Solopreneurs, Stop Being a Horrible Boss

One of my contemporaries wrote a nice post about the benefits of taking time off from work this Labor Day weekend.  In the title, she asks if the reader will be laboring through the U.S. holiday.  On her Google+ post, the first commenter mentions it will be just another work day for them.  It didn’t surprise me.  As a solopreneur myself I know we can be horrible bosses to work for.

I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is true.  If an employer expected or insisted on the things that we demand of ourselves we would be outraged.  Take a minute and really look at the expectations of the Solopreneur ‘boss’ as if it were requirements for a position:

  • Must work nights, weekends and holidays.  Would prefer someone who did not require any vacation time.
  • No sick days.  Since the position is from a home office you will be expected to work no matter what.  You may work from a laptop in bed if the illness makes you unable to work from your desk.
  • You will be available for work from early morning until late night.  Meals may be taken at your desk if time allows.  Otherwise, take advantage of the coffee machine and granola bars.
  • Candidate must have no aspirations for a social life and should be prepared to turn down offers of parties, dinners, movies and other events that take you away from your office.
  • Position will be overwhelming, however don’t expect any help.  This is a do it yourself position.

No self-respecting person would ever agree to a position like that would they?  So why do so many solopreneurs expect it out of themselves?

When did we get the strange idea that this is the way we are going to create a successful business?  And why do we crow about how long it’s been since we’ve taken a vacation like it was some twisted badge of honor?  Being a horrible boss to yourself is not some self-sacrificing secret to success.Tweet: Being a horrible boss to yourself is not some self-sacrificing secret to success. It’s simply treating yourself in a way you would never allow someone else to treat you.

At a time when large companies and other businesses are seeing the importance of the well-being of employees and studies are showing that taking vacation time leads to better performance, it’s just downright crazy that so many  solopreneurs are doing just the opposite.

The good news is, you can do something about it.  Stop being a horrible boss.  Take true vacations, have a social life, step away from the desk and enjoy your meals, take walks, shut down the computer, find a little help for the overwhelm, and if you’re in the U.S. this weekend, enjoy your Labor Day.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.