Next month my home-based business will be ten years old.
It has been and continues to be a joy AND a major “source of life lessons” – ha!
The joys are too countless to list here. The lessons are also abundant. As I prepare for this anniversary, I’ve been pondering the most significant lessons. Most of them involve being my own boss.
In my working life, I’ve worked for people I considered bad bosses. I’ve also been blessed to work for three exceptional bosses.
The past ten years have taught me I have a LOT to learn about being my OWN BEST BOSS.
Up ’til the past few years I SO deserved to receive the mug that’s pictured here.
So here are seven ways I earned it:
1. I avoided getting organized . This has just become a major focus in the last year. I now know I wasted HOURS of time, TONS of anxiety and WAY TOO MUCH money by waiting.
2. I commingled home time with work time. Sure, doing laundry while I’m in the midst of designing a new line of handmade paper posters seemed to make sense – often it resulted in light purple T-shirts (which used to be white) and less-than-inspired artwork.
3. I didn’t ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’. I’ve done my share of packaging orders while watching Letterman. Big mistake. I’ll always be so grateful to that customer who returned my favorite coaster which arrived with her order. Finite working hours are a MUST.
4. I skipped having an annual review. Thankfully, I figured out this one FAST. For me, this means I need to set aside a specific time each year (the first week in November) to review and adjust my business plan. I know. I know. It can be as boring as it sounds. AND (note I didn’t say BUT here) it CAN be fun. And asking “what’s working?”, “what’s not working?” and “what changes need to be made?” IS essential.
5. I didn’t encourage communication between company departments. Even though I was all of the departments for a long time, sometimes I forgot to let the production part of my brain let the sales part know what was possible – i.e. I said YES, when NO was the truth. Not to fret. I’m SO over this. We have a complete company meeting every single day.
6. I didn’t praise/encourage/nurture my employee. I was MUCH better at noticing what I had NOT done than what I HAD. That whole “getting organized” thing is helping me with this. Now I have a worksheet/ ‘things to do list’ I can glow over at the end of each day/week/month/quarter. YAY TEAM!
7. I didn’t take advantage of my generous vacation/leave benefits. For a while there, I forgot what was important. While I love and celebrate the honor of creating paper art, there are people in my life I love much more.
Whether or not you own your own business, how do make sure you’re your BEST BOSS EVER?