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10 Things Only Bosses Understand

10 Things Only Bosses Understand

“By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.” – Robert Frost

Plenty of employees love to hate their boss, but what about you?

Maybe you resent the tasks you’re saddled with. Perhaps you’re fed up of being micro-managed. Maybe you have aspirations to jump in the hot seat yourself.

Despite usually falling into either the “love ’em” or “hate ’em” camp, life is far from straightforward for the boss.

Whether you’re tiring of your own boss, have future ambitions to climb the corporate ladder, or you’re already enjoying the perks power, let’s take a look at some of the things only bosses would understand.

1. You can’t switch off.

Far from being able to clock-out and skip cheerily to the nearest bar without a care in the world, you carry your burdens with you everywhere you go. You’re constantly reminded of tasks that haven’t been done. Always thinking of what tomorrow will bring, never being able to completely let go.

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And then there’s your staff. Are they on your side? Motivated? Happy?

It’s easy to underestimate all the pressure that running a successful business brings.

2. You know they’re talking about you.

Being a boss means making tough decisions. It means keeping your distance. Sometimes, it even means that you’ll have to part company with good people, despite knowing the devastating financial implications that will bring.

On occasion, you’ll need to ruffle a few feathers. In better times, you’ll be patting people on the back and offering words of encouragement.

No matter the situation, though, you’ll always be the focus of attention. Always the talking point. With any luck, you’ll be the subject of kind words and admiring glances. But experience tells me you’re going to have to get used to being the bad guy.

3. You don’t understand why your staff don’t give a flying fig.

I hate to break it to you, but most people really don’t care that much about how well the company is doing. I mean, sure, some will appreciate the overtime and almost everyone is glad to have a job, but they’re definitely not that bothered about hitting sales targets or breaking any productivity records.

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It’s a job. They clock-in, they clock-out. And they want that unfortunate time in-between known as work to be as easy and painless as possible. If they can get away with doing just a little bit less for the same rewards, they will.

Sorry about that.

4. You work more but earn less.

One of the biggest misconceptions about bosses and business owners is that they are swimming in cash. But those fortunate souls who are running a business often work far longer hours, and for less money than they pay their employees. Paid overtime doesn’t exist once you ascend the ranks. If your workload requires you to work long into the night, that is what you must do.

And there’ll be no slap on the back, no gratitude—just the murmurings of your staff, wondering why you’re tired and grouchy today.

5. You don’t have anyone to turn to.

There is a security blanket afforded to employees: Mess up a task and a helping hand is never too far away. Need some advice? You’re co-workers will invariably steer you in the right direction.

As a boss, though, you’re on your own. Mistakes are reflected in the bottom line. Rash judgments are now brutally exposed to all. The buck stops with you.

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6. You’re drowning in bullshit.

Far from being the glamorous gig that many imagine, being a boss means you’ll be dealing with many infuriating, time-sucking tasks. Even with a great team to delegate work to, you’d better get used to dealing with daily mundane queries and tackling an assortment of unexpected issues.

Get used to morphing from trusted confidante, motivator, relationship counselor, bad cop, good cop, life coach and everything in-between: Everyone is going to want a piece of you.

7. You don’t sleep as well

Being the boss takes its toll. The targets, budgets, arguments, appraisals, hiring, firing and selling can leave you a frazzled shell of your former self. Late nights and early starts wear you down and cause you to question every decision and thought. Which then means you start to doubt the outcome. It’s a vicious circle.

No more drifting off into a dreamy, blissful slumber for you—Waking to a cold sweat, fretting about looming deadlines is now the norm.

8. You don’t know what the hell you’re doing.

You’re not always right. And sometimes, you’ll need to make a decision or take a stance purely on gut instinct. It’s a fine balance.

Your team need to know you’re in control. But now and again, you’re not. The trick, is to never appear flustered; always projecting a sense of calm and control… despite not having the slightest clue how things are going to pan out.

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9. You don’t even know why you’re doing this.

What with the stress, the hours, the pay, the lack of praise and the general disinterest of others, you can be forgiven for doubting your cause, because being a boss is mainly a thankless task.

People expect their wages on-time, every-time. They expect thanks, praise, direction and understanding. The tough decisions, acts of kindness and carefully planned long-term strategies largely go unnoticed.

But that’s fine, because…

10. You wouldn’t have it any other way.

There’s that little something that burns inside of you—a flame that very few possess.

It means that no matter how hard your day, or how difficult the path you tread, you simply couldn’t contemplate settling for mediocrity. Fleeting temptations to jack it all in and take the easy option are just that. They barely last a few moments.

You have to push on. You have to improve. You have to better yourself.

And these are things that only bosses would understand.

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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Purpose

How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Purpose

I wrote a few articles about starting a business based on something you love doing and are passionate about. I received several responses from people saying they weren’t sure how to go about figuring out what they were most passionate about or how to find their true purpose. So I’m dedicating this article to these issues — how to find your entrepreneurial passion and purpose.

When I work with a new client, the first thing we talk about is lifestyle design. I ask each client, “What do you want your life to look like?” If you designed a business without answering this question, you could create a nice, profitable business that is completely incompatible with your goals in life. You’d be making money, but you’d probably be miserable.

When you’re looking for your life purpose, lifestyle design isn’t a crucial component. However, since we’re talking about entrepreneurial purpose, lifestyle design is indeed crucial to building a business that you’ll enjoy and truly be passionate about.

For example, say you want to spend more time at home with your family. Would you be happy with a business that kept you in an office or out of town much of the time? On the flip side, if you wanted to travel and see the world, how well could you accomplish that goal if your business required your presence, day in and day out, to survive? So start by getting some clarity on your personal goals and spend some time working on designing your life.

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At this point, you may need a little prodding, and you may want to hire a coach or mentor to work with you through this process. Many people are very used to the idea that there is a particular way a life “should” be. There are certain milestones most people tend to live by, and if you don’t meet those markers when or in the manner you’re “supposed” to meet them, that can cause some anxiety.

Here’s how to find your passion and purpose:

Give Yourself Permission to Dream a Little

Remember that this is your life and you can live it however you choose. Call it meditation or fantasy, but let your imagination run here. And answer this question:

“If you had no fears or financial limitations, what would your ideal life, one in which you could be totally content and happy, look like?”

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Once you’ve figured out your lifestyle design, it’s time to do a little more soul-searching to figure out what you’re truly passionate about. This is a time to really look within and look back.

Specifically, look back over your life history. When were you the happiest? What did you enjoy doing the most? Remember that what you’re looking for doesn’t necessarily have to be an entire job, but can actually be aspects of your past jobs or hobbies that you’ve really enjoyed.

Think About a Larger Life Purpose

Many successful entrepreneurs have earned their place in history by setting out to make a difference in the world. Is there a specific issue or cause that is important to you or that you’re particularly passionate about?

For some, this process of discovery may come easily. You may go through these questions and thought experiments and find the answers quickly. For others, it may be more difficult. In some cases, you may suffer from a generalized lack of passion and purpose in your life.

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Sometimes, this can come from having suppressed passion in your life for too long. Sometimes, it can come from eating poorly and lack of exercise. But occasionally, it may have something to do with your internal chemistry or programming. If the latter applies to you, it may be useful for you to seek help in the form of a coach, mentor, or counselor.

In other cases, not knowing your true purpose may be a matter of having not discovered it yet: you may not have found anything that makes your heart beat faster. If this is the case, now is the time to explore!

The Internet is a fantastic tool for learning and exploration. Search hobbies and careers and learn as much as you can about any topic that triggers your interest, then follow up at the library on the things that really intrigue you. Again, remember that this is your life and only you can give yourself permission to explore all that the world has available to you.

How Do You Know When You’ve Found Your True Entrepreneurial Purpose?

I can only tell you how I knew when I had discovered my own — it didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks. Rather, it settled over me, bringing a deep sense of peace and commitment. It felt like I had arrived home and knew exactly what to do and how to proceed.

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Everything flowed easily from that point forward. That’s not to say that I found success immediately after that moment. But rather, the path ahead of me was clear, so I knew what to do.

Decisions were easier and came faster to me. And success has come on MY terms, according to my own definitions of what success means to me in my own lifestyle design.

Dig deep, look within, and seek whatever help you need. Once you find that purpose and passion, your life — not just your entrepreneurial life, but your entire life — will never be the same.

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Featured photo credit: Garrhet Sampson via unsplash.com

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