To be “your own boss” is the ultimate goal of many aspiring entrepreneurs. The main advantage is having to be answerable to no one but yourself. While this also comes with more responsibilities, the freedom to make your own decisions is an attractive prospect.
The first thing you need to keep in mind, is that being your own boss doesn’t mean being completely free. Your clients will become your new bosses. You will have to answer only to them, and there will be no one in between to take the hits.
It will be up to you to consistently deliver your products or services to tight deadlines and your clients’ directions.
You, and only you, will be holding the steering wheel – for the better or for the worse.
In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to cultivate an attitude befitting an independent entrepreneur.
What are the Perks of Being Your Own Boss?
Full Creative Expression
You are free to direct your business strategy as you please. This involves harnessing your full creative potential, as you get to approve all ideas put forward. Your product will entirely be the result of your vision.
Giving Back to the Community
You can give something in return by filling in a previously overlooked market gap. You also benefit the local community by providing job opportunities. This in turn goes a long way towards boosting your brand reputation.
You decide on the salary you allocate to yourself. This obviously depends on your profit after deducting operating and overhead costs. Therefore, the better your business does, the higher the income you earn.
Flexible Work Schedule
You not only decide your own hours, but your office location as well. Hence, you can work from the comfort of your own home – or from your holiday retreat, if you wish – whenever you like. Working hours can be adapted to suit your needs.
Learn on the Job
“Learning by doing” must be your motto: nothing beats the experience in the field. Even as you encounter challenges and make mistakes, you’ll learn to overcome them. All of these lessons will leave you more resilient and smarter than before.
Make a Lasting Impact
When done right, your work will leave its unique imprint on the world. Don’t neglect your venture’s corporate image: this will shape your association with your brand. Check out our article on How to Become a Successful Content Creator to learn more on how to best promote your venture on social media. Or better yet, sign up to our EWOR Platform to gain access to over 17 courses and a plethora of resources to gain valuable insights from experienced entrepreneurs.
How to Become Your Own Boss
It’s not rocket science! All you need is a curious mind and enough resourcefulness to harness your full potential. Beware, though, it’s not a walk in the park either. You will need patience, perseverance and mental strength to overcome all the possible hurdles you may meet along the way.
Do Your Research
Combine your passions with your business knowledge by identifying market gaps. Once you figure out where you can project your vision, design your product or service accordingly. Draw up a comprehensive business plan that analyses the gains and risks of your venture. The more detailed it is, the better prepared you will be.
Set Your Goals
Once you have a precise idea of your target market, set a list of goals. These should follow the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-specific). In short, they should be precise and realistic enough to achieve in a set time frame. Keep them displayed in a visible spot, such as Post-Its under your monitor or a big whiteboard on the wall. They’ll help you hold yourself accountable daily.
Be Financially Savvy
Entrepreneurship comes with considerable financial risk. Hence, you should draw up a reasonable budget before launching your business. Stick to it as closely as possible, and offset expenses with as many gains. Ideally, the profit should outweigh the corresponding investment.
Grow your Network
There are many avenues to go about this step. Conferences, seminars, and workshops serve dual purposes of providing information and networking opportunities. Whether in-person or online, making the most of them is crucial. Connecting with potential clients, partners, and investors offers even more opportunities to advance your prospects.
Create a Flexible Schedule
This involves striking a balance between all aspects of your professional and personal life. As sole business owner and employee, you’ll need to distribute your time between each business activity. This must be adjusted to ensure that each area functions smoothly.
Cultivate New Skills
In the planning stages, you’ll find that your abilities fall short in some areas. Therefore, use the wealth of available online learning materials to add new skills to your arsenal. Look into formal education such as an MBA or completing online accredited courses from established universities through sites like Coursera and Udemy.
Improve Existing Skills
Along with learning new skills, it’s always a good idea to polish existing ones. Refresher courses, workshops and business books and podcasts are helpful. Updating your core skill-set ensures you’ll be ready to tackle new challenges.
Look After Yourself
To be your own boss is an exciting prospect. It also comes with a great deal of stress as you strive to make your mark. Include time off for rest and relaxation in your schedule. As the pressure mounts with each challenge, you’ll need strength to recharge your batteries.
Entrepreneurship isn’t a smooth path, even with the best preparations. Your attitude towards your career goals will keep you motivated along your journey to success. On top of carrying out your core activities, you must be ready to take on many responsibilities all by yourself, such as accounting, marketing and payroll.
On the positive side, you’ll enjoy greater independence and flexibility in planning your working schedule. Being your own boss isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it can be extremely rewarding once you succeed.