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How can you be your own boss?

Updated on May 31, 2010

No more hassle of rushing off to meetings on a traffic jammed Monday morning, say bye-bye to back stabling colleagues and demanding superiors - but before you hand in your resignation letter, find out if you are made to be your own boss!

Dream Big

Many of us dream of doing our own things, calling the shots as the president of a private company with big paychecks and fat year-end bonuses as the ultimate job on the planet. After all, who does't - but as your own boss, you are responsible for your own career progress and how you manage your own working day.

Feels like kicking your colleagues in their butts for idling and doing the minimum, leaving you to pick up the major chunk of their workload? Had enough of your superior who knows next to nothing about the project you are handling? Meetings, datelines, meetings, datelines more's no wonder why many people are trading in their corporate ladders for a hot seat of their own.

However, before you throw in the towel and say 'sayonara' to your 9 to 5, you need consider certain things. Ranking first? Do you have what it takes to be you own boss! Sound tempting to be calling your shots while directing the show all by yourself, right? In reality - not everyone has what it takes to be your own boss. Having the dream and vision does 'Not' equal to a solid direction the business is going, it takes hard work, essential skills and qualities of a warrior to make it.

Here are some points that needs to ponder over:

Start by being a self-starter.

You are a lone ranger now, out goes the secretary who has been taking your memos, no administrative staff to file your claims, even you have to plan & budget the office stationary yourself.

Not only that, being on your own required you to juggle planning, organizing, managing and following through your projects all by yourself.  This is true when you are first striking out on your own with limited capital and resources. Only if you make it later on will you be able to afford an assistant to help lighten the workload but that would incur additional cost, which you must consider carefully.

You got to have business acumen.

You are your own boss and your salesman rolled into one, you got to attract customers and keep them happy. You are answerable should anything goes wrong, there will be no bosses to help cover your tracks and put in some good words.

Having good business skills like accounting, business planning, operations, sales, marketing, logistics and customer service are essential for survival. Remember, you have no subordinates to delegate the work to.

Great networking skills are needed. If you are the shy personality type who is uncomfortable selling yourself and your business, it’s better to stick at a corporate job.

The monster of fear, financial uncertainties.

One of the major causes of the business startup's failure is the unpredictability of the business cash flow. You have to be prepared to get into debts especially it's a new outfit that requires a large upfront in terms of overheads, equipment and rents. The initial low period of sales when you're trying establish your business.

From time to time, during your business cycle, clients may change thus you won't be making a fix amount of money as you would an employee. If you have a home mortgage and other financial commitments consider the idea of being a boss carefully and cautiously, is having some form of financial stability more important than in financial see-saw every month.

Being motivated.

Staying motivated is the single most important quality. It's no walk in the park when you start out on your own because you got orders and commitments to fulfill. If you expect just to kick back and wait for the money to roll in, you are in for a shock.

Running a business required hard work, energy and stamina. Working a 12-hours, seven days a week is a norm with no paid vacations and no paid public holidays, if these are what you have prepared for, then go all out for it.

Being in business is not by yourself but for yourself.

As a start up outfit, you need a lots of clients to sustain your business's cash flow. Some clients you enjoy dealing with, while others, you wish you have nothing to do with them. Unfortunately, when you're running your business, you can't pick and choose unless you are a running a big corporation and can afford not to please everyone.

A great working relationships with everyone you deal with - customers, vendors, staffs and professionals you engage in your daily running of the business is a requisite, sometimes, you may run into obstacles that requires the person you dealing with, his/her understanding and trust. If you are known to be unethical and unprofessional towards any of them, the words sure get out fast and ruin your very reputation you are building.

The Loner.

Being a startup outfit boss, you are most likely to be on your own without any colleagues to ask for opinions and suggestions or gossip around. If loneliness is not your cup of tea, then it may be not such a good idea to work alone.

If you think you can thrives on your own efforts and willing to strive for it, by all means, give it all you got.

Decisions, Decisions.

Making the decision of being your own boss is the first easy decision that you made, The tougher ones are being laid out for you as you progress on in your business career. Decisions that make or break your business -

  • should you bid for a certain project
  • at what price is the profit
  • break even price just to break into the market
  • can you handle the workload
  • is the workload justified the cost, time, manpower.
  • can you take some time off without jeopardizing your dateline
  • how long can go with a sales
  • should you expand the business

There also many daily nitty-gritty decisions involved in the daily running of the business that required immediate attention, so if you are someone who cracks under pressure, then you need to think though this decision of being your own boss.

It takes a lots of self discipline.

No bosses to report when you are late, tell you what to wear, when to hand in your assignments, when to take coffee breaks - sounds like paradise, doesn't it. Sure, not until you realize little has been done and the day just ended.

Having self discipline is very import as there's no official time keepers and schedules to adhere by. If you are someone who lacks initiatives and self discipline, then being on your own may not be the right idea.

Everything, whatever happens in your business career depends on you, if you have faith, hardworking, perseverance and have a positive character, your business will definitely take you far.

Self discipline and patients goes hand in hand, never assume you are cashing in the next day. Prepare to wait for a couple of years before you see any returns.

So be honest with yourself and ponder over carefully before starting on this exciting journey and discovering a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.


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    • sentral profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Jacob for the recommendation and the alternative view on running a business.

    • Jacob Darkley profile image

      Jacob Darkley 

      8 years ago from California, USA

      Great info. Another book I'd recommend is The E-Myth Revisited, which talks a lot about working ON your business instead of working IN it.



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