As the boss, you know firsthand the various misconceptions that often come with this title. You also know the strengths, opportunities and empowerment being your own boss can bring to both your business and personal life. I know this, as well, as I’m celebrating ten years as a small business owner this upcoming Fall… and let me tell you, it’s been an exhilarating ride!
Often, my friends think working from home, traveling for business and making my own hours is idealistic – yet what they don’t always see are the fine print details that go into making my work come to life… as well as being profitable. As a small business owner yourself, however, I’m sure you can relate to the misconceptions that often exist among being your own boss. To help clarify these, consider the five points below.
1. Bosses have more favorable hours than their employees
It’s often theorized that when you are your own boss you get to work more favorable hours since —after all—you’re the boss. This is far from the truth, however, for bosses who aim to deliver quality leadership and strong management to their team and business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or managing a team of people, being the boss means stepping up to work beyond the expected when it comes to getting the job done. For myself, this often means working weekends or extending my traditional daytime hours into the evening – something I don’t have to do always but am willing to do whenever necessary. There are many advantages to the often long and unexpected days of a boss, but the catch is being efficient and effective in your work performance to avoid working excess hours that aren’t necessary.
2. Bosses don’t have anyone else in charge of them
Being your boss doesn’t translate to not having anyone else influence the work you do. As Jonathon Long—a Contributor to BusinessInsider.com—explains, sometimes if you’re your own boss you still have people to report to or work alongside with. “If you take on VC money you have investors to report to. If you have cofounders, you all must remain on the same page. The freedom of being your own boss is often misconstrued,” shares Long.
Expanding on this, the vendors you choose to work with, the clients you capture and aim to maintain as well as the customers you ultimately want are all influential to those holding leadership roles. Without their continued support, being your own boss simply cannot sustain itself. To help keep this reality top of mind, I consider all my clients my bosses – which, as it turns out, means I have a lot of people to report to. This shift in mindset is a key attribute to my small business success – and may just be the shift you need, as well, to strengthen your own small business.
3. Bosses make a lot of money
If you’ve signed up to be your own boss, it’s likely you know firsthand that large paychecks don’t always follow. In fact, many entrepreneurs discover it’s necessary to reinvest the money they do begin to make back into their businesses. Over time, income levels may change but often entrepreneurs must adjust their paychecks to help keep their businesses alive and thriving. This uncertain reality can sway many people away from wanting to be their own boss. However, those that accept and embrace this reality are often the best leaders there are… and with strong leadership it’s more likely you’ll discover financial success, as well.
4. Bosses do it all
While there is no uncertainty that bosses tend to wear a lot of hats, too often people assume bosses must do it all. The best bosses know when to allocate responsibilities to others and hand off specific duties from their own to-do list to be more efficient and more effective in their overall responsibilities. Keeping this in mind, if you’re the type of boss who wants to do it all, consider how handing off certain tasks —whether internally or externally—can help you strengthen the areas you do best by giving you more time to get those jobs done. An example of this may be processing invoices. If this is a task you dread doing consider how a bookkeeper, for example, may help you get this task done. Resources such as Fiverr.com offer support in a variety of ways for small business owners to check off their to-do-lists – and the best part is that allocating dollars to this type of support doesn’t have to be expensive. Your main goal here is simple, really. Do what you do best and identify others to complete tasks they excel in, as well.
5. Bosses don’t have a personal life
It’s no secret that bosses can often work a lot. But those that can identify ways to be effective in their leadership roles without being in their office 24/7 are the ones that truly excel. This also translates to bosses welcoming balance into their professional and personal lives, allowing them to enjoy some of life’s best gifts; family, friends, hobbies, entertainment and more. Consider what’s on your own agenda and identify if it’s well balanced between work and pleasure. Creating this balance is key to success.
Finally, remember that no two bosses are the same and while you may aspire to mimic some of the actions other great leaders have made… ultimately, you must find your own path to become successful as a boss; based on your own business, personality and of course, your goals.