How to be Your Own Boss

how to be your own boss

A great boss is hard to find. A great boss sets clear expectations, provides feedback, recognises a job well done and supports their staff to be the best they can be. A great boss is a mentor, coach, counsellor and manager.

So what if you are your own boss? If you think about it, you actually have two roles – boss and staff member. As a business owner, it’s easy to truck along being the staff member, getting stuck in and getting the job done. However, it’s important to step back every now and then to actually be your boss - look critically at your own performance and wellbeing, and take the necessary steps to support yourself.

6 Tips for being the boss of your own business:

Here are some tips to help you manage potentially one of your most difficult staff members ever - yourself:

1. Be self-aware – Being self-aware means having conscious knowledge of your own character and feelings. This takes honesty and reflection. Questioning yourself is a good way to build self-awareness. For example: Did I handle that situation well? What could I have done differently? Am I as effective as I could be? Why did I act that way? Why did I make that decision?

2. Schedule meetings with yourself – So you don’t actually have to sit in a meeting room and talk to yourself, this is really just another way of saying take time out to reflect. Put aside some time, it could be once a day or once a month, to ask yourself some of the questions above.

3. Be accountable – If you have staff members, get feedback from them about your own performance. Feedback shouldn’t be one way. If you don’t have staff, you could consider setting up an informal advisory board of people you respect and trust – people who will help keep you on track.

4. Give yourself a performance review – Conducting your own performance is a bit weird but it’s a good way to reflect on the previous year to set some goals for the year ahead. It’s a great way to track your progress towards your goals too. Most performance reviews also usually include a discussion about professional development and general wellbeing. Don’t sell yourself short just because there’s no one above you to encourage you.

5. Be honest with yourself – The easiest people to fool are ourselves, but if we continue to keep up the charade then the last laugh will be on us. Be honest about your own shortcomings and look to fill the gaps. Recognise that you are not superhuman and sometimes you can get it wrong and sometimes you are not the best person for the job.

6. Get a business mentor or coach – Business coaches are skilled at helping you to identify your own strengths and limitations and keeping you accountable. They will help you to develop and execute your business plan and achieve your strategic goals so you and your business can thrive.

If you manage yourself poorly, your work and life will suffer – just like it would if you had any other terrible boss – and we’ve all had one. Don’t do it to yourself.

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