EP 71: Ten Things No One Told You About Being Your Own BossOct 27, 2022
I came out of college with high expectations of what the working world would look like. I'll admit it...I somewhat thought it would be all sparkly and filled with exciting work trips, amazing high heeled shoes and outfits to wear, and happy hours filled with co-workers and cosmopolitans. Until my manager at the consulting firm sincerely got upset with me over taking a day off work to attend a funeral for someone who wasn't an immediate family member.
I remember thinking "you've got to be kidding me here. I have personal days off but I'm not really expected to take them?
When I did finally quit that role, I remember being on the plane back to Atlanta from Denver Colorado (where my last consultant project was based) dreaming of being my own boss. In my head the working world was now more like Carrie's world from the original "Sex in the City" HBO series. Days filled with a few hours of work, even better shopping sprees because the clothes didn't need to be 'corporate professional' and my shoes no longer needed to be the closed toed grandma shoes that the corporate world required at the time.
I honestly went into Real Estate beacuse3 I had no clue what else to do, and knew that I did need to help pay the mortgage on the house that Jeff (my husband) and I had recently purchased. So the transition into entrepreneur world wasn't a hard one for me. I naturally have lots of drive and ambition.
I do admit though that there were a few things I wish I had known in advance about being your own boss. Since there's no onboarding manual for going into business for yourself, I'll let you consider this the girlfriends guide to starting a business. The real deal of it you could say.
There are no set promotion timelines
Move over corporate ladder to climb, you've got to make your own. Only you know when you've achieved the "next step" of success in your biz and only you can and will congratulation yourself. The good news is that only you can tell yourself to not work on the next major holiday and all vacation times off days are approved!
You might gain a pound or 10
I cringe to say this, but the kitchen is right down the hall. Moving out of an office can mean that the Twix bar is calling your name when you're sitting at your desk reading email and oh boy is it tempting. Not having office space to walk around in all day means your 10,000 steps are harder to achieve. Get a good workout schedule going now friend before your new business adventure steps it up a notch and takes off. You'll thank me later.
It's lonely at the top
There's something warm and fuzzy about going into an office everyday. The break room, the cupcakes, the friends dropping by your desk. When you start your own business you may find yourself missing some of that. I recommend making a concentrated effort to add lunch with girlfriends into your calendar on the regular. Or schedule a reminder to call your bestie and check in. It seriously does help.
You realize that it's not as flexible as you imagined
Yes, you dreamed of morning walks through the park with your toddler and early evenings off to sit and have a glass of wine with your partner. Those are the perks of owning the biz, right? The reality is your mind never shuts off, you're always running a million miles a minute to get things handled and you can end up frazzled until you find a good rhythm to be in.
Cue the Yoga pants and no bra!
Seriously, you bought the yoga pants for the comfort and not for working out (see item #2 above!) and found yourself occasionally not even bothering with the bra. The comfier the better right? It may work for some but for me I find that when I show up sloppy to work, it resonates in my business as well. There's just something magical about a fresh hair color or new lipstick to make a girl be at her best. No? Just me? That's fine. You do you boo.
Forgetting about Uncle Sam will kick you in the butt
Gone are the days of automatically deposited paychecks on a set schedule where taxes were taken out for you. Get yourself a good CPA and a good system for taking out your own taxes or you'll find yourself in a situation every April that requires a good cry. And I mean the ugly cry too. Not the pretty kind .
You Suck At Some Things, Don't You?
There's literally no faster way to discover what your strengths and weakness are than starting your own business. I used to believe that I was super organized and loved systems. Turns out I love to look at the systems, but follow them? I'm a natural disaster there. In fact, I live in a state of chaos. But I am amazing at other things. Unfortunately they all have to be done to move the needle forward and that's when you start to hire to your weaknesses. Hire faster than you think you need to-your Profit and Loss statement most likely needs it.
ADD is for real
The movie "UP" is one of our favorites here in the Bolt household. I can't help but laugh to myself every time i hear the dog yell 'Squirrel!" in his head. That's me friend. Always finding ways to squirrel when I need to be focused. Suddenly the laundry (my most dreaded chore) is calling my name when it comes times to write a podcast episode shownotes piece.
Accountability is a Dirty Word
There I said it. Accountability. Grab a business coach and get comfy on her couch because someone has to ask you to keep up with things. Not hitting your goals? It's all on you my friends. That's because you're the boss.
Budgeting takes on a whole new meaning
"I'll write that off" doesn't literally mean you don't pay for a business expense. That credit card bill will still come due every month. One of the least sexy parts of your biz is learning to budget but boy does it have to be done.
Here's My Final Thoughts On Things
You're going to want to quit at least twice a month. Maybe more, especially in the first year when it's hardest. This is a normal reaction, and I promise you it gets better! Keeping pushing forward and start creating systems around what you do. You'll see it get easier and easier.
And oh boy is it so worth the work.