Entrepreneur or employee, you are always in control
Owning a business was an experience that taught me things about myself I don’t think I would have learned anywhere else. But when I decided to make the shift back to becoming an employee I was filled with fear. The biggest things I gained being an entrepreneur, freedom and a sense of self-determination, were the things I thought I stood to lose now that I was working for someone else.
As I’ve settled into my new role, I’ve realized that regardless of whether I’m working for my own company or someone else’s, I’m still in control of how I want to develop in my career and, more importantly, my life.
Here’s how I’m my own boss, even as an employee:
I can focus on my sphere of excellence
One of the things you learn as a business owner is the importance of focusing on the things you excel at and learning how to delegate the rest. Even as an employee, that means getting very clear about the things that are in my “sphere of excellence”—the things I love to do, that I excel at, and that are in the direction in which I want to specialize—and prioritizing them over things that are not in my wheelhouse. This doesn’t mean I don’t learn new things, but it means I value being exceptional at a few things rather than mediocre at everything.
I’m responsible for my growth
As an entrepreneur, everything falls at your own feet, including your own growth and trajectory. I’ve adopted this mindset as an employee to really take ownership of my own learning. I still look to my employer as a mechanism for my growth, but I don’t expect them to drive it. I look for opportunities to stretch myself—inside and outside of work—to help me grow professionally and personally.
I need to be strategic
As a business owner, I felt like I had a license to be deliberate and self-determined in a way that I never had before as an employee (or as a woman). It’s given me the ability to be strategic in the way I navigate being an employee—actively taking advantage of opportunities that will support my development, while also being discerning of areas, situations, and work that will take me further away from where I want to go.
I am the master of my own energy
The most important thing I learned running my own business is that you must manage your whole self—your time, your energy, and your well-being—like you would your business. Being the master of my own energy means planning out what I do, not only in terms of time, but also in terms of energy. If I know something is going to be particularly taxing, I build in long breaks, or movement, or solo work around it. If my schedule is set up in a way that I know will make me stressed running from activity to activity, I know I have to say “no” to something. There are times that life might become busier than normal, but if I find myself constantly in a state of overwhelm, that shows I’m not managing my energy well and I need to make a change.
Even working for someone else, we can take leadership in our own lives and “become our own boss.” And if you are like me, you can work somewhere like Audienz where you have the flexibility in your work and supportive company culture to make that possible!