I am my own boss. I wake up when I like, sleep when I like, stay home whenever I feel like it, go to the office maybe once a week, wear whatever I want and all the money comes to me.
Being your own boss sounds like fun, does it not?
Yet, as a lot of entrepreneurs will tell you, it’s not all as cracked up as it’s made out to seem. And frankly, it is not for everyone.
Not because some people are ‘better’ than others, but because some people are ‘better than others at handling certain things’. I’ve heard people complain that their bosses do nothing but come to the office really late, read the dailies, and drink coffee all day. My response usually is, “If it’s so easy, why aren’t you doing it?”
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I’m usually met with a blank stare.
Being a boss of anything is harder than a few words can explain. You have to live it to understand it. The pressure alone is enough to drive many a man out of his mind. And I am talking about all kinds of pressure imaginable – from the social to the political to the emotional to the spiritual. The saying ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’ paints a grim picture with a few words.
It is a lot easier to serve under someone than it is to serve yourself. It is safer to be ruled than to rule. When you’re ruled, you make no decisions. You take little or no risks (depending on your position), you’re told what to do and get paid for it. Deadlines are established for you, rules and guidelines are created – mostly without your say-so – and enforced. There are usually people who can carry the slack on your behalf, people you can lean on and depend upon.
Being the boss, however, has a different set of implications. Being your own boss even more so.
Being your own boss puts you in place to do whatever you like without fear of the consequence. It’s like the difference between being in the university and being in secondary school that one feels after experiencing life in both institutions. In secondary school, especially the boarding ones, you are told when to wake up, when to eat, sleep – you are told when to do everything. The university is a lot different. You can do whatever you like, whenever you like. Go to classes or not, no one really cares. More often than not, you wear whatever you like, come and go as you like. Only your friends might complain…if you have any of those, that is.
And of course, the consequences are yours alone. Nobody cares.
Being your own boss basically means being responsible for and to yourself. You answer to no one, owe nobody explanations and you get to do whatever you like whenever you like.
And that is where the danger lies.
You are your own monitor, personal guide, supervisor, and whatnot. This means you are likely to make excuses for yourself, excuses you wouldn’t accept from anyone else. There’s always that temptation to let yourself off easy, a willingness to procrastinate unnecessarily – and laziness is a clear and always-present danger.
As your own boss too, you have to master the art of sacrificing.
A new movie just started showing at a cinema near you. It’ll be nice to watch it early because you review movies for your blog. At the same time, you’re out of browsing data and you need to send some mails out as soon as you can.
Nothing important, just stuff you committed to.
What do you do? The answer to that can make a difference between becoming everything you’ve ever dreamed of or becoming another ‘once upon a time story’.
There is no closing time for the boss. Hardly any fun time. Bosses usually relax with more work, doing stuff they consider fun but is actually work. Even when a boss looks idle, that’s when they’re busiest.
A quote that I like says “stronger is a man who has conquered himself than he who has conquered a thousand adversaries.”
Sounds like the true way to be a boss. It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it.
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