“It must be great to be your own boss you can just… [insert flight of fancy]”
Over many years of running my own business, it’s been one of the most common things people have said when they find out that I decided to set up on my own.
Of course in a way they’re right. As our cousins across the pond know, and are celebrating today, there are many reasons why shaking off the mantle of “having someone telling you what to do” can be a welcome relief, and bring a great sense of freedom.
But every entrepreneur needs to know that the downside of not having anyone to tell you what to do is … well … there’s no-one there to tell you what to do. And that freedom, can be the freedom to get things very wrong indeed.
Of course, having a boss isn’t really that different from running your own show: whilst there’s no “one” person there telling you want to do, your responsibilities and opportunities are right there for you to see: Which sales lead to call? No-one to ask about that, so it’s your responsibility to decide. Which project needs your attention most urgently? No-one to assess and determine that but you. Which team member most needs your time and care? Only you can figure that out.
So does not having a boss simply mean that you’re more exposed to all those asks, all those responsibilities? Why take that on if there’s the opportunity to line up a “boss” to sort through the “to do” list for you and tidy things up?
For me it comes down to how I see the world. I am responsible for deciding what’s important – what I care about – what I’ll do next and what will be left un-done. I always value the input of others, but I’m responsible for my life, so I don’t need a boss to make those decisions for me.
If you run your own business, perhaps you feel the same way?