There’s definitely a glamorous edge to being the boss, from getting to make your vision into a reality, to not having to answer to someone above you every single day, to other perks like making your own hours and travel and possibly even notoriety. But I don’t tell them that it’s amazing and the best thing ever and everyone should do it.
Because that’s not true. What I say is, “Do it only if it is the thing you must do.” If entrepreneurship is calling your name so loudly that you can’t hear your office mate complaining about the dress code again, then maybe.
If you have an idea for a business that keeps you up at night, then probably. If you’re willing to live and breathe your goals, including the less fun tasks, in order to make it work, then I’d say, yes, you’re ready to step out on your own. That’s what it will take, all you have. Here are 12 signs you were born to be the boss:
1. You live on your own terms.
Sometime in junior high or high school, I began saying, “I wrote the book,” to describe how I liked not to follow a predetermined way of doing something but to discover the path on my own. Do you also prefer to create your own path rather than follow one?
2. You live by higher standards.
You hold not only yourself but also those around you to a higher standard. You believe everyone should work harder and smarter, and generally do better in every aspect of their lives.
3. You focus on the future.
Sure, there’s something to be said for living in the moment, but entrepreneurs know that time is an investment. What you spend time on now will reap rewards (or, if done poorly, will cause problems) in the future. You look forward to aging because you’ll be wiser, more experienced and more successful. You believe life is meant to keep getting better.
4. You’re a do-er.
It actually insults me when people call me a dreamer. I was a dreamer at 15, when I had the ability to imagine the future I wanted for myself without much of the ability to do anything about it. Entrepreneurs know that dreaming is just step one of the doing process, and we live to do.
5. You’re a problem solver.
When you hit a wall, you get excited by the process of finding a way around it. Whenever something falls apart at work, I find myself saying, “Great, now we get to create something better.”
6. You see the bigger picture.
You know it’s not about you and your work and your ideas and your success. It’s about what you’re creating, how it works, who it helps, and its success.
7. You have multiple energy sources.
When people ask what I do for fun, I’m tempted to reply, “work.” It’s the honest truth. When I get through one set of work tasks and my day is ending, I move onto planning for my new business opening later this year, or writing about work, or going to a work-related social event. If you like having your hands in several honey pots, you know what I’m talking about.
8. You know the importance of being your best self.
Whether it's 6 a.m. pilates classes, reading the latest book on the strengths of being an introvert, or learning new memory tricks to improve your name-recall, you do whatever it takes, all the time, to be at the top of your game.
9. You’re a constant student.
There’s always something to learn. In the music business, I follow sources like Music Row and Billboard, keep up with who is touring and how they’re selling, who is in the studio and what they’re creating, who is winning the awards and who makes up their teams, how Spotify playlists are changing the game, and so on. If you think you know it all, you know very little.
10. You’re willing to wear all the hats.
No entrepreneur starts out with a full team of support, people to delegate all the unattractive tasks to. You are your team. Be ready to do the customer service, the bookkeeping, design and content writing, tedious research, and so on. Translation: whatever it takes.
11. You don’t shy away from making decisions.
You know how much time is appropriate for making a particular decision, and then once the decision is made, you move on to the next thing rather than questioning your choice. Boom, done.
12. You can’t imagine doing anything else.
The long days, the fluctuating income, the constant and unpredictable challenges are no match for the drive you have to keep going. You know without a doubt this is what you were meant to do. Plan B? No, thank you.
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