Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. This is the final entry in a five-part series where I'm sharing what it's really like to be a small business owner and if that path is right for you. So many of you want to start your own business someday and it's important that you have a realistic picture of what that entails. In today's entry, I'm sharing what it's like to have no "boss" at work. Sounds great, doesn't it? It is if you're independent-minded! But the lack of a boss and the lack of a clear "to do list" at work certainly isn't for everyone.
Starting a new business doesn't come with a checklist, a manual, or a guide and what you do day-to-day can vary greatly. This is quite unlike any other position, where your job duties are clearly spelled out in your job description and your goals or benchmarks are clearly set forth in your performance reviews. If you want a promotion to the next level, you can go to your boss or the human resources department and they'll usually be able to give you a piece of paper with the requisite years of experience and other required skills for a promotion. A lot of aspiring business owners grow up in this corporate environment and so they ask me where they can find the manual on starting a business. They want a checklist with 100 "to do list" items and they want to know that if they check off all 100 items, they'll have a successful business. Oh my friend, you need to leave that corporate mentality behind! Even if there was a checklist with 100 items, and even if you tackled all 100 items with gumption, there is zero guarantee you'll have a successful business waiting for you at the end. That can be daunting for someone who is very accustomed to having clearly spelled out expectations, goals, and functions.
Here's the thing - while people often complain about their bosses, most people actually need a boss. They flail if no one tells them what projects need to be worked on. They stumble if there's no one above them to turn to for advice and guidance when stuck on a project. They get overwhelmed on how to prioritize tasks if no one is there to prioritize things for them. When you have no boss, you need to make all of the decisions yourself. You need to come up with the projects. You need to prioritize what's important and what can wait. And you won't have a more experienced boss to turn to when you're stuck (side note: but you can find mentors and other entrepreneurs to network with who can identify with you).
So get honest with yourself and how you function at work. Maybe being boss-less is actually not as appealing as it sounds. Maybe it's actually kind of nice to have someone sitting on the sidelines telling you what to do everyday. Maybe? Think about it and be honest with yourself because running a business is hard and it's totally okay if you don't think you are cut out for it. It's better to know that now (and save yourself a lot of time, money, and heartache) then to discover it later on.
I hope this real talk has been helpful. If you haven't read the other entries in this series, check them out! It's so important to get clear on this stuff before you invest a lot of time and money into your business idea.
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P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!