You often hear that one of the true benefits of being in business for yourself is that you get to be “your own boss.”Well those of us that actually do own a business – at least a small business, know all too well, that the truth of this is that it is in fact the client that is your boss – and rightfully so! They are the ones that pay your bills – the rent, the payroll for your employees, yourself and all the other expenses that it takes to run a business!
So indeed it is our job as the “employee” of our clients to find what is of benefit for them. What is that will help them grow their business or increase their sales? How is it that we can grow their donor base or attract new donors? Sure we can say that the reason we got into business is that we had this terrific idea of a new product, but if in fact this new product is of no valueto a potential client, then it is nothing more than a neat idea! Or, we might be the best designer this side of the Mississippi, however if we cannot apply the concepts to an audience in a manner they can understandthrough years of experience, then hanging a business shingle out front might not be enough to make a living.
Another more relevant saying for independent business owners goes like this… “not only do you get to work half days, but you even get to pick which 12 of the 24 hours you work!” And how true is this! Of course there are some who genuinely have a dedicated staff and ability to delegate that work less than this, but I suspect the vast majority of small business owners do in fact put in their share of time. Just this last week alone, I found myself at the office 3 nights out of 5 preparing a proposal for a potential new client – if in fact we get this business it could be significant! Well worth the 12 to 15 hours I have put into it – then again, there are no guarantees.This is not much different from the time that both Ginny and I had put into a recent seminar presentation for our nonprofit clients. This was on a survey that we do each year, and if I were to total up all the time I put into preparing the survey alone, some might question if it is it all worth it?
Well I would maintain that yes it is. It is the effort such as this that helps establish us as a resource for our clients, and hopefully as someone who does more than the competition, and earns the respect of our “boss.”
Are you up for the effort it takes to be your own boss?