It's Time: The Signs You're Ready To Be Your Own Boss

by Paul Hudson

All people want to be on their own and to be their own bosses. That is, until they actually are on their own. It’s amazing the difference between what being your own boss actually means and what the majority of people believe it to mean.

Being your own boss is great because you can pick your own work hours -- any 20 hours out of the day you wish. The responsibility that rests on your shoulders is immense. When good things happen, you’re excited. When you hit a slump, which is inevitable, you feel bummed and, more than likely, stressed. If you succeed, it’s all you’re doing, but so it is if you fail.

Going out on your own is not a decision that should be made on a whim. Not everyone is ready to go out on their own. Those who make the attempt prematurely always end up failing and reverting back to their previous lives. What's even worse is when those are not capable of handling the stress and emotions accompanied with starting a venture on their own, and as a result, they do something stupid, like abuse alcohol and drugs. It’s no joke; these things do happen.

If you plan on being your own boss, then make sure that is exactly what you already are: a boss.

1. You Don’t Need Anyone But Yourself To Stay Motivated

When you’re the one running the show, there isn’t anyone around to push you forward. No one is going to be hounding you to make sure the work gets done. No one will be making sure you produce quality work. You have to be your own worst critic and have to want to produce the best work possible. Doing quality work and staying focused takes a whole lot of motivation.

Staying motivated is easier when your job depends on you maintaining a certain level of output. Of course, when you’re your own boss, your job still depends on that level of output, but it becomes a lot easier to forget this fact because you have no one to report to besides yourself. Staying motivated can be difficult, but it is maintainable. Unfortunately, it has to come from a natural source and can’t be forced. You have to want it.

2. You Know Your Weaknesses Inside And Out

We all have weaknesses. Firstly, if you aren’t even able to admit that you have them, then you are nowhere near ready to be your own boss. Secondly, if you don’t understand your weaknesses, well then, you will surely fall victim to them at some point in your career. Weaknesses need to be worked on, as well as avoided.

You want to strengthen your weaknesses so that you are a more well-rounded and stronger individual overall. However, you also don’t want to spend too much time on them and spend more time on really cashing in on your strengths. It’s a balancing game. If you don’t know your weaknesses, though, you don’t know what needs to be balanced.

3. You Have A Clear Vision Of Where You Want To Go In Life

Being your own boss is truly the beginning of your story. It is the starting point of your journey and the base of all that is to come. People want to be their own boss for one reason: They want to live a certain life and believe that being their own boss will get them there.

Now, if you don’t know exactly the kind of life you want to live, then why would you even want to be your own boss? If you think it’s easier, think again. If you plan on being a slacker, then stick to your dead-end job.

4. You Have A Good Support System Behind You

Some of us dream of starting enormous companies with thousands of employees. Others dream of having their own small business. Some don’t mind the idea of working entirely on their own. Regardless of whether or not you have employees, you need some sort of support system in your personal life.

No matter if you are exploring a solo venture or not, you will need people in your life to be there for you when things get tough; they will get tough. Having people around who can give you the emotional and social support you need in order to do your job is essential to successfully being your own boss.

5. You’re Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

There’s a certain level of worry that comes along with being your own boss: It’s the result of having all of that responsibility. At some point or another, this worry will get to you, and you will be very uncomfortable -- uncomfortable in the worst sort of way. You’ll be mentally uncomfortable. Your mind will seem incapable of slowing down.

You’ll find yourself lost, confused and freaked out. You will be very, very uncomfortable. You may think you can handle it, but that’s only because you’re thinking about it with a clear mind. Imagine not being able to think clearly and then trying to do all the work that needs to be done. This is the sort of thing you will need to get comfortable with.

Of course, you can’t feel comfortable with being uncomfortable, but you can be comfortable in the sense that you don’t go running off a cliff. You have to be able to deal with your discomfort in a healthy way.

6. You’ve Come To The Conclusion That You Already Are Alone

Until you accept the fact that you are on your own in life, you will never successfully be your own boss. If you feel that you need to be with others and rely on them heavily for your happiness, then I am afraid you will lead an unhappy life. The fact is, you can only rely on yourself and nobody else. This is not to say that you shouldn’t have a support team; you should.

Unfortunately, however, even these elite members are not 100 percent reliable and, therefore, shouldn’t be relied on; they should only be thought of as "extra" help. You are the only person you should completely rely on. You are the only person whose actions you have complete control over.

7. Working For Others Only Leaves You Shaking Your Head In Disbelief

If every week you think to yourself that you could be doing your boss's job, then it’s usually a sign that you can -- assuming you're not underestimating his or her job, and not overestimating your abilities.

However, if you can see your boss doing things wrong and are unable to convince him or her, then it’s a sign that you either need to change jobs (no point of working for an idiot) or become your boss’s competition and take him or her out of business by delivering a superior product and service.

8. You Already Adapted To The Necessary Lifestyle

You may need to be a morning person to be your own boss. You may need to be a night owl. You may need to readjust your sleep cycle, your habits, your meals. You may need to remove yourself from your friends, or start a strict diet and exercise schedule.

When your work takes up the majority of your life, there’s not much time left for anything but the necessities. Not maintaining yourself by attending to your needs will hurt you and hurt your business.

9. You Have No Problem Admitting That You’re Wrong

If you can’t admit that you’re wrong, then you won’t be able to learn from your mistakes -- because, in your mind, you didn’t make any. Mistakes should not be shied away from.

We all make mistakes, or simply, we all make poor decisions. Sometimes they can be avoided; other times, they can’t. Either way, if you make a mistake, then own up to it and learn from it. The only real mistake is pretending you don’t make any.

10. You Don’t Care How Long It Will Take You To Succeed Because You Will Succeed

There is really only one reason to be your own boss: to guarantee your success. People don’t like working for other people because they either don’t believe that they can succeed while working for somebody else, or because they believe they can find greater success on their own. Whatever the case may be, if you are going out on your own, then you better be damn sure you can make it.

If you expect to become a hit overnight, then snap out of it. Being your own boss is a lifetime gig. You don’t stop doing what you do, ever. You just keep going – and it’s okay because you love it. Once you accept that success lies in the chase and not in the end result, you’ll never give up.

Photo credit: Showtime