Is Your Business The Boss of You?

Aug 5, 2014, Written by Sue Miley

Although I may not have said “You’re not the boss of me!” to my parents or my teachers, I am sure that I thought it many times growing up.  I was (am) one of those people that begin something high in compliance.  If there is a structure in place, I want to learn it.  It is my safety net.

Soon though, very soon, I will begin to deviate.  I would say it wasn’t down right rebellion, more like spreading my wings.  Can I make this process better?  Can I skip this class because I already know this stuff?  I have other things, more important things, to do.

I got married after college and this personality trait didn’t really change.  Actually, my husband might say I didn’t even start out with the traditional structure.  I went straight into the ‘you’re not the boss of me’ mode.

This need for independence isn’t a phase.  It is more like a way of life for me.  When I finally went into business for myself, I can imagine God sighing in relief.  Maybe now she will have more peace.  Maybe now there won’t be this constant internal struggle.

One of the benefits of business ownership is you can manage your own schedule.  You can go on vacation when you want.  You can leave when you want.

At least that is how I thought it would be.


Until a few weeks ago.

I had plans to go on my son’s senior trip.  When your 18 year old son says he wants his parents to come on his senior trip, you just say “YES.”

I found myself working many extra hours in advance to be able to leave for a whole week with little connection back to work.  We were on a cruise and what they called ‘internet connection’ would take us back a couple of decades.

When I returned from the cruise I had to work several more hours to catch up.  So much for the work ahead of time clearing the way.

I only had two weeks before I was out again for a conference.  The conference was in San Diego and my daughter had never been to San Diego.  This was an opportunity to go a few days early and enjoy the city with my oldest child.

And after all, I own my own business, I can do what I want!

Ha!  No one is the boss of me, right?

Well, the week before and the week after my conference, I found myself saying, “I normally could do that, but I am out for a week and I can’t fit it in before I leave” and “I just got back from my conference, as soon as I catch up we can get together.”

It was terrible.

People are the reason I do the work I do.  Yet, I didn’t have time for the people.

Every time a colleague would say “Do you have a minute?” my chest tightened.

Every time a client called and asked if I could fit them in, I began the list of excuses running through my head.

Every time my family needed my attention, I started figuring out when I could finish what I was doing to get caught up.

On Friday evening, one week back from the conference, I left the office at almost 7 pm.  I only work until 3 pm on Fridays.

Why?  Because I can.  Because I don’t have a boss.

Then it hit me.  I am no longer the boss of me.

My business has become the boss of me!

I am taking it hard.  It snuck up on me.

But as I write this I am planning my rebellion.  I am reminding myself how to run a business and not let it run you.  I will be sharing more on my steps to get back in control.

What about you?

Are you able to live your life the way that you planned when you started your business?  Do you find yourself making excuses if someone needs you?

If you feel like your business has taken over your schedule, your decisions and your life, then the next couple of posts in the coming weeks are for you. We will discuss how to take it all back and become your own boss again!

I can’t wait to go on this journey with you.

Reader Interactions


  1. Les Dahlstedt says

    Although in my business we sell capital goods, time is really my most marketable commodity. Business owners like me get to choose where and how we deploy that valuable resource. Deploy it correctly and we win; deploy it badly…

    Case in point: I often find myself operating in the mode of feeling compelled to overcompensate in my efforts, not being certain which efforts (in a sales sense) are going to bear fruit. Nothing worse than going the extra mile (or ten) only to find out that the project lost its funding or the CEO has trimmed everyone’s budgets. I grieve for the lost time I put into an effort that went nowhere and perhaps more importantly, what I sacrificed in giving of that time.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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