Biz Love Blog Tour: What Kind of Boss Are You?

April 16, 2015
When Rachael asked me to be part of this tour, it was an IMMEDIATE yes for me.  I think having open and honest conversations about the ins and outs, ups and downs of business development is so important.

The learning curve can be tremendous when you’re first starting out, I think the idea of building a business that loves you back is an incredibly important conversation to be having, and  I am so honored to be part of this conversation.  You can keep up with it by getting each post direct in your inbox here, or following #bizloveblogtour on twitter. You can check out yesterdays outstanding post by Teresa Reed, the Tarot Lady herself, and tomorrow’s post by Jenn Aubert.

When I first started my business I was so swept up in what I was going to DO and how much I was going to MAKE and how much free time I was going to HAVE that I forgot to ask myself one simple question, that would impact the entire trajectory of my business: What kind of boss was I going to be to myself? 

What I didn’t realize when I started my journey of self-employment, is that while I was the founder, the CEO, the bookkeeper, the admin, marketer, social media manager, and every other role in one person, there was one really fundamentally important role I forgot.  Boss.  I am THE boss, and I am the boss of me.  I am my own boss.

Normally, when I hear people talk about the word boss, it applied to a lot of other contexts.  BossBabe, BossLady, BossMan, The Boss. HBIC (yeah, there’s another B word it might stand for, but I’m going to go with Boss on that one, because I have heard it used in that context) – it’s all about being in control.  In charge.  Not reporting to anybody,  pure independence.   Delight.  Relish.  “I’m my own boss!” “Nobody tells me what to do!” “I work for myself.” We think about all the bosses we DON’T have, and how extraordinary that is.

But the truth is someone is making sure I get things done, that projects move ahead on time, that I respond to emails in a timely fashion, that the money is managed –  and that person, is me. Effectively making me my own boss. 

What I never thought to consider before stepping off the self-employment ledge, is what kind of a boss I was going to be to myself.

  • The kind that micromanaged and makes you feel terrible about the good parts of yourself?
  • The type that insists you go home when you have a cough?
  • The one that brings you presents for doing a good job, and makes sure your birthday is a holiday?

Because as you know, the type of boss you have makes a huge difference in your work/life satisfaction, and I’m embarrassed to admit I was mostly the first one.  I put INCREDIBLE pressure on myself – to work all the time, everyday.  To be more productive, inspired, creative.

After hitting a bit of a burnout skid, shortly after the new year I found myself in Nashville visiting a really dear friend who opened her home to me for a week, so I could process my life.  It was a fantastic getaway.  My biggest takeaway? I am a terrible boss to myself.  I was a micromanager.  Critical.  Demanding.

I realized to my horror, that if anyone else pulled these moves on me, I would have quit ages ago.   That was painful to realize I was treating myself how I’d never allow anyone else treat me.

photo (32)So, decided to draw up a contract with myself.  A series of promises, an updated employment agreement if you will.  It helped me realign with myself, how I wanted to be treated, my myself and by the universe.

I highly suggest you do the same thing.  Feel free to use these questions as a jumping off point.

  • How do I want to be treated when I’m sick?
  • How do I want to be rewarded?
  • How do I want to feel at the end of the day?
  • How do you want to be nurtured to succeed?
  • How do you want to be treated, period.

You get to decide.  Because you’re the boss – and I hope you’re a better one to yourself than I was in the beginning.

Put more you in your business

(regardless of your myers-brigg)

7 thoughts on “Biz Love Blog Tour: What Kind of Boss Are You?

  1. Ellen this one hit me hard. I’m a TERRIBLE boss to myself! Critical. Demanding. Perfectionist. It takes a lot to keep that all in check. I adore the idea of an agreement – and putting it right in front of my desk where I can see it when I’m being too hard on myself.

  2. Boy do I get this! Great piece Ellen. The boss of me can be one difficult, non-understanding, and harsh critic. I would not want to work for me when the mean boss is in full gear – when the boss hasn’t slept, had too much coffee and is riding a bit of hormonal fluctuations. It isn’t pretty. This is a great reminder that we need to treat ourselves as we treat others!
    Thanks for sharing Ellen!

  3. Love this Ellen! Simple and powerful, philosophical and practical. Perfect. Thank you I will work on this right now, contract and all. Inspired 🙂

  4. Great question and perspective to think about! I’m a good day to day boss of myself, but I like your encouragement to think about the bigger picture with the questions about types of rewards and ways to be nurtured to succeed. Thanks for the food for thought!

  5. Holy shit Ellen this is gold!!

    I have had such trouble moving ahead in my business because I was such a bitch boss to myself, always pressuring and judging every move I made.

    This has changed tremendously and makes a huge difference! I completely forgot to create my own company culture when I started my business. I would never work in a company that disrespects its employees and yet I have done exactly that in my own business.

    Such clarity! Thank you.

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