What’s it really like being your own boss? Well it’s not all sunshine and roses. Lord I wish it were. There are good aspects, ad aspects and everything in between. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
Starting a business is a dream that a lot of you who read my blog have. My guess is you’ve spent years working at companies where you have watched tragically inept people make decisions that affect your job, your health and your livelihood.
Oh I’ve been there!
I was completely miserable. Constantly biting my tongue as one bad decision was made on the heals of another.
I knew I wanted something different. I wanted to work on something I found fulfilling and I wanted to be the one who made the decisions that fit me, my family, my health and my livelihood.
The Reality of Being Your Own Boss
Being your own boss is not always easy. In fact, it can be one of the most challenging and stressful experiences you’ll ever have. When you’re your own boss, you’re responsible for everything – there’s no one to delegate tasks to or make tough decisions for you. This means that you’ll often find yourself working longer hours than you would at a traditional job. You’ll need to put in the extra time and effort to make your business a success.
Difficult decisions come with the entrepreneurial territory, and it’s up to you, and only you, to make the right choices for your business. This can be stressful, as you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each decision and make the best choice for your company. However, despite the pain in the butt moments, being your own boss can also be the best job ever. Unless you have my boss – she’s a real handful at times (insert smirk here)
So how do we prevent or at least mitigate the stress of being the boss? Here are a few tips to help you lower your stress and calmly move forward with your business.
10 Stress-Reducing Tips for Successfully Managing Your Own Business
- Set clear goals and priorities for yourself. Every year I do a video on my YouTube channel discussing my goals. This year I decided to document them here on the blog instead. Goals give you a clear direction for the year. It allows me to step back when I’m faced with a choice and ask myself if this decision aligns with my goals. If the answer is no, it’s an easy choice to make.
- Create a structured schedule and stick to it. I struggle with this a lot when it comes to my business, but there are a few things I do on schedule that helps me reduce stress. Right away in the AM is my prime time (morning person y’all) so I wake up and answered comments on YouTube, email, and set my structure for the day. Before bed I edit video, upload and prepare for what I need to do tomorrow. Having those bookends of scheduled tasks seems to help my calm down and be less stressed. Since my days can go off the rails in between those it helps.
- Take breaks when you need them. This is so hard because if you’re not working, you’re not making money when you’re self employed. But it’s important. Too many entrepreneurs burn out and give up. Take time to eat with your family. Watch a movie once in awhile. Go on vacation. I promise the world won’t end.
- Delegate tasks when possible. I know I said above you have no one to help, but your family can offer assistance around the house, you can even conscript them to do tasks around the shop/office that don’t require your special expertise. You might have to train them but let’s face it if you hired someone you’d have to train them too.
- Practice good time management skills. This goes hand in hand with #2 but in some ways it’s different. Like when I’m waiting for a piece to dry, I try to go do something else like take pictures for Etsy or write a blog post like this one.
- Stay organized and keep your workspace clean and clutter-free. Okay, I know I don’t do this but I’ve been told by experts that it can help. The times that I have organized my space (like when I put up the peg board and I could find everything) it did cut down on my stress. I know it’s hard and I’m going to work on it with you. We’ve got this!
- Take care of your physical and mental health. If you watch the channel you hear me all the time saying I have a Dr. apt. I get all my shots and physicals. I also speak to a mental health professional on a regular basis. It helps right some wrong thinking especially in the digital age where manners no longer have a place.
- Don’t be afraid to say no to things that don’t align with your goals or that you don’t have the time or energy for. I know it’s hard. No is a complete sentence though. You don’t have to explain why. I say no and people look at me expectantly as if I should add to that. I let the moment be uncomfortable. Or sometimes I add, “Thank you.” If they say why; I just say no and give them ‘the look.’
- Seek support from friends, family, or a mentor. If you just need to vent to someone make sure you preface what you say with, “I don’t want you to fix this. I just need you to listen.” It’s been a game changer for me and my family in dealing with self-employment.
- Set boundaries between your work and personal life. Yeah, this is so hard. Your office is at home. You are at home. Why can’t you be available 24/7. Trust me this is one of the hardest parts to do. They’re all hard but boundaries are tough. My husband had to set the boundaries that clients are not allow to ring the doorbell at the house. When I’m home and he’s not I don’t want to drop everything to be his admin and deal with a client.
Okay, this one might seem a little out there but I’m neurodivergent (AKA – ADHD) and this has helped me a lot with stress management. It’s an app called Rythmic. No I’m not sponsored and it’s a free app. It moved your music from one ear to the other also known as bilateral stimulation. I told you it was out there and the sound of your favorite song bouncing back and forth in your brain takes some getting used to. It seems to help me so I’m sharing it for what it’s worth.
I’m sure there’s a ton more that I forgot. But I hope that you found the tips and strategies provided helpful for managing the stress of being your own boss. The reality of being the boss is so much different from what I envisioned. In some ways it’s better (there’s no drama in my office), but in other ways it’s really tough (when it all goes wrong it’s on me). The only way to learn is to do it. Jump in and figure it out. Wishing you the best of luck in your entrepreneurial journey!
If you found these tips helpful, be sure to share this post with others who might benefit from these strategies for managing the stress of being their own boss. If your journey is taking you to online selling don’t forget to check out some of my other business posts!