Do you remember that scene in the very first episode of The Office where Michael Scott talks about why he’s such an amazing boss and then shows his World’s Best Boss mug… that he bought for himself? Confession: I am an entrepreneur (technically a solopreneur) and I bought myself a World’s Best Boss mug! It’s my reminder that since I’m the boss, I need to be a good boss to myself.
To figure out how to be a good boss to yourself, think about a good boss that you’ve had. You can find out why they were a great boss. Think about the worst boss you ever had. How would you have preferred them to behave? After five years as an entrepreneur, first as a successful blogger and now as a productivity coach for entrepreneurs, here’s my list of how I can be the world’s best boss to myself:
1. Make an investment in Education and Training
Good bosses care about the long-term growth of your career. A good boss might sponsor you to conferences, provide continuing education funding, or offer coaching one to one to prepare you for promotion.
When you’re the one footing the bill and carving out time for these kinds of things, it can be easy to put them off. You can hurt your business and personal growth in the long-term if you don’t invest in education and training.
2. Mental and Physical Health are the most important priorities
Every job is hard on the body and mind. Good bosses care about their workers’ health. As an entrepreneur, there are many ways you can take care of your physical and mental health.
- You can take 15-minute breaks.
- Get a gym membership.
- You will always be up-to date about doctor and dental appointments.
- Get a challenge to your water consumption.
- Get mental health days off.
You have many choices. Take care of yourself and be a great boss.
3. Recognize accomplishments
Hard work is hard and no one appreciates it. When you work for yourself, you take on the role of the hard worker and the “appreciator”.
Write down some of the wins for each week at the end. You can celebrate your achievement when you achieve your goals by taking a special trip to a restaurant or going on a memorable outing.
4. Have fun at work
- Listen to music whenever you can
- Taco Tuesday
- Decorate for Christmas in the Office
- Pajama day (or a dressy day if you’re usually in your PJs)
- For ideas sharing, meet up with your friends at lunch in the field
You can make work feel more fun by adding some holiday spirit to your day.
5. Setting clear goals
It’s frustrating to work hard and feel like you’re not getting anywhere — or to have no clue what you’re working toward. The boss is responsible for making sure everyone knows the end goal and keeping track of progress.
You can easily do this by setting clear goals — which means that you will clearly know when you’ve achieved your goal. Get 5 clients = clear. Increase your client base = clear. Create a chart and track your progress visually to earn bonus points
6. Be motivated
Good bosses can inspire their staff, even when they are not enjoying the job. Your thoughts can make you feel motivated.
It is important to consider why each task should be included in your daily schedule. What will you do to get closer towards your goals? What will you gain from completing the task? When you know why something is important, you’ll be more motivated to do it.
7. Make a difference
It’s easy to constantly flip-flop and try new methods when you’re a small business. But unless you stick with each method long enough to fully understand it and see if it works, you’re just spinning your wheels.
You could spend all your time building an email list, until you learn about incredible results that someone is seeing on Instagram. So you dive into Instagram until you hear about another person’s success on LinkedIn.
Good bosses are decisive. They decide what needs to be done and how it’s going to be done and then sticks with it until it’s time to reevaluate.
Be decisive. Pick your method. Stick with it until there is enough data for you to assess and take your next step.
8. Welcoming to new ideas and creativity
As a boss, if you aren’t open to new ideas, your employees will get the hint and stop suggesting them. The end of creativity is the beginning. As an entrepreneur, you can open yourself up to fresh ideas by allowing time for brainstorming without any filter. You should let your ideas be outside the box. A lot of them won’t be worth pursuing, but your golden idea will only emerge when you are willing to get creative.
9. Give Time “Off the Clock”
Have you ever had a boss that calls or texts you when you’re not working? It’s hard to relax when you can’t leave work at work and get some proper downtime. Don’t be that guy.
Take some time for yourself. When you are done working, shut down your office and take a break from your cell phone. If you’re a solopreneur, you may feel the need to always be reachable. It’s easy to burn out if you don’t have enough time for work. Be a good boss and “clock out” for a bit.
When you’re an entrepreneur it’s easy to unintentionally be a crappy boss to yourself. But with a little intention, and maybe a new World’s Best Boss mug, you can be a great boss and propel your business to higher success.