How to Be Your Own Boss: 7 Secrets to Success
Being your own boss can certainly be a lot of fun (hello, afternoon naps), but it’s definitely not always easy. Over the last four years of self-eymployedom, I’ve learned so much about how to be your own boss. Here, I’m sharing my top seven secrets to success. Basically, all the things I’d wish I’d known when I quit my 9 to 5.
Success means something completely different to all of us. It might mean quitting a 9 to 5 job to travel the world and work from a laptop. Or it might mean putting down roots and starting a family. Defining what success means to you is the first secret to success. Where do you hope to be in your life and career in five years? You don’t have to chase after your friend’s, family’s, or society’s vision of success.
This is your life. You get to decide what success looks like for you.
Do some soul searching and really get clear on your vision. (If you need help with that, I made a defining success workbook filled with thought-provoking questions you can download below!) Once you know where you want to go, it makes the journey of getting there so much easier. With clarity, you are able to take actions and make decisions that align with your vision.
Learning how to be your own boss requires you to learn how to plan like a boss. No one is going to be there to tell you what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. You really have to take charge and plan for success.That means staying organized, planning ahead, setting a schedule and sticking to it, and prioritizing what’s important. You are a business and you need to operate like one.
Say No and Say It Often
I said yes to pretty much any work that came my way when I was first starting out. And as a result, I felt overwhelmed and unfulfilled which was definitely not the way I wanted to feel in my business. In order to change things around, I had to learn to say no to work that didn’t excite me. This was so scary. Saying no to more money sounded crazy to me, but I learned that saying no gives you more time and space in your life to say yes to the things you really love. And so many cool things start to happen when you say no. You’ll discover desires you didn’t even know you had. You’ll feel more empowered and in control of your life and career. And you’ll begin to feel more aligned with your purpose. Make no your new mantra.
Wake Up Early
When you first start working for yourself, it’s difficult to resist the luxury of sleeping in late and rolling out of bed whenever you feel like it. Trust me. I’ve been there. But in order to actually get shit done, you have to wake up early. Your energy and focus are at its highest in the morning. Meaning your productivity is maximized. You’re able to get more done faster and more effectively. (Pro tip: Write your to-do list the night before so you can hit the ground running in the morning.)
Save, Save, Save
Something nobody tells you about working for yourself is that clients will sometimes take forever to pay you. I’m talking several months here. It sucks, but it happens. So it’s so important to have a nice chunk of change saved up so that you can still pay your bills and buy some groceries while you wait for those checks to roll in. Having a healthy savings account will save you so much financial stress and anxiety.
Practice Self Care
When you’re the boss and you actually love what you’re doing, it’s so easy to just work all day long without ever coming up for air. When you’re the boss, there will always be a long list of things that need to get done. You have to learn when to walk away. Self-care is not just an act of love for yourself, it’s also crucial for career success. Taking the time to just chill and have some fun recharges you and you’re able to put more love and energy into your work and thus reach higher and higher levels of success. Make it a habit to check in daily and ask yourself: “what do I need to do today to feel good?” If it’s taking a yoga class. Go take it. If it’s going out for drinks with the girls. Cheers to that. If it’s Netflix and chilling. Then by all means, watch Netflix and chill. Do whatever it is you need to feel good and do it every damn day.
Work Hard and Be Persistent
Last but not least, the biggest secret to succeeding at being your own boss is working your ass off and being persistent. There isn’t a single successful person that got to be where they are without putting in a ton of work. In the words of my girl Beyonce, you need to dream it, work hard, and grind till you own it. No, but seriously. I truly believe that when you put all of your love into something and work hard at it, success is inevitable.
Download your free 7-Page Defining Success Workbook!
It’s filled with thought-provoking questions to help you define what success means to you, not everyone else.