Today is Day 16 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The suggested topic is blogging about today’s National Bosses Day: you can blog about being your own boss (Lessons you’ve learned? Struggles? Best things about it?).
“Being your own boss is much superior to working for the man. Including working for your father.” ~ Donald Trump
While I consider God to be the real Boss of my online speaking and writing business Refreshing Waters, I am the Boss legally on paper. I am an entrepeneur.
The online definition of an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
My husband Ray would say a big “Amen” to the “greater than normal financial risks.” He is my backer, the one who has invested his hard-earned money in and funded my online business since I began it approximately 3 years ago.
Over 50% of of the working population works in a small business, with 52% being home-based. Approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month, but more employers businesses shut down than start each month. (Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/09/09/16-surprising-statistics-about-small-businesses/)
7 out of 10 new employer firms survive at least 2 years, only half at least 5 years, a mere third at least 10 years, and just a quarter stay in business 15 years or more. (Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/09/09/16-surprising-statistics-about-small-businesses/)
When I spoke at women’s conferences in Phoenix, Arizona, Canada, the Bahamas, and Africa, most of the expenses came out of our pockets, although some close friends sowed generously into these trips.
The biggest struggle as the Boss of your own business, I believe, isn’t financial, although that can be very challenging, stressful, and discouraging at times. I believe the hardest part is mindset issues: discouragement and wanting to give up and quit, comparison with other successful people, and frustration over goals/dreams not happening fast enough.
I believe the way that you change your mindset is
- spend time with God and renew your mind with His word (The Bible is the greatest manual ever on how to achieve success);
- study success/thought leaders and emulate them;
- surround yourself with success- and faith-minded people who believe in you and your big dreams and encourage you/pray for you.
When you are the Boss of your own business, whether your business succeeds or fails, it all boils down to this: you’re responsible!
You can’t blame other people. You have to look at the woman (or man) in the mirror: you either make it work or you don’t!
Granted, you may need to get more education or training; network more; learn more about marketing, sales, and promotion, or whatever it takes. But ultimately you are the one who shoulders the responsibility of your biz success.
As the Boss, you need to do what it takes to get to where you want (and God desires you) to go. Are you willing to do that? Will you make a decision to do so today?
You can persevere or you can quit. Which will you do?
While being my own boss has its challenges and heavy financial responsibility (Pike’s Peak or bust!), I wouldn’t want it any other way. Truthfully, I don’t think I make a very good employee, working for someone else. Because I ALWAYS want to be the BOSS. It comes very naturally to me. When I told Ray this, he said with a big sigh, “I KNOW!” (I often want to be the boss of him, too!)
Here are some of the things I absolutely LOVE about being my own boss:
- I answer to no one but God (but I often seek my husband’s counsel, because he has a lot of wisdom and he’s a great listener). Nobody tells me what to do in my business. I can do whatever I want! This also means if I don’t work smart (notice I didn’t say work hard), if I goof off, if I am inconsistent with my goals, I pay the consequences (it’s called BROKE!). But I love the freedom of being the CEO. I can spend time with my family and friends. If I want to take a day off to spend with our daughter Leah and do something relaxing, I can.
- Schedule freedom. I set my own schedule/hours. I can work 50 hours a week or 15, 3 days a week or 6 days, sleep in or work late at night. I set the boundaries for when I work, or work as much as I want. I’m not a slave to the 9 to 5 routine or to rush hour traffic. I don’t have to miss holidays because of work. I can go on vacation when I want, when provision permits.
- It allows me to tap into my creativity and use my spiritual gifts, talents, and skills. When I was in my 20’s and a single mother, there was a period of time where I was in-between jobs. Out of desperation, I applied for a job at a factory. At break time the first night of work, my fingers were so cramped and my back and legs ached so badly from the manual labor that I walked out and never came back. I’m not proud of doing that without even giving my employer a notice of resignation, but I knew there was NO way I was going to be able to do that job. I wanted to scream. It was insanely boring, repetitious, tedious work, and it did nothing to use my creativity or gifts. I love being able to use my gifts of speaking and writing in my online business. It’s fulfilling and I’m glorifying God.
- Personal growth. Since I started my online business several years ago, I’ve received an extensive education, learning so many new things, which I love to do. From how to do webinars to learning about social media, each day provides an opportunity to expand my knowledge, meet new interesting people, and personally stretch and grow.
What do you love best about being your own boss? What have been some of your biggest challenges, too? Leave your comments below.