Who’s The Boss (Anyways)?

Tired of having a boss? Quit and start your own business, right?

Sounds great! No one to answer to but yourself. Call you own shots. Master of your destiny. Top dog. Ah, life will be great….

Unfortunately, being your own boss is a not a good reason to go into business, especially if it’s the main or only reason. It’s an especially bad idea if you can’t work for someone else (anti-social, argumentative, can’t take criticism, etc.) because you need those skills in business.

Assuming that: you are actually trying build a business; you are ethical; and “you” are filling the top role (CEO, president, etc.) there are still people and organizations you will have to answer to.

Anyone Who Invested In Your Company
Shareholders, friends, family and lending institutions: they are all expecting you to turn their investments into gold or as a minimum return of capital plus interest. You have a moral obligation to do your best to make it happen. After all, you were happy to take the money and make the promise (even if the fine print has a disclaimer).

Board of Directors
The board of directors is appointed/elected by the shareholders to represent their interests and to guide the company’s management. If the Board is you, you still must keep this role separate from being the boss.

The Government
Let’s face it, don’t submit your taxes, sales taxes or payroll taxes and the top dog will have some explaining to do. If you are publicly traded there are extensive reporting obligations. Break a law and you are in trouble. You can’t mess with this one, they make the rules.

Customers
This is big and also somewhat out of your control. You can only control your side of the equation, not what the customer thinks or communicates to others. Loyal customers must be earned and that means making a promise and exceeding it, consistently. No customers and you have no business.

Suppliers
Your suppliers will expect things from you (money, reporting, sales, etc.). If you have sub-contracted any of your core business functions this is even more true.

Employees
Yes, they technically work for you. But you have obligations too. Employees have rights, you must pay them, motivate them and give them opportunities or they will move on quickly, in short you must be a good boss. Then there are benefits and Workers Compensation Board payments and reporting.

Your Family
You will need their support and in the process of building your business, you must never lose sight of their importance (do so at your own peril) to your own long term happiness.

The Business Itself
The business will make demands of you. When things do not go perfectly you will have stress. When they go extremely well you will be challenged to find life balance. Failing at business can be very hard on people.

Conclusion
At the end of the day you are trading a job with a well defined boss for being the boss of your own business. But ultimately, you still have obligations to others and are trying to please someone else… a boss of a different sort.

To successfully make it through this journey you need so much more than just a desire to be free from the boss.

By | 2017-04-03T13:22:08+00:00 July 21st, 2008|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog|

About the Author:

Doug Wagner is an entrepreneur, President and Co-founder of Sunwapta Solutions. Sunwapta's mission is to help businesses transform from surviving to thriving, sustainable growth. From strategy to implementation, this means marketing, sales, managing your brand and delivering consistent value. Get more clients and keep them.