Don't be a dick boss.

I think one of the hardest things about being self-employed is learning how to be my own boss. It is a tricky thing but not in the way I thought it would be. You see, I was a notoriously lazy kid, and I remember thinking that I would never be able to go into business for myself. I was a slacker and would never get anything done. Strangely the opposite is true.

I find my self filling up every free moment I have. If I'm not working, I'm thinking about work. When I am working, I'm thinking about what other work I need to be doing. I fall asleep worrying about what needs to be done tomorrow and I get up worrying about getting enough done in the time I have. The problem is that milestones aren't reached every day. Like every other job in the world, most days are filled with getting by.

Somewhere along the line I've turned into a jerk of a boss. I'm the kind of guy that wants people to come in on the weekends, watches what time they get to their desks, and judges those who aren't staying late. I became my own boss so I wouldn't have to deal with jerks like me.

I never thought that I would have trouble learning when to not work. At some point I have to flip the switch and say, "Ok, I'm done for today." and leave the job behind. I've found it helps to make a routine change. When the day is over I change out of my work clothes (even if it is from one pair t-shirt and jeans to a different pair of t-shirt and jeans). I'll get out of the house, get some exercise, cook dinner, have a cocktail, or find a happy hour. I've even thought about figuring out a way to clock out. The import part is to get some distance, leave it all behind, and give yourself a chance to get some perspective for tomorrow.

When you are your own boss, at some point you have to decide what kind of boss you want to be. I don't know about you, but I'd like to be the kind of guy I would want to work for.