Be Your Own Boss: Reclaiming Your Career in New Motherhood
You just had a baby and it’s an eating, sleeping and pooping machine. You need and want to work but being beholden to an office and the 9-5 schedule just isn’t for you. You want to set your own hours, you want to be your own boss. So, how do you become your own bad-ass boss?
The world has changed – and I don’t just mean your world has changed. There are endless resources at your fingertips: telecommuting, Skype conferences, Google hangouts, outsourcing, Upwork, and mastermind groups to help you get through it all.
We are living in the slam-dunk-perfect time to be female entrepreneurs. That’s a fancy way to say, “I’ll do whatever the heck I want, when I want to, dang it.” I have been my own boss since I was 20 years-old. I am a comedian and a self-help writer and speaker.
4 Things You Need to be your own boss
A Support Network: If you have child-care, this is gonna be a breeze. If not, this support could simply be a parent or friend willing to jump in and baby sit when you get a great meeting or a call. Next, get a business mentor. I have a wonderful business mentor that I love from NAWBO, the National Association Of Women Business Owners. Next, find other entrepreneurs in your field connect with for advice and networking. It’s important to find other moms who will listen and understand. People to call and ask for help, cheerleading, references, and honestly, just someone who can tell you about a stylist who allows strollers in their salon and won’t give you the evil eye.
Create Boundaries: Let’s be clear: most entrepreneurs work too much. Generally we can’t stop and that’s because we entrepreneurs love our work. Once you are your own boss, the trick is to create boundaries for work and home life. Don’t kid yourself. You’re going to need to set up some systems ahead to make sure you don’t over work. Underworking is a thing of the past for you.
Self-Confidence: Okay here’s a biggie. When you go out on your own, all those little “you can’t do this” voices are going to come bubbling to the surface. Expect it! It’s the job of your Inner Critic to try to protect you from failure. Or so it thinks. Have a little chat with that Critic. Tell it it has a new job: Inner Coach. It can cheerlead or it can simply say factually non-judgmental information that could help you like, “You need an accountant,” but anything else it says, you have to totally ignore. Those voices are from your family, your childhood, the culture – all the things set up to keep you “safe” –which in this case means “stuck.” Send ‘em packing. Your personal coach is on deck now. (For more on the Inner Coach, check out that chapter in my self-help book, “Improvisation For The Spirit: Live a More Creative, Spontaneous Life Using The Tools of Improv Comedy.”)
Don’t try to figure it all out before you take the leap. I use this expression in my book: “Read, Go, Set!” You have to leap and try things first, and readjust the plan after you’ve started. You won’t know where you’re heading until you’re heading somewhere.
Being your own boss allows you to reinvent yourself. Having a baby is a time of reinvention as well. And it’s not like one you day you say, “Oh! I got it!” Work and life is a constant reinvention. And that’s a good thing! It’s exciting and fun. It makes you feel authentically attuned to who you are NOW. Being your own boss is one of the best ways to be fulfilled and satisfied and truly you.
Katie Goodman is an award-winning musical comic, actress, author, speaker and social activist. As the creator and headliner of Broad Comedy, an internationally touring satirical show, is co-produced and co-written with her husband, Soren Kisiel, Katie’s edgy blend of politics, feminism and music makes her one of the most exciting comedians working today.