Being your own boss is one of working life’s most satisfying feelings. Being in charge of our own time and work activities is what most desire in life. You don’t have to worry about office politics, or answering to a bloated hierarchy. Now the goal is to be the best kind of boss for yourself. Here are some great tips which will help you become a great self-boss.
Award yourself Employee of the Month
Recognition is one of those aspects of work which soloists rarely get to enjoy. A client might throw in a positive testimonial once in awhile. Other than that, we must simply be content with the lack of feedback on our performance.
Occasionally, after accomplishing a hard task or closing a great deal, give yourself some recognition. Print a certificate and hang it on your wall. That positive feeling will improve your overall performance. Studies link good performance to positive energy.
Give yourself a new title
Remember when you had a real job and you would be given more responsibilities, but no pay raise or new job title? Right now, you might be referring to yourself as a business owner or founder. Why not try something fancy like Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or President of the company?
Create a business card with your new job title on it. Distribute them to friends, acquaintances and family members. This will boost your self-esteem. Don’t forget to keep some for yourself to give to potential clients.
Give yourself a pay rise
Money is the key motivator in today’s world. After finishing a tough project, or going months without getting a migraine or losing the plot entirely, you deserve a pay rise.
Why don’t you set aside a Christmas bonanza, or plan a fabulous holiday? This will greatly improve your productivity; as the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Alternatively, if you prefer your money where you can see it, like hanging in your closet, you could add some dollar on to your monthly salary.
Whatever course of action you take will positively impact your day-to-day performance. However, you must be responsible with your company capital. Only follow this tip if the finances allow it - you must never leave your business short of funds for your own gain.
Take sick leave
As employees in most regular jobs we are entitled to sick days, but once we become our own boss our mentality towards our health tends to change. We are at times too hard on ourselves, so much so that we don’t realize we are in self-destruction mode. We’ll complain on our social media platforms about our chills and aches, but we don’t take the necessary rest to heal.
Make sure to take some time off. If you need to lend a little authenticity you could always call your own cell phone, leave a voicemail and listen to it a few minutes later. If you find this unconvincing, lie on your back and hold your nose while you talk into your phone. Maybe throw in the odd cough for good measure.
Fill out an employee satisfaction questionnaire
Come up with some questions to “anonymously” quiz yourself on your current level of job satisfaction. Here are some examples of the questions you can ask yourself:
How important is your job?
How much does it annoy you when someone uses the last teabag?
How stressed do you feel in a typical week?
How much do you feel your opinions matter to your work mates?
How often do you call in sick?
Leave the questions on the back-burner for about four weeks, or until you have forgotten the answers. Then read through them again and answer truthfully; use the answers to determine your company’s structure and mission statement.
Some people thrive working alone, but it can be boring for others. Occasionally send yourself off to solo “team” building. You can undertake the following activities:
Do something creative, like taking a trip to the zoo.
Go for a relaxing massage.
Visit local restaurants for a nice coffee.
Go to the cinema.
This will refresh your energy levels and improve your productivity.
Go on a secondment
In most 9-to-5 jobs, there is often the possibility of experiencing different careers in the same company by temporarily changing roles. As soloists we already play too many roles, but there is still the potential that there is a part of your job you haven’t fully explored.
If your day-to-day work is pinning you down, why don’t you take a few days to explore a different path? Maybe learn a new language, teach yourself to edit videos or master some new software or app?
You never know - a secondment could breathe new life into your work.
Call off that meeting
Picture the scene: you realize you’ve somehow managed to schedule a meeting at 7pm this Thursday. What were you thinking? Well, you have the right to cancel it.
Working long hours without reimbursement can only make for a sad employee. As a good boss you should respect their (your) time - be lenient to yourself.
Scrutinize your own performance
Being your own boss comes with great responsibility, and it’s the beginning of your own journey. Your biggest task is to grow yourself. Nothing will inspire those who work with you more than honestly examining yourself, and acknowledging your shortcomings and weaknesses.
When you identify your shortcomings, make adjustments to rectify them. This will not only improve your performance, but it will have a positive impact on colleagues and clients.
Assign yourself tasks that help you to grow
Challenge yourself to try new things that are beyond your current job description. Participate in committees alongside industry peers. Trying new things leads to innovation and will help you realize your strengths and weaknesses. Also, new challenges lead to new, heightened states of motivation.
Another method of assigning tasks is outsourcing to a professional - visit freelancer.com.
Set reasonable objectives
Being a boss comes with responsibilities. Every boss has a lot to accomplish, and often the target is greater than humanly possible. This doesn’t mean being too hard on yourself or transferring the workload down the line will be more helpful. On the contrary, it could create frustration and chaos.
You’re the boss, so manage the flow. Set reasonable, well-articulated and straightforward goals. Once you set achievable goals, drive yourself to complete them. This will boost your confidence, and you can raise the bar the following year.
Choose your battles
You shouldn’t and can’t fight every fire in the business world, lest you wear yourself out. Direct your attention and efforts to where you can have a full and positive impact. Install critical stopgaps at every level of your organization.
Empower colleagues to make their own decisions, and fight their own battles. It may take time, but you will be left with a valuable lesson after every win or loss.
Get involved in day-to-day office activities
It’s very easy for a solo boss to become out of touch with the day-to-day activities of others they work closely with. This can lead to resentment from the colleagues and clients you simply can’t relate to, and prevents you from spotting areas which require change.
Instead, make it a point to interact with your peers on a regular basis. Have meetings, exchange battle scars, brainstorm or simply catch up over a coffee.
Being your own boss comes with a great sense of responsibility and it’s important to note the following:
Listen more than you talk
Make it personal
Accentuate the positive
Do you have any comments or questions you would like to share? You’re invited to post them on comment section below!