Hey, women and womxn! I took last week off of writing because we were in the middle of a move and I finally have something to sit on and a space to focus in. For me, it’s a bonus to work from home and do the FSW work…except when there’s a ton of moving boxes and crap everywhere. But, it’ll get there, and on to today’s post!
Before actually doing it, I had thought about being my own boss: in jest, in discussion, and when feeling sometimes limited. It can definitely feel inspirational to daydream about it and what life would look like, and asking ourselves, “What if…?”
Yet, let’s talk about womxn who aren’t sure about being their own boss, starting a business, or who can’t be their own boss right now. How do we wrap our heads around “being our own boss,” especially as we consider the needs of working for others, an organization, etc.?
As one who has worked in a few different sectors and learned a lot from every job I’ve had, I know that I could’ve been a better leader for my own self. That’s why this list of tips is meant to be helpful, post-experience, and in real-time with FSW. Let’s dive in!
Tip #1: If You’ve Lost Your Voice, Start to Get It Back
Quick disclaimer on this tip is that I understand that not every work environment feels safe; some are pretty toxic or worse. So, let’s keep safety in mind, the resources we have, and let’s own that we all experience our work role differently.
That being said, do you ever find yourself wishing you had spoken up? Or, you’ve got some brilliant ideas that you’re holding back on sharing? What about basics: people-pleasing when you don’t need to or over-apologizing. *Cough – raising my hand, y’all.*
Why does any of this matter? Our inner wisdom and our zeal for life, including the purpose(s) we’re fulfilling as we go day to day, can get stifled. Self-doubts can hinder our voice. And our comfort level with the Big F- word – failure — or shame, or embarrassment, and more, can psych us up to not providing this world with intentional and intuitive change that only we can give.
And it’s a quick and, possibly, privileged thing to say: If you’re not honored just go get another job or do other work… Not always easy or doable. But, if you can’t be your own boss in the economic sense of business ownership or entrepreneurship, for instance, be your own boss still by sharing your brilliance. Your voice. Your meaning of being here, as often as you can. In the end, you’re really your best advocate.
Tip #2: When Your Work Environment Has Some Tensions, Keep Committing to Yourself Every Day
Speaking of advocacy… Maybe this has already been written about by others, but I’ll just drop a phrase: self-advocacy. I see and have experienced how orgs. and supervisors can advocate for us, and they can mentor or sponsor our work. However, if some of that’s missing or not the way it could be, we can try to become and be our own self-advocate. Even if our work environments are “set” and, overall, out of our control, the commitment to our growth, that we show ourselves, can be life-altering.
Some ideas include:
- Pitching new or reframed ideas
- Expanding the way we show up for ourselves
- Setting up our next life pivot
- Signing up for professional development
- Growing in our own arena of personal development (and more…)
Toxic, and even less-than-toxic, spaces may make us want to quit, hide away, or we may feel stagnant and don’t know why… But if we can take a step back and center on what we can do for ourselves, changes may happen, friends. Big or small, extensive or felt in the moment: commitments to who we are and who we want to become are powerful.
Tip #3: Be Patient with Your Rate of Growth, Even if It Feels Slow at Times
Whether we are our own boss or not, we can definitely administer what a good quality in a boss is, delivered to ourselves with patience. Yes, bosses push sometimes and they encourage (hopefully). Some know how ready we are for a challenge, even when we don’t think we are.
So, what if we offered ourselves some of this style of feedback or reflection? Perhaps some compassionate pushing with acceptance, grace, and patience, wrapped up in it. Bad days? Accept them. Need rest? Allow that. Rewards and positive reinforcement? Deserved. It’s easy to go on auto-pilot throughout the work week, but if we were literally (or symbolically) our own boss, what would we do for our highest good? Take note, and then make a plan with some action steps.
Bonus Tip: Reflect & Ask Yourself Questions
Take some time to ask, reflect on, consider, and act upon, questions like these (or versions of this that suit you):
- How am I managing my time for my highest good?
- In what ways can I start to work on myself more, to take the next step in my work or career?
- What do I really want, deep in my soul?
- What would it look like, and feel like, if my day worked for me and not “against” me?
- Who are the types of people I want to serve or what sectors need my strengths?
- Am I doing my very best work here?
- Have I gotten “too comfortable?” Why, and does this serve me — how yes, how no?
- What’s one thing I’m scared to do (but secretly want to do it)?
Now, it may not be in your actual job-job that some of these answers relate in your world. It could be in volunteering time, reevaluating relationships and where energy is spent, or in other ways. Our job-jobs truly aren’t our whole identity. Yeah, I used to drink the Kool-Aid. But over time finding a voice again and refocusing on what matters most, was the way to be my own boss. How can you advocate for yourself and be a boss in your life?
What about you, friends: what are some of the other bonuses to “being your own boss?” Have any fears about finding your own way in your work and showing up for yourself? If so, what are they? I’m eager to know, as so many of us do the “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve…” Myself, too! So, let’s regroup together. If you’re interested in getting notified of new content and connection, sign up for the FSW Circle here. Prefer to take the FSW Quiz and see how you’re living a full life – check it out. As always, any questions can be sent this way and I hope that you have a stellar week ahead, Beloveds!