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Starting / Building confidence

Take charge… like a boss!

Many Flying Solo members say the best and worst thing about being a soloist is being in charge. Why the lack of confidence? Here are my tips for taking charge like a boss.*

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Make decisions like a boss

As a soloist, you make the decisions that affect the future of your business – a role at once liberating and terrifying. No longer can you double-check with your manager – the buck stops with you, and it’s your own money on the line. 

I tend to wade through pools of pros and cons until the best decision seems to be no decision at all. But treading water gets you nowhere.

To help I put a deadline on making decisions, contextualise them (“Given the circumstances, I think it’s best to…”) and visualise how I’d still survive if I slipped up. This approach helps give me confidence to make choices faster, with less fear and without regret.

Accept responsibility like a boss

As the King Pin of your business, there’s nowhere to hide if things go wrong. You can’t blame accounts for not paying an invoice, or operations for not delivering on time. The promises you make are yours to keep.

"I tend to wade through pools of pros and cons until the best decision seems to be no decision at all. But treading water gets you nowhere."

Some people manage their fear of failure by never taking risks, or by being perfectionists. Others might make mistakes and then make excuses for them. The ‘boss’ way to handle mishaps is to embrace them, learn from them, and be honest – to yourself and your clients.

Give feedback like a boss

One downside of being in charge is there’s no one above you to tell you when you’re doing a good job. Receiving feedback and praise has a profound effect on your motivation, so it’s essential you get some. If you receive kind words from a client, bottle them (I’ve created a feedback folder in my inbox, however a testimonials page on your website is another great idea). But don’t wait for praise to arrive. Celebrate your own successes and review your performance regularly.

Build your confidence in these areas and you’ll soon remember why being in charge like a boss really is the best thing about being a soloist. Not the worst.

*The ‘like a boss’ catchphrase was coined in a Saturday Night Live skit and evolved into a genre of internet memes depicting someone or something performing an action with unflinching confidence and authority. Bonus tip: whenever tackling something you’re unsure about, picture yourself doing it “like a boss”, and it seriously helps boost your self-belief. Don’t knock it till you try it!

How do you take charge like a boss?

Image source: Flickr, under a Creative Commons License

Jodie McLeod

is a freelance copywriter, editor and journalist, and former Editor of Flying Solo. If you're after an intelligent crafter of catchy copy who has loads of experience with words, ads and ideas, get in touch.

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