Be Your Own Boss
The hardest part about working for yourself is the fact that you’re both you own worst employee – and your own boss.
Not everyone is ready to ‘Go Freelance’ and start their own business, in translation or elsewhere. There are a lot of hurdles that people put in front of themselves – lack of confidence, lack of preparation, or even simply a lack of perceiving the right moment when it comes along. And certainly not everyone in the world should go freelance. It takes a certain personality type, I think. Not only do you have to be comfortable with a lack of a ‘safety net’ in the form of benefits and co-workers, you have to be happy working alone with little interaction with people every day.
But the most important personality trait that you simply must possess to make a go of freelancing, and the one personality trait that many folks lack, is the ability to be a boss to yourself.
A boss isn’t simply a pompous figurehead who motivates everyone by threatening to fire them. A boss does so much more than that every day, and there’s a reason it’s such a popular meme for employees to despise and mock their boss when outside the office. The boss gets to do all the unpleasant stuff, and when you go freelance, you have to take on all of that.
Well, not all of it, of course, because you’re just one person so you only have your own bad habits, not an entire office’s. But the fact remains that when you work for yourself you become your own boss, and aside from the empowering implications of that there are also some very unfortunate implications – because you have to take on some very unpleasant tasks.
After all, you’ll have to make sure you get out of bed every morning and that you’re sitting at your desk on time every day. You’ll have to make certain you don’t pop off to watch television during the work day, that you don’t nap away your afternoons, and that your projects are organised and under control. You’re have to have a marketing plan and force yourself to follow it. Being your own boss isn’t easy, because you can so easily negotiate with and bribe yourself.
Here are my tips for being your own boss successfully:
Be positive. The worst thing you can do, especially when business is slow, is get down on yourself and over-analyse. All businesses have slow times – it doesn’t mean you’re a bad boss.
Be persistent. Not every decision or strategy bears fruit immediately. When you make a decision about your business, stick with it long enough to really know if it’s working.
De forgiving. If a strategy does in fact fail, shrug it off. Self-criticism is useless.
Be organised. Have a plan, have a schedule – and stick to them.
These are simple pieces of advice, but it’s really all you need to be your own boss. Just remember that you’ll always be your own worst employee!
Image courtesy franchisingmatters.com