Recently I made this video about what are, in my opinion, the worst things about being your own boss. In the interest of fairness and a balanced view, today I’m going to be sharing my top 10 things that I love about being my own boss.
Being your own boss is, without a doubt, a challenging journey. But I’ve covered that aspect in this video and this time around I want to focus on the positives.
Because, despite its challenges, being your own boss does have some great upside. Here are my top 10:
We may as well start with the one most people think about. When you’re your own boss, there’s no cap. Theoretically, the more you work the more you can earn. Of course, there are limitations to this, but you’re not restricted to low percentage salary increases… You actually get to see the monetary benefit of your hard work.
Money is like fuel in a car. The car needs fuel to go somewhere, but fuel is not the goal of the car. Neither should money be the singular goal of a business, but there should be some kind of impact the business desires to make. I love that as a boss I get to spend my time on things that make a difference, and I get to make a difference in the life of my team by being as good a boss to them as I can possibly be.
Depending on the business model you are operating, being your own boss affords a certain level of time & location freedom. You can wear what you want to work. In fact, right now I’m wearing a casual t-shirt and some gym trousers, sipping a coffee in my home office and when my kids get home from school I’ll stop work and go down to see them. It’s a beautiful thing, and not something I could do in a traditional job.
I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who has at some point in their life worked for a boss or a company with a bad culture. Do as I say and not as I do… works you to the bone but rarely lifts a finger... The atmosphere may be tense, the environment discouraging and sometimes even mean. Well, as your own boss, you get to create the culture in your organisation. There’s no one telling you what to do or how to do it unless you invite them in with a coaching or mentoring role (which I highly recommend!).
When you are your own boss, you will have significant challenges to overcome. There are no two ways about it. As a leader and as a person you will be tested to within an inch of quitting…several times over. It may not be pretty, at times it may not be enjoyable… but it is in this process we endure personal growth that shapes us to be able to carry greater responsibility and therefore make a greater impact and a greater income.
In an office environment, your coworkers are your coworkers. Don’t like them? Quit. Or wait for them to quit. Or, of course, just put up with it… But when being your own boss, despite the risk of loneliness there is the ability to choose who you connect with. To go out and intentionally build relationships around common interests is a strength, not a weakness, of entrepreneurship.
Time is everything, and being your own boss can help you be incredibly efficient with your time. There’s often no commute, you can avoid meetings that are pointless and scrap tasks that are redundant. You can build a team to support you so that your time is optimised and effective. Depending on your circumstances and structure, it can also be very tax efficient.
This may be a moot point to some and seem narcissistic to others, but telling people you own a business next to always creates intrigue. You become more interesting to talk to at parties. People understand that it takes a certain level of capacity to run a business and generally this understanding brings with it a sense of mutual respect that can foster conversation and relationship to a greater degree.
Run things right, and being your own boss can bring a great deal of enjoyment. Of course, there are a lot of business owners not enjoying themselves, but the potential is most certainly there. Be rigorous in delegating the things you don’t enjoy to ensure you are passionate about what you do and give the best you have to the growth of your organisation.
Just like completing a hard-fought DIY project, there’s a great deal of satisfaction in looking at a business with that knowledge that you built it, or you are building it. Now not all business is fulfilling, but I believe it should be. If you are finding fulfilment in what you do, you really have to get serious with yourself and ask, why? Time is short, it is always running out, and we need to use what time we have available to us to seek fulfilment over finances.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build a business that allows you to become your own boss, a great place to start is in our free Brand Builder Bootcamp training which you can enrol in on this page.