We hear so much of it these days. Fire your Boss. Be Your Own Boss. Never let anyone fire you again. Not too many decades ago, people were talking about getting a good job in a good company. Climb the corporate ladder. Behave yourself, keep your nose clean and you’ll do very well. Work long and hard and you’ll be able to retire comfortably on a nice pension. That was then. Now, more and more people think actively about starting some kind of business which they imagine will bring them lots of money. Those that actually think, that is. Not counting those who fantasize. Yes, be your own Boss. All you’d need then are a ton of people you can surely convince to become your customers.
Does that sound incredible to you? It certainly does to me! All you would ever achieve by being your own Boss would be to change a discrete, identifiable, predictable, frail human being with a greater monstrosity – the faceless crowd. We need to get rid of this “Be Your Own Boss” kind of thinking.
Two things I want to talk about here. The first is living a life filled with gratefulness. Enough people have said that gratitude is the least deeply felt of all human emotions. No wonder people feel so stressed, so burned out! It’s because so many people have a condition called SAD – Severe Appreciation Deficit. When we learn, yes, learn, to always be looking for how we can have and express appreciation and gratefulness, I think we would all be living much more fruitful and happier lives. That ought to happen whether we run our own businesses or whether we are stewards for someone else’s. Would people around you describe you as a happy person? Could that attribution be ascribed to the degrees of appreciation and gratitude you manifest on a daily basis?
Second, we need to get out of this employer/employee/buyer/vendor mindset. None of us ought to think of ourselves as any of those. We ought instead to be thinking of ourselves as value-creating and value-enhancing partners. Partners aren’t antagonistic. Partners don’t need to be on their guard against each other all the time. Partners are covenantal, not contractual. They seek the greatest good for each other, knowing full well that the other partner would do the same for them. At the same time, their self-worth does not depend on the amount of esteem accorded them by their partner, or by anyone else, for that matter. Please understand that you can never be a partner if you are not already a fruitful, value-creating and value-enhancing entity by yourself. Partners don’t need each other, in one sense of the word. They choose each other because they see potential for greater achievement as a result of their partnership. Make things happen and make things better to a far greater degree than they could on their own.
Still want to be your own Boss? Got what it takes?