Is Being Your Own Boss Really What It Seems To Be?
By Johnny Spence
Hating your boss… that, of course, is not a new concept. Before I started in my freelance career, I always had a job where I constantly loathed my boss. This even dates back to when I was sixteen (I am 30 now) and working at an Orange Julius stand in my local shopping mall. Though I was never that employee that would challenge my superiors, I still developed a severe aversion to anybody who could claim authority over me and have the power to show me the door if I did not follow along.
Now since then, the having a boss part has not changed, just the jobs have changed. I can remember countless "write-ups," you know, for dumb things like showing up thirty seconds late for your shift. Heck, even one time I was written up for falling asleep working a graveyard shift at a hotel. OK, maybe I deserved this, but you can get my drift. If you have a job, you have a boss and there is no way around it.
Fast forward to four years ago, when I started my freelance career as a computer programmer. I thought I had it made. No one hovering over my shoulder telling me what to do, I could take as many breaks as I wanted to and "proper dress" was no longer a part of my vocabulary. Also, no more private meetings with the head honcho to discuss my annual thirty cent raise or any mishaps that I unknowingly committed.
I started to notice some drastic thing happen shortly afterwards, though. My paychecks were for little money and I was having difficulty finding work. Not to mention, some of the work I did find turned out to be for clients who would try to take advantage of me or who would even try to stiff me. Something had to change or I would starve and would end up having to be a slave to some other middle manager all over again.
Well, that's when I began to have a boss start to manage my freelance career. It could not have come soon enough, either. One of the first things he had me do was develop a working schedule by determining the number of hours I wanted to work in the week beforehand and then jotting down the number of hours worked daily until I reach that total.
Then he took over and managed my clients and projects. Eventually he had me charging more for my services and finding new clients willing to pay the new prices. Business got better than ever and I started making four times what I did than when I started freelancing.
Then came the real magic. He had me change my client relations by having me be more service minded. I use to argue with clients who thought I messed up or seemingly always wanted a little something extra. Not anymore. I immediately fix any mistakes, no questions asked and became very polite in dealing with my clients. My repeat business skyrocketed.
This happened to be the first boss in my lifetime that actually was able to manage me without actually being the usual moron who always seems to have a chip on his or her shoulder. I actually grew as an employee and have become more productive than ever. Wow, I never thought I would say that in my lifetime.
I'll have to give myself a pat on the back for a job well done.
About the Author
Johnny Spence is a freelancer of four years and author of The Rookie Freelance Job Guide
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