So you did it. You created a successful business. It may not be your dream business, but it is pretty darn good. You make a fine living, care for your family, and create equity. It’s all good.
Or is it?
Are you a good boss? Sure, I bet you will say yes. You know how to offer praise and foster teamwork. You give raises and bonuses. Your employees like you. That is all well and good. Indeed, you may be a great boss to your employees, but are you a great boss to yourself?
Far too often, entrepreneurs strike out on their own and are determined not to make the same mistakes their worst boss made. And they don’t. But in their drive to be a good boss to others, these small business owners sometimes drive themselves too hard and forget to be good to themselves as well.
Ask yourself these questions:
When was the last time you gave yourself a raise? Of course it is difficult to raise prices in this economic environment, that is a given. But for many small business owners, the economy is nothing more than an excuse to do what they have always done, namely, charge what they have always charged.
It’s a mistake, that.
All good employees expect a periodic raise and so should you. If you have not raised your prices in a long time, consider doing so. Test it on a few clients, see if it flies (I bet it will) and then roll it out across the board once the coast is clear.
Do you vacation and leave work behind? The dark underbelly of this new era of work, where you can work anywhere at any time, is that you can work anywhere at any time. I bet that you do not expect your employees to check in on the store when they have a week off, but I will also bet that you do. It’s understandable, but it can also be a big mistake.
One main reason we take time off is to recharge the batteries and get a fresh perspective. That’s not possible when you don’t leave work at work. As an old boss of mine used to say when I would bother him one time too many, “How can I miss you if you won’t go away?”
Do you always work overtime? No one would stay working for a boss who continually demanded that he or she work overtime, all the time. If you don’t expect that of your employees, you should not expect that of yourself.
Do you give yourself treats? A good boss knows to mix strength and toughness with praise and benefits. You work hard in order to create something of value. Make sure you allow yourself to reap the rewards, even if there is no reason sometimes.
Do you focus on your strengths? A good boss creates an environment where his top producers are allowed to do what they do best and leave the minutiae behind. You do that for yourself too, right?
Be a good boss to yourself. You deserve it.