Five Myths of Being Your Own Boss (And How You Can Overcome Them)

Tue, Jun 14, 2011

Perspective, Productivity

Five Myths of Being Your Own Boss (And How You Can Overcome Them)

Millions of people wake up every day dreaming about becoming their own boss. Some are entrepreneurs who have a vision, others are just fed up with working for “the man” and feel that there must be a better way.

Perhaps you are one of those dreamers or know someone who is.

The “idea” of becoming your own boss is attractive but I must warn you, there are a lot of myths to it as well.

I’ve run my own business, as my primary income, for over 10 years now but before that I had numerous side businesses from the time I was age 13. Collectively these experiences have taught me a lot about the “be your own boss” mindset and the realities of how to make it a prosperous endeavor instead of a rude awakening.

So let’s dive in…

Here are 5 Myths of Being Your Own Boss (And How You Can Overcome Them):

1. I’LL MAKE MORE MONEY – This CAN be true but don’t bank on it from the beginning. When you start, you’ll likely have good months and bad months, up and downs, and cash might be tight. Plan on a lean ride and make sure you are prepared to invest as much as you can to prime the pump. Don’t ever get into a false sense of security when things are going well. Always have some money set aside for the unexpected and for when things don’t go quite like you had planned. The financial risk and stress of being your boss can be crippling if you don’t expect it but it can also be the most lucrative choice you’ve ever made. Just be prepared for the bad but shoot for the good!

2. I’LL HAVE MORE FREE TIME – Yes and no. I work much more than a 40 per week employee would but I’m an owner and that’s what owners do (and so will you if you are a boss). The difference when you are your own boss is that you can schedule your work to fit your needs. You have flex time. Some days I cut out of the office at 3pm to go jump on the trampoline with my kids but that’s okay because I can work at 10pm at night after they’ve gone to bed (if I want to). The best way to tackle this is to manage your time well and that is a learned skill. Cut out distractions, maximize efficiency and leverage every opportunity that you can. Your time is your most valuable asset (for most of us) and it can make or break you. Use it wisely and be intentional with it.

3. I WON’T HAVE TO ANSWER TO OTHERS – A big myth is that when you become your own boss you don’t have to answer to others like you did when you were employed and accountable to a manager. Wrong. As your own boss you are still accountable to your clients and you will be answering to them, just in a different sort of way. Don’t jump into becoming your own boss if you are simply looking to avoid accountability. If you do, you will fail. Understand that you are always answering to others… when you are the boss they are just called clients or customers.

4. I’LL HAVE MORE CONTROL – This is true but there is a flip side of more control and that is more responsibility. If you are the boss, you are responsible and that means not only making sure that you are providing a service to your clients or producing the product but also taking care of all the financial aspects and administrative needs of the business. Sure, you can hire others to do many of the specific tasks but you’re still ultimately responsible. Make sure you are setting up systems to help you automate where you can so that you don’t get blind sided by a responsibility you forgot.

5. IT’S EASY – Well, as you have already seen from points 1 through 4 above… it’s not. If it were easy then everyone else would do it. The point here isn’t whether or not it’s easy though, the point is for you to understand that nothing worthwhile is easy so if you want to be your own boss and succeed… be ready to work and work hard. But as the old saying goes… hard work pays.

If you are pondering being your own boss, these myths are meant to discourage you. They are meant to help you by framing the realities you will face. If you step into it with the right perspective and understanding then you have a much better chance of succeeding.


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    About Daniel Decker:

    Daniel Decker is President of Higher Level Group, Inc., a strategic marketing and development firm that helps authors, professional speakers, and organizations who are doing good to expand their influence. LINKS: Follow @DanielDecker on Twitter | Visit the "About" Page | Subscribe to the Blog and get updates via RSS or Email.

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    • http://www.onethousandamonth.com/ Graham Lutz

      #2 is most importan for me. I have 3 small kiddos who go to bed aroun 7:30-8 so if I'm at the office til 6-6:30, I won't hardly get to see them at all.

      I would much rather give up a little sleep than to give up time with them.

    • http://dewittrobinson.com Dewitt Robinson

      Powerful post Daniel!

    • http://www.beyondhorizons.in Beyond Horizons

      I have often heard #3 being cited as the reason for someone wanting to start their own business. But most people don't realize that even when you start your own business, you are answerable to someone or the other. The only difference is that it won't be your boss. Learning to deal with questions i.e. accountability is something that is always relevant.

      Great post, something that many entrepreneurs will thank you for.

      – Sindoora (http://www.beyondhorizons.in)