Lessons in being your own boss

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about being a business owner. As I’m really in the development stage of my venture, I’m learning every single day what it means and what it takes to be responsible for building something from the ground up. If I’m wanting to sound like I have it all together and that I’m an expert, I’d tell you that it’s just day by day, getting things done, never taking “no” for an answer, and just doing it. If I’m being completely open and honest, I’ll tell you that most days I’m completely overwhelmed, and I secretly think that this is how we all feel, no matter what anyone is telling you.

I’ve also learned that being your own boss, being “the” boss, is not just for people who want to start a business; it’s up to each of us to be our own boss, regardless of whose name is on the paycheck.

Not to sound like a corporate robot here, but whatever it is you do, you are the number one ambassador for your name brand. Shakespeare told us that a rose is still a rose, no matter what you call it. But let’s be honest; names are powerful and “carnations” just doesn’t have the same romantic ring to it that “a dozen red roses” does. –I’ll throw in bonus points here for anyone who knows which episode of Sex and the City I’m referencing.– Roses have a reputation that they’ve built over time, a very distinct feeling of sentiment that appears whenever we hear the word. No offense against carnations, but well, they’ve simply failed to establish themselves as the flower for every occasion. Whoever we decide to be in life, our names stand for something, so we better start figuring out what we want that to be and taking the charge in making it happen. Whether you run a home, teach in a classroom or slave over a computer in a cubicle all day, your surroundings are your storefront and the people you’re working for are your most important customers.What do people think of when they hear your name?

Isn’t that an interesting thought there? That even if you report to someone else (don’t we all in some way or another?), you can be in charge of your business (not to mention your life)? Granted, we may not always have control over the specific work we’re doing, but you can decide to be the CEO of your brand and ensure that your “customer” always gets your very best. There’s a discernible change that happens, a lifting of the head and an extra spring in the step when we realize that even if we’re not at the top of the ladder, we can choose to be the one calling the shots. When you think of your work as though you’re running a business and your bosses or your company are your customers, you start to feel a new sense of pride and you realize that you’re willing to reach a little bit further for excellence.You’ve turned the tables and given yourself the responsibility, and that changes everything.

This has really pushed me to start looking at interactions from a new standpoint, and I’m challenging you to try this way of thinking for the next week. Just see what happens when you put yourself in the leadership position, instead of just always assuming that someone else is in charge.

It’s your life, your legacy, and your name. How will you choose to present it to the world?

Photo by Keli Lawrence, 2011



1 Comment

Filed under Personal, The Business

One response to “Lessons in being your own boss

  1. Dave Bayle

    Another WOW Ashley!!

    I’ve looked at my positions/resposibilities (most of the time) this way for many years. During that time I’ve learned when I can no longer maintain this ownership mentality in the work place.it was time to move on. Thus leaving a Marine Corps that I love to this day and relocating to the Great State of Texas. This ownership as I’ve learned to call it is powerful and contaigious. I had the honor and privelege of working on and leading teams that were very successful in large part becauce they took Ownership. Once Ownership is established by an individual or group Great thing begin to happen. I promise!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for your continued inspiration!!

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