Marketing / Business relationships

Soloists, are you ever really the boss?

Are you ever really the boss? It’s an unfortunate fact of life that everyone has at least one boss, and often many more than one! Allow me to explain.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I’m sick of being told what to do and how to live my life, so I’m going to start my own business and be my own boss.

However, whether you own your own business or not, there are four “bosses” who realistically control you at any point in your career.

1. He who controls the purse strings

If you earn your income as an employee, the person who pays your wages will (at some stage) assume the title of “boss”. Whether this is deserved or an illusion, he who controls the purse controls the power.

2. The tax office

The tax office has a unique way of bossing you around. There are many laws that are used to control your spending and earning behaviour, and of course the regular financial pain caused by the taxman is a constant reminder that you are not in total control of your financial resources!

"If you’re thinking of launching out on your own, make sure you’re happy exchanging one boss for another."

3. Your customers

For a soloist or micro business owner, there is one boss who may not immediately spring to mind…and that is your customer. Whether or not you agree with the saying “the customer is always right”, let’s return to the idea of he who controls the purse! You need to at least be mindful of the wants and desires of your customers if you plan on staying in business for any length of time.

4. Your employees

Finally, despite the fact that you may pay the wages, to a certain extent you are controlled by your employees, if you have any. He who controls the purse needs to also remember that everyone is a volunteer, and there are usually other fish in the sea! A disagreeable boss can soon become an ex-boss.

All of these “bosses” have one thing in common – you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them!

So perhaps offer whoever is your boss at the moment a kind word today. You never know how many bosses they’re dealing with!

Do you agree? Please share your comments, like a boss. 

Sarah-Joy Pierce and  Allan Johnson

are business coaches and the authors of Build Your Business, Build Your Life. Their mission is to help business owners enjoy their business and their life.


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