Make sure that you are your best boss ever

Many of us started our businesses because we wanted something better when it came to work…so what are you doing to make sure this is the best job you’ve ever had?

min read

Let’s do business better

Why did you start your business?

For most of us, I think it boils down to this: We started our businesses because we wanted to do things better. Whether that’s to have a better work-personal life balance, to foster a better working environment, to create something in a better way, to build something better for the world. We sought something better for ourselves, so we did it ourselves.

So why do we as business-owners often treat ourselves badly as employees?

Chatting with some of my favourite creative business pals, it turns out we all have similar thoughts around the guilt of taking time off. May in the UK always observes 2 bank holidays, which means 3-day weekends…and we were a little anxious about losing 2 days of work-time. I had to stop us mid-sentence and say “No! We are not wishing our bank holiday away. We don’t do that!”

Employee: Yay, bank holiday! Time off for me!
Boss: Oh no, bank holiday. Less work is being done.

We are both employee and boss. But do we really want to be that boss? The one we left corporate because of. The one who made us work twice as hard to ‘make up for’ an entitled day off? The one who taught us what not to do?

Sometimes, I am that boss…without even realising it.

Have you ever taken on extra work, even though you’re fully booked and then feel bad because you’re not quick enough to finish it all in your regular working hours? How about feeling guilty for taking a sick day? What about taking on additional roles outside of your wheelhouse and beating yourself up for not being perfect at it? Or eating your lunch at your desk while still answering emails that could wait but you feel like you have to be working every single second because people are watching and you’ll be fired fail?

Sound familiar? You might be that boss sometimes too.

It’s so easy to slip into this negative thought pattern because that is likely what we’ve experienced in the workplace before. We’re not simply running our own businesses — we’re also unlearning bad business practises and redefining what good business looks like for us. It’ll be different for every single one of us. And that’s exactly how it should be.

So, let’s reframe things right now.

I want you to think about what the best job looks like to you. That could be job tasks, workplace environment, career benefits — write that list. Why not send me your list! I’d genuinely love to see what your best job looks like for you.

Here’s what’s on my best job ever list:

  • Flexible working hours and space — If the job gets done, it could be done from the office, home, beside a pool in Barcelona
  • A budget for training/creative research days —To regularly encourage and fuel skill development
  • Longer project timelines —To allow for deeper creative exploration, buffers for unforeseeables, and debriefing between projects
  • Bringing more joy into work — Celebrate events, the odd coffee or cake treats, and creative playtime

When you have your list, you can see which you’re doing already and which you could do better going forward. Congrats! You’ve got the starts of an action plan to make your business the best job you’ve ever had.

After all, we started this because we wanted something better, so let’s be kinder to ourselves, be better bosses for ourselves, and prove that business can be done better for everyone.