I was having lunch with a client and fellow small business owner several weeks ago. We were talking about the age old issue of starting a business to do what you love then spending all of your time managing the business instead of doing what you love (unless you are lucky like me and love to manage your business). This is the same thing that happens when a great employee is promoted to management—they are no longer a great designer, they are a person who manages designers.
We were talking about how the people that we work with don’t really know what we do all day. I confess when I worked for a small company I didn’t realize everything my boss was doing all day. There is also a perception that we are messing around all day, goofing off on Facebook, chatting on the phone, etc while our coworkers are doing the “real work”. In my case the “real work” of my business is designing the mobile app, web app or corporate tool or being the person that gets to develop them.
So, what is your boss doing today while you are doing the “real work”?
She or he is worrying. We are worrying about you having food on your table. We are worrying about food on our own table. We are worrying about delivering on current projects and securing new ones. We are talking to people we may not want to talk to, we are getting dressed up and driving all over the valley to back to back meetings. We are promoting our business through social media. We are wistfully remembering that we wanted this business because we loved what we did and wanted to do it all the time.
If your boss is very lucky — every once in a while she or he gets to join you and do the “real work”.
Please take a moment to thank your boss for creating the security for you to be able to do what you love to do all day. Don’t wonder why you are the one doing all the “real work” while your boss runs around doing other things that you don’t see the immediate value in. Pay close attention and if you have the spirit to be an entrepreneur, learn all that you can because someday you’ll be the one on the phone, running around, spending more time than you want to on Facebook and sneaking in a few minutes to actually design.
This work includes the photo “Green Pastures and Blue Skies,” available under a Creative Commons Attribution license, © katmeresin.