How to Be a Great Boss (To Yourself)

So….I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that one of the biggest reasons why people make the big scary leap and go into business for themselves or become an entrepreneur is because they worked for TERRIBLE bosses at some point! I mean, really….who hasn’t??? The movie Office Space has become a cult classic because virtually everyone can relate to the arrogant, yet clueless, micromanaging boss who has nothing to do all day but hassles us for a TPS Report! 

How to Be a Great Boss (To Yourself)  |  Hello World Paper Co. & Stamps

Well guess what? You are the boss now and you get to call ALL the shots! When you are calling the shots, just make sure your “boss-self” is treating your “employee-self” with the care and respect you need to flourish personally and professionally. If you have been working so hard on your business that you have become complacent about being a good “boss-self”…..then fire your bad “boss-self” check out the good boss position description ideas below. You’d be crazy not to want to work for the guy or gal who does these things!  

1. Create flexibility

Give yourself the gift of flexibility. You don’t have to work in a beige cubicle from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. day after day. Change-up your scenery and work from a coffee shop instead. Not a morning person? Start working later and finish your day in the evening. You can design your day anyway you want.  Duh…because you’re the boss! 

2. Focus on the big picture

Don’t be a micro-manager. Seriously... have you ever heard anyone say they like to be micromanaged? I didn’t think so. I get that you have to focus on the details, but strike a balance between detail work and big-picture vision. 

3. Forgive mistakes

Don’t be so hard on yourself, especially if you are a hard-driving perfectionist. Reality check… you are a mere human, not a superhero! Besides, other people who recognize that they are mere humans will forgive your mistakes too.   

4. Learn from failure

We ALL fail from time-to-time. Business owners and entrepreneurs might even experience failure more because they are usually risk-takers. Just expect it. So pick yourself up when you fall down, bandage up those knees….and grow from it. Your pride will heal up in time. 

5. Offer encouragement and praise

Be kind to yourself. Take time to celebrate small successes. Meet a sales goal in the middle of the afternoon? Take a hot fudge sundae break and savor the moment. Deal with an extremely difficult customer with class and grace? Find some way to reward yourself! These little niceties matter. 

6. Seek out inspiration and creativity

Are you learning and keeping up with trends by reading and attending training or conferences? Are you surrounding yourself with upbeat, positive, motivating friends and mentors who believe in you? You gotta keep your mind fresh and your work will stay fresh!  You could even take an online course in your PJs!  Creative's Academy was an online conference that was a game changer for me!  You can read more about my experience here:  My Big Scary Dreams

7. Make work fun!!!

Work does not and should not be drudgery! Hopefully you are doing something you love and it’s naturally fun! Sometimes we can forget and take work a little too seriously and need to remember most of us are NOT curing cancer! Just make sure you are laughing and enjoying your time with co-workers, vendors and even clients or customers! They need the fun just as much as you do. 

8. Manage time effectively

Effective time managers know they can’t do it all. They ask for help and delegate tasks. There is no shame in that! That’s called working smarter, sister! Not harder. Make a list of the tasks you despise doing and figure out how to off load those items so you have time to do what you love and what you are good at. 

9. Establish healthy boundaries

Are you available to everyone 24/7? If so, stop it!!! It’s emotionally draining to be “on” all the time. Set start and stop times for work and reclaim some time for yourself each day and on the weekend that is work-free.   TIP:  Delete your work email accounts from your phone.  Keep them only on your desktop or laptop so that you cannot receive or respond to emails while watching TV, going out to dinner, or hanging with the family.  I did this about 2 months ago and it was a game changer!

10. Realize you have a personal life

YOU are more than your business. Your business is just one facet of your life. Uh, hello….I’m guessing you have a significant other, a kid or two, and maybe a pet? They need some attention too! And you have to tend to yourself as well. Sleeping, eating right and exercise should not be “treats”…those activities should be part of daily life to help keep you healthy and sane! 

11. Gives raises

Are you paying yourself enough? Really? You haven’t given yourself a raise in three years but your sales have tripled? That’s unacceptable. Anyone else would be out pounding the pavement looking for another job. If you can afford it, pay yourself more. 

12. Take a vacation

Without the guilt trip!!! Come on…you work very hard and last time I checked, life is short. You deserve a vacation! Jump on the internet and start figuring out your destination. Vacations are necessary for recharging your batteries and keeping that momentum going!!!  

If you are going to make the effort to be a business owner or an entrepreneur, take the extra steps needed to be a great boss to yourself. Chances are your business will flourish because you are, in turn, a happy, motivated, energized and creative employee!


Kelly Parker Smith


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