Being your own boss is the underlying reason a lot of people get involved in learning how to side hustle. And indeed, it is attractive to think of having the final say and the long-range vision that matters most. It is nice to be deciding when the days start and end, and in which direction they flow.
Being your own boss for many might be best encapsulated in a single word: freedom.
However, with the freedom of being your own boss comes additional responsibility. It is your job to keep things on track. You have to step-up as both employee and employer and find a way to channel your inner boss when needed, to keep things moving ever forward.
One relatively simple way to find or channel your inner boss is to understand some of the things a normal boss can bring to you and emulate these actions.
- Educate: A good boss is going to educate you about your business, the industry and more. Sometimes they might even send you to a seminar or additional training to stay up to speed and competitive. As your own boss then, you can do likewise: sign up for some training, attend a convention or seminar, or even just take a little time each week to read and stay on top of your industry. Find a couple good books to focus and inspire. Join a group that shares your interests and concerns. Challenge yourself and explore new ideas.
- Motivate: A good boss is going to motivate you, especially when your batteries get a little low and you need a good jolt to get back in the game. Being able to continually self-motivate, is perhaps one of the greatest ongoing challenges facing an independent operator. Finding motivation might come from any number of places, but it is incumbent on you to always be looking for new ways to stay energized. It might be connecting with like-minded folks, it might be setting and achieving a range of measurable goals.
- Escalate. A good boss is going to be able to gently push and build on successes. To escalate a positive vibe into solid momentum is one of the strengths a boss will always be bringing to the table. As a self-employed gigger, you will have to find the power in yourself to push further and drive harder. It may not be as easy as having someone tell you to escalate something specifically but staying on top of your game as an independent means challenging yourself and testing limits.
One thing a good boss will always try to do, is reward their employees for a job well done. If you are both the boss and the employee, the idea of rewarding hard work might feel a little strange, but it shouldn’t.
There are many simple ways you might reward your efforts:
- Purchase new equipment/update your systems
- Join a new group of like-minded professionals
- Attend a convention or seminar
- Update your training/expertise
- Spend a little “me” time out of the office
- Give yourself a small cash bonus
A reward does not have to be expensive or complicated – but acknowledging it as a reward will give you a sense of satisfaction that you are progressing.
Ultimately, being a great boss to yourself means you will stay motivated, educating yourself as needed and escalating your wins into a forward leaning momentum. You will know when it is time to work harder, and when you have earned a little reward. If freedom is the single word that encapsulates being your own boss, it is a freedom that is carefully constructed by many small, specific steps in the right direction.