10 Tips on How to Be Your Own Boss

Working for yourself comes with plenty of benefits, one of which is working without having a boss breathing down your neck and stressing you out. However, what many people who go into business for themselves don’t realize is that without a boss nagging them it’s hard to stay focused and do the work that must be done. However, by following these tips you can keep on target and become the best boss you ever had.

1. Research Your Field

Don’t jump into self-employment completely blind, you need to know more about your field in order to keep your ideas fresh and to stay up to date with new innovations. Learn more about some of the obstacles people in your field must overcome and get some information about how to stay successful.

2. Create a Work Schedule

If you run your own business or storefront you likely have set hours of operation, but even if you don’t you should consider setting a work schedule for yourself. Working for yourself allows you to have the luxury to set whatever type of schedule you like, so if you like to sleep in or work only mornings you can do so. However, once you set your schedule you should stick to it and avoid the temptation to start work late or stop working early.

3. Set Goals

When you work for someone else you are usually given tasks to complete and goals to meet, so when you become your own boss you need to be sure to do the same thing. You should make a list of goals to accomplish each day and once you get in the habit of meeting each goal every work day, you should find ways to add new goals and accomplishments to your daily work load. You should also have long-term goals, not only for your business but for your own career.

4. Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done

A good boss knows when to show workers a token of appreciation, so when you accomplish big goals or do a particularly good job, don’t be afraid to reward yourself. Whether it’s treating yourself to a nice lunch or just buying a little something to liven up your work space, associating positive reinforcement with completing personal goals is a good way to ensure you keep trying to accomplish your goals.

5. Eliminate Distractions

It can be hard to goof off at work when the boss is constantly watching, but when you are your own boss, it can be easier to become distracted. If you work from home you should consider setting up a work-only space and keeping it free of time wasters like a TV, magazines or your kids. If you can afford to do so, consider renting some office space to work in or set up a store front for your business.

6. Evaluate Your Progress

The benefit of having a boss is having someone to evaluate your progress as a worker on an annual basis. When you are your own boss, you have to practice the art of self-evaluation to make sure you are properly growing as a worker. This means looking both at the things you are doing that are working and the areas where you might need to improve. Brainstorm a few tangible ides for how you can improve upon your faults and better work towards your goals.

7. Dress for Success

Working for yourself can mean the ability to work in your underwear, but ask yourself how efficient you really are when you’re lounging around in your undies. Treat each work day like normal and do all of the things you would normally do before commuting to a job. Depending on your line of work you may not need to wear full business attire, but even jeans and a T-shirt will make you feel ready to work more than wearing your pajamas.

8. Schedule Breaks

You shouldn’t work yourself to death, so be sure to break up your work day with a break here or there. Without a boss waiting for you to get back from lunch, it can often be tempting to waste a few hours before returning to work. Plan out a reasonable break schedule and stick to it.

9. Partner Up

There is strength in numbers, so don’t be afraid to turn your solo act into a duet. By adding another person to your business you have someone else to help take on tasks and to help keep you on task. You will find you work harder when you have someone else that is relying on you.

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Training

You might be skilled in a particular field but that doesn’t necessarily make you good at running your own company in that field. Consider going back to school or earning an online MBA to help you learn about good business practices and the basics of entrepreneurship.

These are only a few ways to stay motivated, focused and hard working when working for yourself, but the important thing to remember is that you get back what you put in when you work for yourself. In a big company the money you help the company make doesn’t always come back to you. When you work for yourself, the harder you work, the more money you can earn.

This article was written by Tim Grayling on behalf of OnlineMBA.com, which is a site that serves as an online resource for those seeking the best online MBA.

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Related Articles:

5 Ways To Make Working From Home Work For You

9 Steps to Work Less and Do More


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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