A note from Jackie: I’m delighted to feature this guest post from LA-based writer and SEO professional Megan Ritter. Check out her fabulous infographic here!
If you’re reading this article, you might be one of those people who is working for someone else, working at their appointed hours and meeting their deadlines. Have you ever considered becoming your own boss? There’s a way to break away from such a routine and start calling your own shots—14.4 million Americans are doing that as of 2014.
Let’s Get Down To Business
Being first in and the last out will help you go a long way towards becoming your own boss. Taking initiative is one of the most sought-after traits that an employer looks for in an employee. When you finally reach autonomy in the business world, you’ll start to dictate your own hours—so in order to get a jump on the competition, you have to make a plan to be there first and go out last.
A lot of employees go to work to collect their paycheck while doing the bare minimum. Being your own boss requires lots of effort and going beyond what your job description is, adding value to you as a worker. Having a strong will to succeed will make or break your business autonomy plan. Some of the most successful people became their own boss early on, but it’s never too late to do that.
Remember the saying “cleanliness is next to godliness”? You might want to keep your desk clean because it will show what’s going on in your mind—an organized person is seen to be more in control than one who isn’t as clean. If you keep your desk clean as an employee, becoming your own boss is right up your alley—you’ll be seen as someone with clear goals in mind as opposed to ones that have no definite end or result.
The Long And Short Of It
As an employee, one tends to think about the here and now—but as an employer, you will have to think of what will become. Businesses with longevity are becoming rarer nowadays, and if you want to establish a business with a long lasting name, you will have to think down the road. Some questions you might want to answer are what will you be doing in five years as opposed to five days.
More Money, Less Problems?
Managing your own money is a difficult task as an employee, but it will be mandatory when you become your own boss. Food, clothing and shelter should take priority over the latest iPhone or tickets to see your favorite band play—those are extras you can acquire later on. Bosses are also in charge of handling the financial data so that they can make acquisitions (and cuts) to make sure the checkbook stays in the black.
The People’s Champ
Talking to people is essential if you want to be your own boss. It becomes even more essential if you’re a solopreneur, or someone who is the business. This covers several fields such as writing, finance, web design—the list goes on. You need to show mastery of your niche and the products and services you will be supplying from that niche. If you’re one of those people who shuts themselves in after work, perhaps being your own boss is not up your alley.
Hello, I’m (Insert Name Here)
You will also have to network if you’re your own boss, as you will need to find sources of revenue. If you know key figures in your industry, get to know them as they will be the key to find customers and investors for your products and services. Although this can be done at the click of a button, you’ll have to venture beyond social media and meet these people in person, perhaps at conventions or seminars pertaining to your industry.
You As Your Center
Social media has allowed people to interact with as many people as possible with minimal effort. For business purposes, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort. Posting content that will generate discussions, likes and shares and self-promoting who you are and what you do via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media sites will give you the exposure that you need to as many people as you want.
The Real Boss
Although you’re not reporting to someone anymore, you do have a duty to your customers. Customers in the past may have been numbers and figures, but the Internet has allowed customers to assert themselves as people with complex needs. If you can supply any one of those needs, they will flock to you for the solution. If you do a good job at that, you will find them coming back—and sometimes, they may even bring some friends along for the ride.
The road to becoming your own boss is one filled with a lot of challenges, but has high rewards. You can set the pace, you can set the deadlines, and you control the action. If you portray yourself as a self-starting, organized, and effective self-promoter who enjoys the company of others, you’ll find that the path to becoming your own boss isn’t as bumpy as it used to be.
Megan Ritter is a writer/SEO professional based in Los Angeles, CA.