How Your Past Life As a Employee Can Sabotage Your Business

Websites for Small Business Owners - Sylvia Adams

Have you ever just wanted to throw the towel in on your business? Come on if you’re really honest you know after the first year or so – there are days when you just hate your business and you just can’t figure out why.

You’ve busted your hump to keep everything up & running as smooth as possible and yet you’re starting to feel like you’ve created a “job” for yourself. You started your small business to get out of the rat race and now you feel like you’re right back in it again – only by your own hand.

This week’s post from of all places – the FreshBooks “Water Cooler” blog, is right on time with their post “Think Like a Business Owner, Not an Employee”.

In short – they remind us that we’re no longer in an “employer-employee” relationship and we have new-found responsibilities as a business owner that we would never have otherwise. FreshBooks’ team recommends certain steps that all small business owners should take to protect your business and your sanity.

It took me a long time and a few really bad client relationships for me to conquer this. I had “workplace baggage” left over from my last two full-time jobs as an employee.

I left positions where the owners were miserable and made everyone else miserable that worked for them. They bought so much baggage from their personal life into the workplace and it often directly impacted the company’s bottom line.

After the second fiasco – I said I never wanted to work with someone like them again.

Fast forward to just last year and I discovered, in hindsight, that I had managed to attract 3 such clients in my own business.

These are clients who feel that just because they’re giving you money – that you’re now their temporary employee and often forget that the relationship is just one business owner working with another, on equal footing.

They confuse this with “good customer service” and don’t seem to know that they are crossing certain “boundaries” with you that don’t exist in their “employer employee” relationships within their own business. There’s no nice way to say it – but it can happen to you too.

I doubt anyone does this intentionally so much as they (the owner) are used to running their own ship and haven’t had anyone say “no” to them in quite some time.

You see, I had slipped back into old workplace habits with these clients and started behaving more like a “resentful” employee than like the savvy business owner I had become.

This may appear like I’m being overly sensitive to a high-maintenance client, but the truth of the matter is, clients like these, can be a drain on your time & disrupt your businesses cash-flow. I had forgotten that I had still had a business to run and protect.

Ditching the “employer/employee mindset” is just one of four key points in this week’s featured post. It’s well worth the read and it’s a quick one! Check out “Think Like a Business Owner, Not an Employee” from FreshBooks.

Question: How you’ve managed to leave your “workplace baggage” behind? Share your comments and stories below.

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