You’re Your Own Boss. Don’t be a lousy one.
You are your company, your corporation. You’re the employee, the CEO, the CFO, the COO, the dishwasher, the wellness department, the sales manager and the boss. Here are five rules for the entrepreneur on being a good boss.
Show up on time. There is this backwards thing that tends to happen when someone goes from being actual employee to being an entrepreneurial solo practitioner … we get all loosey with our schedule. The loose and flexible part of being self-employed is attractive. It may be some of the reason why you choose self-employment. Just don’t lead with flexible … lead with getting the most important things done. Develop a schedule and show up on time.
Know your goals broken down year, month, week. This will be key to actually knowing if you’re getting the most important things done or not. Busy does not equal productive. Know exactly what you need to get done each week and quickly develop the skill and awareness of knowing the difference between important income-producing activity vs everything else.
Be accountable to your results. Results! This applies to rule #2. We all have 24 hours in a day. Why is it that some people get so much more done than others? It’s an illusion. They’re simply getting the most important things done first. And a side note: please remove the “I’m so busy” out of your vocabulary … just get the most important things done first every day.
Plan your personal time carefully. When you started your last employment job, they outlined your schedule and the annual schedule and your vacation plan on day one. You knew on your first day on the job exactly what days you would have off that year for holidays and how much vacation time and sick days you would have access to your first year. And you made it work. Plan out your calendar, like everyone else, at the beginning of the year including how many days you’ll take for various holidays and family vacation times.
And be very careful with December. Funny thing happens with December for the self-employed … let’s say you plan to work three weeks in December. But then you realize you’re behind on your shopping and that family is coming in to town a little earlier than initially planned and you start getting all loosey on your schedule and running all sorts of errands. Before you know it, you’ve really only worked two weeks in December. Happens all the time. Just figure out if you can afford that. If you lose half of December and then your results are down in January and February, blame it on December.
Have a mentor. Here’s the deal: you may not, yet, intrinsically be a good boss. So reaching out to find a few mentors who are solo practitioners or already successful entrepreneurs can go a long way. This will shorten your learning curve, provide accountability and add to your valuable sphere. As a rule of thumb, reach out to five successful people (coffee, lunch, visit their office) both in your field and out, and ask them for their advice of being a good boss and building a new business.
You’re your own boss. Be a really good one.