Let’s face it: You’re a stellar employee, but your boss could use some work.
Fortunately, there won’t be any awkward tension involved with telling them they need to improve because it’s you — you’re the boss and the employee because you’re a solopreneur.
To run a successful independent business, you have to remember that you’re the boss. No one else is going to tell you to take time off, make sure you get paid on time, or help set boundaries between your personal life and client work.
Because we all could use little help in this department, here are a few tips for being a better boss and employee as a solopreneur.
A good boss will help you prioritize important projects, delegate small tasks, and remind you to take a break when needed. As a solopreneur, these boundary-setting tasks fall to you.
If you want to look out for yourself as an employee, then you need to be better at setting the right boundaries in your business.
Boundaries could look like:
- Outlining how to work with me guidelines for clients
- Setting a defined stop time
- Saying no to projects or clients that aren’t a good fit
Boundaries help protect your time and energy — set them and make sure your employee (ahem, that’s you) sticks to them.
In a traditional job, who do you turn to when you want a raise? Your boss, right?
Now that you’re the boss, you have to look out for yourself financially.
Set a monthly income, raise your rates, and create a system that ensures you get paid according to whatever payment schedule you’ve put into place. You’re the boss, after all! Decide what and how you want to get paid, then advocate for it when discussing with clients.
Take a vacation
If there’s one thing to miss about a traditional 9-5, it’s the feeling of setting up your OOO response, closing your laptop, and leaving the work tasks to the rest of the team knowing things will keep running without you.
While it may feel like this isn’t an option as a solopreneur, it is when you’ve set up the right processes and systems!
Spending time away from your business is necessary for your mental health. Too much work with very little time to enjoy non-work life can lead to burnout and experiencing burnout too often isn’t sustainable for an independent business.
So go ahead and take that vacation or staycation, or simply just close your laptop for a few days. Your business will be right where you left it when you get back.
Know when to outsource
Whether you have too much work on your plate or you want to expand your offerings, at some point in your independent business you’ll be ready to bring on more support and move from solo to studio.
Hitting this growth point and realizing it’s time to expand your team is a sign of a good boss — it means you’re looking out for yourself and your business for the long term.
Once you start to build your team, you can lean on the experience you have of being your own boss and apply those same relationship skills to managing your new team.