Being a boss: on-the-job training

There is a common situation that plays out in almost every kind of business. An employee observes the boss carefully – let’s say the employee is a carpenter and the boss is a contractor – and the employee decides he’d be able to do what the boss does. Why should he settle for an hourly wage, while the contractor makes all the profit on the job? So the employee leaves his job and strikes out on his own as a contractor, figuring now he’ll have his own business and make all the profit.

Maybe he does, and maybe he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, it’s most likely because, though he’s a fine carpenter, he’s not a successful manager. He doesn’t know how to find customers. He doesn’t know how to budget a job. He doesn’t know how to schedule his workers. He’s not buying materials at a good price. And on and on.

The point here is: it takes a different skill set to be the boss, and you have to master those skills to run your business successfully, even if you’re a one person company. Being a boss is something you learn on the job, and you have to learn it quickly. Be aware that while you may have work experience, you probably don’t know everything a boss in your kind of business does, until you’re the boss.

This entry was posted in Business Operations, Leadership and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *