I knew from pretty early on in my career, that I wasn't going to make a great employee. It wasn't that I was going to get myself fired, but more that I may have walked out of any job where I couldn't create my own job description.
Before I discover that, I managed to suck it up and work in corporate for just under a year, of which the first eight months was with a boss who taught me all I needed to know about being an entrepreneur, without either of us realising it.
I'll tell you how the story ended and they go back to the juicy bits. Basically, that incredible boss moved on and I got a real taste of what corporate could be like, with another boss who managed to frustrate me so much that within two months, I resigned. That's where my entrepreneurial journey was born, way back in 1993. Admittedly, I worked for my mom for a few years, but she was grooming me to be the boss of her business ... which clearly didn't pan out the way either of us through it would. But back to the one great lesson.
I was a secretary, with a real typewriter and the beginning stages of working on a computer. Our faxes were still received or rolls of fax paper and I didn't have a clue what it meant to take the things I learned from college and implement them into the real world. My boss knew that and everything she needed me to do, she would do first.
She always told me ... and this is the one big lesson ... Don't give your team anything to do that you can't or won't do yourself.?
She taught me lots of other stuff, but the rest paled in comparison to that important message. On days when I wasn't getting all my work done, she would send a few emails herself or crank up the fax machine and send it. Some days, we would stick address labels on envelopes together, during our lunch time. She rocked and I wanted to rock too.
Fast forward to the boss I am today. Firstly, I have a team and I don't think I have ever said "staff member" or "employee". Every bit of work that my full or part time team do, I can do too. I may not have done it in a while, but I could *said with a rusty old brain*.
If there's training, I go on it as much as I possibly can. If I miss it, I want my team to teach me so I can jump in if they need me.
Thanks goodness I was taught how important it is to get and keep your hands dirty.
Life happens and today a team member needed us to pull together and help her. That meant I had to roll up my sleeves and do things I haven't done for nearly two years in the business.
I panicked so much this morning that I was giggling on the phone to one of our service providers, because she needed to help me along and kick start a few processes for me.
Amazingly, the only thing I didn't know how to do, was screen grab on my Mac. Don't judge ... it's new(ish).
The rest of the day, between juggling what was on the agenda, I got stuck in and I was so chuffed with myself. I even redid the templates, because it was time and I totally have the capability. It's easy to tell someone in the team to do it, but it's also as empowering to keep my hands dirty.
If it weren't for my one vital lesson, I would have missed training days, thinking that it's the work of other members of team. I wouldn't know how to work in the packages and systems that helped keep my business on track today, and I'm so damn proud of me.
I must say I have learned a lot from bosses - I love what you write, can really relate to what you say. I have worked in the corporate world and had two wonderful bosses. But I am best at being my own boss.
I do believe there are some great bosses out there, but are still gems to find. There's nothing like being our own boss 🙂
I love this, and it's so bloody true!
Thank you SO much, Cath! It means a whole lot to me, from the writing queen, herself 😉