I’m the worst boss I’ve ever had.
No, really, I am.
And I’ve worked for some shockers, too…
The control freaks.
The mid-sentence cutter-offer-ers.
But still, if there were an award for the worst boss I’ve ever had – I would win by a country mile.
Sure, I let myself work from bed some days… I’m allowed to wear pyjamas all day… Oh, and regular coffee breaks? You betcha.
But these little perks I allow myself to have, do not make up for my outrageously bad boss behaviours…
As a business owner, accepting criticism (whether constructive or not) is inevitable. It’s a natural part of putting yourself out there. We learn to deal with criticism, time and time again – and we learn coping mechanisms to remind ourselves that we are, in fact, f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s.
But what if some of that nasty criticism is coming from you? You know what I’m talking about…
“This work isn’t good enough.”
“Why do they do it so much better?”
“What if the client hate’s it?”
If I had a boss that spoke to me like that, I’d lay them off quicker than they could say, “get back hereee!”
And yet, that’s exactly how I talk to myself.
Truth be told – I’ve worked harder for myself than I have anyone else.
The 6am starts.
The 10pm finishes.
The “I’ll just skip my lunch break today…”
I’ll bend over backwards just to meet deadlines. But if another boss expected all this from me? Nuh-uh. You’ve got to be kidding (cue: Sam leaves the room never to return.)
But as my own boss? My expectations go through the roof. I set unrealistic deadlines, sacrifice much-needed “me” time, and real days off become few and far between (I’m talking about the ones where I don’t even open my laptop.)
But here’s the thing: the worst boss I’ve ever had is here to stay.
So recently, I’ve been learning how to get along with myself…
If you’re like me; and grapple with your own expectations, personal criticism, and being your own worst boss – here are 3 ways I am setting boundaries for my small business:
1. Setting My Work Hours
I have recently outlined when and how I’m going to work, and I’m sticking to it. That means no calls, no emails, and no texts beyond my working week. And by saying no to my work, I’m saying “yes” to family, friends, ice cream, puppies, walks on the beach, you name it! And the best part? My work is better off for it.
2. Communicating With Clients
Did you know that setting work boundaries for your clients also builds respect? If you respect your own leisure time, they will too. Now that I’ve set my work hours, I am not afraid to communicate with my clients so they know what to expect. And guess what? I’m becoming a far better boss to myself when I stop taking a “sneaky peek” at emails after hours.
3. Practicing Self-Awareness
Our inner-critic can be ruthless. But thankfully, I’m learning how to reject this criticism by paying close attention to what’s going on in my mind. I’m separating my thoughts from fact… So when I tell myself, “this work is rubbish” – I know it’s just the nasty shadow of self-doubt speaking, and most of the time – it’s absolutely not.
Ok, so I refuse to be my own worst boss any longer, and so, I’m starting the journey to becoming my own best boss. Sure, there’s still a long way to go – but the payoff will be SO worth it.