researched entrepreneurship, you’ve probably seen a ton of articles saying mindset is crucial to success. But most of these resources just tell you why you need to work on it, and not how.

Like you, I was tired of hearing I needed mindset and self-love, without the actual tools that would help me make changes in myself. That’s why I created Master Your Mindset, a course that gives you the exact steps and practices for identifying and overcoming mindset barriers. These self-limiting beliefs and triggers could be holding you back, without you knowing it.

When you take Master Your Mindset, you also get access to a Facebook group of like-minded people who are on their own mindset journeys. Many of these members are entrepreneurs themselves who are ready to help you break down your limiting beliefs.

If you’re craving applicable tools for shifting your mindset, sign up for Master Your Mindset!

Want to Watch Instead?

Watch my Youtube video on how to cultivate a business mindset as a freelancer. Subscribe here for more tips on mindset, business ownership, and copywriting.



  1. Entrepreneur: 8 Mindset Shifts Entrepreneurs Must Make to Achieve Their Ultimate Goal
  2. Psychology Today: The Destructive Nature of Negative Self-Talk
  3. Sarah Turner: Want to Become a Successful Copywriter? Cultivate these 5 Personality Traits

About Sarah

I’m an entrepreneur on a mission to help other people become entrepreneurs.
My blog is a place where I provide business building advice and explore how we can create more meaningful work.

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