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Four Questions That Help You Being A Better Boss to Yourself

How you can change the relationship with yourself as a boss and prioritise your wellbeing

Remember the movie Horrible Bosses and its sequel Horrible Bosses Two?

I think we should pause and think about the fact it even got a sequel for a second.

Still, I digress. At the time I was watching it, I could not help to look at it and think about my previous bosses. The ones I remember fondly, the one that pushed me to become an entrepreneur.

Fun fact, I left my last job with minimal savings and no idea of what to do next, aside from the fact I would never work for someone again. When it comes to bosses, I definitely went full spectrum. Still, I never had a boss harder than myself.

Yep, there. I said it.

Fab the horrible boss.

As I talked to a few self-employed friends outlining the traits of Fab the boss, I was quite shocked when I realised I was not alone.

I have been a horrible boss to myself, and so are many bosses, founders and entrepreneurs.

Most of us are better and kinder bosses to our teams than ourselves, which seems absurd when we are part of the team in the first place.

I can see Fab the boss sitting at her desk, lowering her glasses at me in a slightly condescending way. Here are some of the things Fab the boss has been asking me to do in the past.

“A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.”— Charles Erwin Wilson


Always working overtime

The words “just another half an hour and I’ll be off” have been once people have heard from me far too often.

From late nights to weekends, I have been known for sneaking in and setting up incredibly early alarms to go and work on projects, taking my laptop to holidays and Christmas dinners.

Taking a holiday for me was such a myth that when I booked my first one (in three years) my whole team made a joke about it. I get it, I had a boundary problem. I would always expect a bit more from myself because I knew I could. As a result, I’d burn the candle at both ends.

Question

Are you giving yourself boundaries when it comes to working hours?


Putting other people first

A bit reframing for me was paying myself what I was owed, rather than putting other people first. It sounds damn obvious, but it’s not.

I would hire people I would pay more than I would pay myself, and often compromise on my own priorities and time schedule for my clients or team. Sometimes we can get lost in the work, or struggle to quantify truly how much we are worth as a working member of our own business.

Being able to prioritise myself has been one of the most life-changing things I have accomplished in the past few years.

Question

How do you put yourself first in your business? How do you prioritise yourself and your zone of genius?


Never appreciating the hard work

This is a big one: celebrating our wins. Most time we are driving for daylight in business. You are always looking at what’s next — which means you are so busy doing that you clearly cannot see what you have accomplished today.

Every day in my journal I write down three awesome things that happened to me, and every week I share with the team our company wins.

Why? Because I am worth the time to celebrate how far I have come, and so is my team.

Question

how often do you celebrate your business wins? Do you ever treat yourself when you have a big win?


Putting work before everything else

Work has been everything for a long while. I would never be able to let go of it, mainly for fear that all the hard work would instantly go away, as soon as my focus just moved elsewhere. I was stuck in a vicious cycle of fear and scarcity.

Going back to my values has been an invaluable exercise for me. It has truly allowed me to see how much work has been taking over every other aspect of my life.

Trust me, I am not here to give you a lesson on work-life balance. There is no such thing as work-life balance.

Work is part of your life, and once you realise that you’ll be able to prioritise other aspects of your life such as play, adventure, rest and family.

This is also why you should learn how to optimise these four time-sucking activities.

Question

What are the building blocks and key values I live my life by?


Not so horrible boss

How did I change my relationship with Fab the bossI would lie if I said it has been plain sailing because it has not.

I had to first recognise I was unkind and forgive myself for it before I could change the expectations I had placed upon my work. After that, I asked myself the questions I shared in this article in order to rebuild that relationship.

All in all, I am still very much work in progress, however, I am slowly ranking higher and higher on my list.

Are you struggling with confidence when it comes to business? Read how you can beat imposter syndrome once and for all.


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