scream on the inside when people say that to me! It’s not that I don’t think I am lucky – I have a lovely family, a nice home in a great city and a business that I am proud of, but I don’t know if that’s down to luck or not?
I love my job – a lot! But sometimes running your own show is tricky…and not down to luck at all! Yes, working for yourself is cool! Calling the shots is cool. Employing people to help you is cool. Doing fun and creative projects is cool.
But, if you are thinking about going it alone, I think you should know about some of the other stuff that happens every day, not just to me, but to all those “lucky” small business owners.
You call the shots!
But remember that also means that you’ve also got to take the hits. Client not happy about something your team created? It’s up to you to fix it.
The buck stops!
And you’re going to feel stress, pressure, anxiety, and experience random bouts of crying every now and again because the buck really does go no further down the line than you! Scary stuff!
Roll with the punches!
But try not to do any punching. There’s going to be a lot of things that are out of your control. And you’re not going to like it one bit. So wind your neck in and practice the art of breathing. (Even though you won’t want to because your life; and your sanity; and your livelihood; and your everything depends on it and why can’t everything just go according to plan?).
Learn how to be tough.
Deadlines are no longer just a date; they are now your payday! And if other people aren’t meeting them–like your employees, your contractors, or whoever–you can’t just be nice and say “It’s okay!”, because it’s not!
Brush up on your sums!
Getting to grips with the P&L is like going back to school. You might be crazy-busy – but are you making any money?Or are you spending more than you’re making? And can you clearly see that? Don’t forget that if it’s YOUR show – it’s also your earnings that get the chop first!
Accept that your friends will think you never do anything.
They’ll all think that you have all the time in the world to do stuff for them – while they are always too busy to help you… because you’re the “lucky” one who’s their own boss! Right!
Learn to hate yourself.
You’ll hate that you can’t do enough – faster, better, smarter. You’ll hate that you can’t ever get totally away from your work and you’ll constantly question your work/life balance. Most of all you will hate that you love it!
Face up to the fact that you can’t do it all – and if you try, you are likely to kill yourself. There are never enough hours in the day to do everything – so take the brave step and hire someone to do stuff for you … or even WITH you!
Slave to email.
Face it! You will never, ever, ever be able to switch your phone off ever again!
Remember the days of office romance and the harmless flirting? Not a chance now you are the boss!
You have to make decisions.
Even if they are hard ones! You’re going to have to make a lot of decisions every day, and if you can’t decide what to do, make a decision anyway and go with it. Be prepared to accept that you made some bad ones too!
Celebrate success (if you remember!).
You’ll be amazed at how quickly you reach your first set of goals – and getting to the second lot seems a breeze too. The problem is that you are constantly going to be raising the bar and as a result you’ll forget to celebrate what you have achieved, and beat yourself up instead when things don’t always go to plan!
People want a piece of you.
Because you are “lucky” and you are the boss of your own company, and you can leave early – you get flooded with requests for your time and for a while you are really flattered… and then you realise that you’re running out of time to do the things that make you money – huh?
And finally… Am I doing the right thing?
Something you’ll ask yourself on a daily basis, and something that I still don’t know the answer to.