Running your own business takes leadership. And just face facts now, you are your own boss and you’re a terrible employee. I mean it. I’ve wanted to fire myself many a time…but who would take out the trash when my booty is collecting unemployment? (That’s another joke, you cannot claim unemployment through your own company. Uncle Sam frowns on that, big time.)
For many new entrepreneurs it can be difficult to make the switch from employee to manager or boss, especially when there is whopping one on the payroll (or the IOU list). There are ways that you can prepare yourself for this transition. For people who have built-in leadership skills this transition may be easier, but anyone with the proper drive and motivation can develop leadership skills.
Learn how to listen.
So now, I don’t recommend having a full-on audible discussion with yourself. That may make others worry. And definitely do NOT argue with yourself, they’ll Baker Act you in Florida. (Don’t ask how I know this…)
A good boss knows how to listen to their employees and how to recognize good ideas. This goes for the solopreneur too. Follow a plan for harnessing and cultivating ideas. For many aspiring entrepreneurs, the concept of being a good listener is hard to contemplate. Learning how to listen probably represents one of the most difficult aspects of turning yourself into a good boss.
Invite creative thinking…and NEVER criticize the ideas
Another trait of a good boss is the ability to invite others to share their ideas with you. You will want to create an atmosphere where your employees will want to share their ideas with you on a regular basis. Great ideas drive businesses forward.
Learn to delegate
Maintaining control of a company can also mean delegating certain responsibilities to others and good bosses know how to do so successfully. Obviously if you’re a one person show, this is outsourcing. Do it. Invest your time in doing your highest paid work.
Take downtime to reflect
The responsibility of an employee to learn from their mistakes is not as great as the responsibility of the boss to do so. It is important for any boss to take the appropriate amount of time to stop, think and reflect upon what they have learned. Only through reflection can you truly learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future.
Expect respect, and show it
Bosses require respect. When making the transition from employee to boss it is important to expect respect from your subordinates.
While you should be prepared to expect respect from your employees, it is also vital that you be prepared to earn this respect. This is accomplished through honesty, fairness and by giving respect.