Be the Boss of You

If you’re tired of the corporate grind, or you’re done with slaving away for someone else’s dream, entrepreneurship probably looks really, really enticing.

Entrepreneurship is alive and well. Thousands of new businesses open every year worldwide, and if you go about it with the right mindset, you’ll succeed. Are you ready to be your own boss? The rewards can be awesome but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

If you’re wondering if you’re really ready to hang your shingle and put out the OPEN sign, there are a few areas you must consider:

1. Are you ready to embrace change, step into the unknown and do things you’ve never done… and do things you’ve always done but differently? Lesson #1 is that although it might seem like a monumental change to take the leap into entrepreneurship, change is already happening all the time, all around you and within you. Take a little while to lay some groundwork. Write down where you’re doing well in life, and what you’ve done to be successful there. That will give you some confidence. Next, realize that although quitting your job and going out on your own is huge, you don’t have to do it all in one fell swoop. Many people start a side biz and then make it full-time when the time is right. No need to starve while you wait for your first checks to come in, even if you don’t have a substantial nest egg that you can live off for some time.

2. Are you ready to challenge the status quo and do things differently? Here again some introspection will prove very valuable. What are your strengths? Weaknesses? What can you learn from your weaknesses and what can you do differently to strengthen those areas? Keep doing what a) feels right and b) yields good results – and don’t be afraid to radically or subtly change what isn’t working.

3. Are you ready to give up control? The fact is, unless your business is very, very small and you have but a few clients, you’re eventually going to need to delegate or even outsource. You simply cannot do it all, and have any joy in what you’re doing – and you certainly won’t have a life outside your business. You MUST give up control. Focus on what you are good at, and cheerfully delegate the rest. Give people a sense of pride and ownership in the company and let them handle things in their own way – it might not be your way, but as long as it’s effective, it’s a good way! Always be open to alternatives. Remember, it’s not “your way or the highway” unless you’re a third-world dictator.

4. Do not be a victim. Always take 100% responsibility for everything in your company. You cannot be passive as a boss and blame your employees (you were managing them, right?); you cannot blame the economy (vast fortunes are made in the worst depressions); you cannot blame poor marketing strategies (without blaming yourself, because you approved them, right?). Of course you cannot possibly be expected to know and master every aspect of business but the quicker you take responsibility, LEARN from the situation and redirect your efforts, the quicker you’ll bounce back and succeed.

5. Finally, HAVE FUN! That’s why you’re in this, right? Enjoy the hell out of your business. Pour your passion, enthusiasm, curiosity and good energy into it. Laugh as much as you can at your own foibles and screw-ups. Bounce even higher every time you fall and know that for every second you’re spending on your business is a second you are spending on YOUR dream.


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