The self-employment mindset: Component #2: Decisiveness

Self-employment is filled with choices. Are you decisiveness enough to make choices and stick with them?

By Jeanne Yocum

This is the second part of my series on the mindset you need to succeed as your own boss. You can read the first post in this series here. These ideas are also shared in my new book, The Self-Employment Survival Guide: Proven Strategies to Succeed as Your Own Boss.

Until you step out into self-employment, you may not have considered that this is probably the first time in your entire career where you have the ultimate power to make decisions. Previously, it’s likely that someone else always had decision-making authority over you. You had a boss who set your priorities for you and who ultimately could overrule you. Thus, you may actually have had little experience with making big decisions – or perhaps even little decisions, depending on the type of work you were doing.

This all changes dramatically when you become self-employed. As your own boss, you are responsible for every single choice that needs to be made about your business. You need to be able to make decisions in a timely manner and then stick with them. Indecisive, wishy-washy people who constantly change directions have a hard time with self-employment. Every day is filled with choices about the direction you’re taking your business, what you need to do next to move your business forward, and about the work you’re doing for your clients.

Are you ready for this?

Before making the leap into the world of self-employment, please carefully consider whether you’re really ready to not have a boss – to not have someone who is making the key decisions or confirming for you that your decision is the correct one. I am usually quite decisive, but even I sometimes have had problems picking from among the many options I’ve faced as my own boss. If someone like me occasionally feels anxious over trying to figure out what the priorities should be, I can only imagine what it would be like for someone who gets stressed over any type of decision-making.

[amazon_link asins=’1538108712′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingin-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b880be74-5e80-11e8-a071-a3d27bb9329b’]Sure, you can seek opinions on key decisions from mentors, colleagues, or family and friends. But when you’re self-employed, in the end it all comes down to you. You are the one who will have to make the decisions that will determine if you succeed…or don’t. Will you be comfortable with this? Can you be decisive when you need to be?

If, upon reflection, your stomach gets a little queasy at the notion of having to be the “decider,” then perhaps you should consider delaying your dream of self-employment until you become more comfortable with decision-making. It is quite possible that once you get more professional experience – and more life experience – under your belt, you will become more at ease with decision-making and be better prepared for life without a boss.

If you happen to be one of the unlucky people who has a bad boss, having no boss at all probably seems awfully attractive. I, in fact, became self-employed in large part because I chafed under the micromanagement of my last boss. If you find yourself in a similar situation, before making such a move, please thoroughly consider the ramifications of having no boss at all. If decisiveness is not part of your mindset, perhaps a better move would be to find a new job with a better, more supportive boss.


Leave a Reply

The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

Self-Employment Survival Guide book cover