Are You Ready To Be Your Own Boss? 8 Truths About Running Your Own Business

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to start and run your own business?

Whether you’ve thought about starting an online business, or you dream of opening your own store or restaurant, or you’d like to begin consulting or coaching, just the thought of taking that leap can feel pretty scary sometimes. Or maybe you’ve already started down that path and now you’re wondering if you have what it takes to make it in the business world.

The truth is that running a small business is both exhilarating and terrifying most of the time. It’s equal parts challenging and gratifying– a ton of work and, most of the time, totally worth all the effort.

When I first started my own business–the company that is now Ruth Soukup Omnimedia–I honestly had no idea where it would go, and how much my life would change. I started this blog as a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers, without a plan or even a vision for what was possible.

As the business grew, my husband was able to leave his engineering job behind to stay home with our daughters, which was both incredibly exciting and incredibly scary, because suddenly our income was completely dependent on me. And eventually I had to figure out how to take this idea, this blog, and turn it into a sustainable business that could keep supporting us for years to come.

Along the way, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and had many, many learning opportunities. There have been struggles and challenges, but honestly, I’ve never looked back. Starting a business was hands down one of the best things I’ve ever done. Still, there are several things I wish I knew BEFORE I even started. You can discover the powerful secrets that most successful online business owners use to fail proof their businesses HERE!

This was part of the reason I wrote the book, How to Blog for Profit. There was a lot of noise out there about starting a blogging business, but there wasn’t a true “guide” to walk you through the step-by-step process of creating a business from scratch. After receiving an overwhelming response to the book, we crafted the steps and curriculum into an entire course, Elite Blog Academy®. During the program, I walk students through each and every step to business success.

And if you are wondering whether you really have what it takes to be a business owner, here’s what you should know as you begin.

Learning to be your boss is all about eluding confidence.

1. The Buck Stops with You

When you own your own business, you’re in charge of making all the decisions. While initially this sounds like a great deal, it’s also daunting and tough at times. If you don’t perform, you won’t earn money. The success of your company hinges on you.

If you’re working on your own, it also becomes quite lonely. There’s no one to vent to. There’s no one to listen when you need an outlet. At the same time, even if you have a great team working with you, when you’re the boss you still hold the responsibility.

Tough choices will come your way. When mistakes are made, ultimately you will answer for them and it’s up to you to resolve and correct them. Even if you didn’t make the error, you are the face of your business.

[socialpug_tweet tweet=”If you don’t perform, you won’t earn money. The success of your company hinges on you.” display_tweet=”If you don’t perform, you won’t earn money. The success of your company hinges on you.”]

2. Time Management is Critical

When you own your own business you work whenever, wherever you want. If you enjoy working in your basement, wearing fuzzy slippers—go for it, it’s your choice. BUT when work needs to get done, you’re in charge of setting the timeline and seeing it through.

One of the toughest aspects of working on your own is keeping yourself focused and productive, especially if you work from home. Suddenly, you’ll feel the urge to dust your bookshelf, clean your toilet or organize your pantry. Your family’s needs will arise. Everyone will request your attention.

Even if you run a business from home and plan to work part time, managing your work time is critical. Block out your schedule and treat your home office like a business office—when you’re at work, you’re unavailable to the rest of the world. Remember, if you waste your time, you’re only robbing yourself of productivity.

Starting your own business can be stressful and overwhelming.

3. You Will Feel Exhilarated (and Sometimes Scared)

[socialpug_tweet tweet=”Keep your eye on the big picture and when in doubt, do it scared.” display_tweet=”Keep your eye on the big picture and when in doubt, do it scared.”]

Owning your own business is absolutely thrilling. It’s wonderful, energizing, rewarding and yes, fun. It’s pretty exciting to see money coming in based on your own hustle. When you earn your first revenue, you’re going to want to dance around and shout it from the rooftops.

At the same time, there are times when owning your own business is absolutely terrifying. I can attest, no matter how successful my business has become, I’m still gripped with anxiety at least once a month (often more frequently). When you see a decline in revenue, when you hear bad news about the economy, or when you get negative feedback, it’s heartbreaking.

There are many nights you’ll spend awake, mulling over your to do list and worrying about what you need to accomplish. While this might not be “healthy,” it’s certainly normal. I would argue most business owners experience fear, quite often. The key is to power through it. Keep your eye on the big picture and when in doubt, do it scared.

4. Not Everyone Will Love You

I’ve received MANY negative comments. My books have received reviews that were absolutely gut-wrenchingly painful. It happens. Especially when your business is internet-based, where people online are particularly, well…critical.

While it’s easy to tune out the positives and take the negatives to heart, remember not everyone will love you, and it’s okay. Whether you’re an artist, a restaurant owner or an accountant, you’ll serve clients, customers and patrons who don’t like what you do. Maybe your message doesn’t resonate with them, maybe you don’t fit their taste, or maybe they’re just having a rough day.

Whatever the case, embrace the habit of tuning out the negative. Now, it doesn’t mean ignore productive feedback. Sometimes critical feedback is important to growth. Learn to take it in stride, separate out the useful advice from the “haters,” and move forward. Not everyone is one of your people…and that’s totally okay. As long as you’re keeping most of your customers and clients happy, you’re doing fine.

Being your boss involves networking and taking on the phone.

5. You Can’t “Call In”

When you’re the boss, you can’t call in sick. Not to say you can’t take a sick day, of course, but if you decide to phone it in or slack, there’s no one else to make it up. When you’re the boss, you set the boundaries and guidelines.

One of the biggest secrets to success I’ve discovered is to embrace boundaries. That means, when I need a personal day, away from work, I take it. Fully. I don’t check my phone or email. Now, this wasn’t always the case. When I first started out I was online constantly. I was on my tablet before going to sleep, I was responding to emails at 4am. If I was sick, I worked from bed.

When we push ourselves beyond healthy boundaries, we slack on our own self-care. We get tired, run down and burned out. When I worked constantly, I reached a point where I never felt “well.” I was always stressed. Instead, I made a change to take a sick day, when I needed a sick day, or really focus on my family time when we were together. Consequently, I no longer had days where I felt like I was “phoning it in.” I was more present at work, because I was more present in my downtime.

6. Professionalism Exists for a Reason

When you work from home, you’re going to experience days where you stay in your jammies all day long. Perhaps you’ll skip a shower. You’ll feel grateful for email and phone meetings because if you had to do video conferencing, you’d need to become presentable (at least your top half).

Guess what? If you want to stay motivated, even when you’re in charge, you need to shift yourself into “work mode.” Even for the self-employed, professionalism exists for a reason. When you respect yourself, dress and behave professionally it will shine through—even on emails and phone calls.

We’ve all received emails with a million emojis or had work interactions where someone was more casual than professional. You can, and should be fun BUT you should also remember you’re interacting with customers and clients. When money is involved people expect a level of professional decorum. Get dressed and shift your mindset into work—the results will show.

A powerful job means a lot of responsibility and extra happiness.

7. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

When you’re the boss, you might be responsible for your family’s finances. If you employ an assistant or a team, you’re also responsible for other’s livelihood. This is a huge responsibility. In fact, knowing others depend on your business to provide for their kids is probably one of those thoughts that will keep you awake at 2 am.

This is why it’s important to treat your business as a real, professional endeavor. You can also look at it as a gift—how wonderful you’ve created a way to care for your family! What an amazing blessing to help others care for their families too!

When you’re the boss, you may occasionally get bogged down with the minutia and stress of the responsibility. While it’s totally normal to sweat the little details, it’s also important to step back and realize how awesome it is to be your own boss. You own your own company—it’s a completely amazing feeling!

8. You Won’t Have All the Answers (and That’s Okay)

Guess what—when you’re the boss, you don’t suddenly know all the answers. In fact, you may often feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants. The real secret of owning your own business is every day you’re learning something new. You are constantly growing, adjusting, looking at what works and tossing out what doesn’t.

People will look to you for answers. Your company will rely on you to figure out the solution to problems you aren’t even aware of yet. You’ll need to get creative, and you may want to enlist the help of professionals, coaches, mentors and experts, which is something I have definitely tried to do all along the way in my own business!

Even if you’re a pioneer in your field, making new discoveries, there are plenty of opportunities for trial and error. The greatest part of owning your own business is YOU get to make the discoveries. It’s up to you to forge ahead and you’re limited only by your own imagination and drive.

If you want to own your own business or if you’re starting out, keep the big picture in mind. Imagine where you want to be in five years, ten years, even twenty years. Aim big and then set your path to get there. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more satisfying than a job well done. That satisfaction makes it all worth it!

[socialpug_tweet tweet=”The real secret of owning your own business is every day you’re learning something new.” display_tweet=”The real secret of owning your own business is every day you’re learning something new.”]


Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? ⎢ 8 Truths About Owning Your Own Business⎢Mindset⎢Online Business⎢Confidence⎢Start a Business⎢Work at Home Mom⎢Work from Home

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  1. Starting a small business was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was also the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And I’ve done some particularly impulsive things in the past! But although being your own boss has its ups and downs, I try to always think of the alternative: 9 to 5 job, with little pay and a horrible boss (,unfortunately, that was my last experience as an employee). So, all in all, scary is better than the alternative! 🙂

  2. Hi, I completely agree it’s overwhelming regardless of the work sector. There is always a great deal of stress that accompanies the responsibilities we are given. I gave up my life in retail to take a chance and be self-employed, at the moment it’s working for rideshare companies, meeting new people regularly, and ensuring they reach their destination safely and at minimum content. I’ve invested hundreds so far in the blogging journey, between your content, michelle from making sense of cents, lauren from elle and company design, I felt inspired and motivated to jump and take a chance at the journey. I have to say its still like walking through the thorniest part of a rose bush but, we are moving. My fiancé is a full time mechanic at a dealership, and shortly after I told him about me blogging and attempting affiliate marketing he began to research and give it a go himself, using a slightly different approach he enlisted me to help, so now I manage my mom blog and a diy blog. Doing all of this, parenting, housekeeping, oh, and hunting for housing since my landlord decided to let us know he was selling the house we are in , him working, me driving and chewing my cheek while nervously going through each day falling more and more behind on things you really shouldn’t be, like car payments, electric etc. but, we all know these issues I’m sure. Being a business owner is a huge risk, I agree it can be rewarding, unfortunately I have yet to see return on my adventure of blogging. Although, I haven’t been blogging for long ( the end of 2017) I’ve gained some organic traffic and still feel a bit fuzzy on affiliate marketing. With all this being said, thank you for the post there are some things pointed out I didn’t think of before and I would also like to mention I am in the midst of going through the content provided in the blogging bundle. With all that tread the grounds of self employment, I hope more become aware of all aspects of the job/duty.

  3. As someone who blogs for passion vs. income (I work full time at a job that I also love!), it is interesting to hear the pros and cons of becoming your own boss. For me, I struggle with defining my ‘niche’ if I were every to try to build a passion-based business. My blog is a culmination of things I’m passionate about and a tool for sharpening my writing skills. My readers find me and stick around for different reasons, and I fear that I’d isolate them if I became as hyperfocused as I think you need to be these days in a web-based business. Some readers seek ideas on developing personal style, others come for thoughts on finding purpose and building a career, a lot visit for the personal anecdotes and life perspectives, and all stop in because they love to read the kind of blog posts where you need a solid 15 minutes and a cup of coffee to get through the full thing. Would love ideas on how to think about this outside of my own mind!

  4. I started my first blog when I was in year 6 (about 11 years old), my current blog began a few years later, at the same time I discovered a love for making YouTube videos. Now I’m 18, still a student, so unfortunately couldn’t blog and make videos as much as I wanted to do. Since then, however, I’ve decided I want to pursue being a blogger and YouTuber full-time; I know how much hard work it entails and how lucky I have to be to pursue it. But I’ve always have had the same message, even since the age of 11, make people not feel alone, give advice and share my weird, quirky self through my love of writing and filming/editing videos. I just have to get better at time management and believing in myself. This is what I’ve always wanted to do, be my own boss so I can do this (and plus the idea of a home office is SO exciting for me, I’d love to have one). I’ve bought some bundles of yours and have read a few of your articles, they’re so inspiring and helpful and I just want to thank you so much for this. FINALLY SOMEONE WHO GETS IT! Someone who is thinking similar to me, so thank you! Annie Xxxx

  5. I’m slowly trying to implement your suggestions on time management. But, it does get hard when your motivation is non-existent on some days, but you know that you need to work.
    I do totally agree that dressing up for work is a great motivator for feeling like you’re actually working. If that makes any sense.
    I’ve learned that if I’m in jammies I really don’t have much motivation to get any work done.
    Thanks for the advice.

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