Be Your Own Boss

The 'I'm My Own Boss' Myth Humbles Many an Entrepreneur

That misconception does not comport with startup reality. But by adopting the right mindset, you can come to terms with how many bosses you really have.
The 'I'm My Own Boss' Myth Humbles Many an Entrepreneur
Image credit: Westend61 | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Founder of 501 Words
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurship can be one of the loveliest careers. You enjoy a work-life balance, run your own show at will, work for passion and, hopefully, live the rest of your life as a self-reliant individual.

Everything is just cool. But if you’re eyeing entrepreneurship ultimately to become your own boss, then you may have to think again.

Let’s face the reality. It’s a half-truth, if not a myth, that entrepreneurship will put you at the helm of your entire existence such that you’re never accountable to anyone ever again.

Related: 3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need to Ignore

As put by Neil Patel, one of the most successful entrepreneurs out there, “nobody is their own boss. Everyone has someone they report to.” Say you’re a solopreneur or a startup owner. You know that the size of your effort is the size of your earning. And truly, the odds are you want to earn as much as possible. This is how your business becomes your boss, and controls you.

Whether you’ve started a business or been planning to, having the right mindset is crucial to entrepreneurial success. Here are a number of theories to guide you right.

Your business is your boss.

Every entrepreneur controls business affairs that include schedules, strategies, capital, deadlines, and so much more. This actually brings about “own boss” belief. But it turns out that the business is the boss -- in the real sense of it.

Building a thriving business is no joke. It constantly requires your all. There are times you jettison your sleeping schedule, work overtime, or even forget about leisure activities and vacations. In this case, your business is your boss. It determines what to do, and even imposes it on you.

Your customers/clients are your boss.

Customers are the soul of every business, and entrepreneurs need to offer perpetual value and satisfaction to sustain that vital relationship. So, you’re either serving your customers or you’re already out of business. It’s one or the other.

For instance, a small-business consultant works with different clients on fulfilling their goals. As time passes, clients systematically influence his schedule especially when he’s becoming a sought-after. Likewise, freelancers get burned from the pressure of deadlines and timeliness. All in all, others boss the boss in one way or another.

Related: How to Meet Tight Deadlines Without Sacrificing Creativity

In this situation, coupled with the fact that “customers are always right,” you can only try to control things. You can never pull rank on your customers/clients to prove you are the boss. Not often do CEOs even try that with their employees anymore.

Your investors are your boss.

Not all startups need external financing. But not all can survive without it. If you belong to the second category (i.e. your business is funded by investors), then you probably know that the “own boss” dream has already vanished.

The truth of the matter, when you work with investors, is that you have higher authorities to deal with. You do not only report to them, it’s binding upon you that work continuously and diligently to make sure they’re duly satisfied.

The same thing applies when you deal with a franchise parent company, where in reality, everything disproves the own-boss stereotype.

Why you should have the right mindset.

The journey of every entrepreneur is full of ups and downs. Having a prepared mind and, indeed, the correct mindset is one of the most important tools you can use to keep your train on the track.

Related: Why Mindset Mastery Is Vital to Your Success

As we’ve seen, the “boss" title of every entrepreneur is contested for by any number of others, depending on the circumstances. You’re the founder and CEO. Yet, you’re bound to constantly work to meet customers’ needs, to keep investors safe and to scale your business to new heights. If this means anything at all, it means you’re accountable to a plethora of bosses.

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