Ep. 228 How to be a better boss to yourself

how to be a better boss to yourself

In this week’s episode, Anna asks how you can be a better boss – to yourself!

Are you a good boss to yourself?

In this week’s episode, Anna explores how easy it is to blame others, your employer or your clients, for the stress you are experiencing. But the truth is that you have agency and control over your circumstances. By taking responsibility for your situation, you can develop the resilience and flexibility necessary to navigate the challenges of being your own boss.

So, are you ready to take control of your work and your life? Tune in to this week’s episode to learn how you can be the best boss you’ve ever had.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

The Outsiders Business Academy – A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course

Be your own boss

Hello there, and welcome back as we reflect on how you can be a better boss, to yourself in particular, and I know that sounds odd, but the truth is that as the CEO of your own business, as a freelancer, solopreneur as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, and even as an employee, you are your own boss. And so it’s easy to blame other people, the job, the company, the situation for the stress that we’re in, but really, we have so much agency and so much, unfortunately, blame, I suppose, but certainly ownership responsibility to take in this situation when it comes to the stress that we’re under the pressure, how we’re managing our time, and so on. Now, I’m not saying this to make you feel bad. And you know, it can feel, I guess, there’s feelings of guilt and, and even more pressure, because now Oh, my goodness is it’s not even that I can say that. It’s something external, it’s me. And now I have to fix all this stuff. And that’s not what I’m trying to say.

But it’s actually incredibly empowering. I teach a stress and resilience workshop. And one of the big pieces of resilience is that you focus on the things that you can control.

And of course, we hear it again and again, in social media memes. But it’s true, that you can’t affect you can’t influence the things that happen to you, but you can influence how you respond, right? So even if it’s true, that you’re in a really stressful situation, and so on, which let’s be honest, is often the case, unfortunately, we still have the power of the agency to respond in a way that will minimize the damage it causes, I suppose. And so we’re talking about this all in the context of flexible working and work life balance and boundaries and all these things. Right. So again, it’s easy to blame the job, the manager, the economy. And, and, you know, I talked about leaving the nine to five, of course, and it’s easy to demonize that whole construct.

And yes, there are many reasons that I think it’s not fit for purpose anymore. It’s it’s not something that works for the modern way of living and working. And it’s something that we can and should challenge. I talk about those two sets of reasons as well pushing you out of that world, the toxic work culture, disconnect with your values, bad boss, long commute, poor work, life balance, and so on. And then the pool reasons pulling you towards something different, more freedom, autonomy, flexibility, fulfillment, and so on. But as we’ve shared as well, the last few weeks, of course, the lines have been a bit blurred, because flexibility, flexible working is becoming more the norm even in the corporate construct.

So the nine to five is being a bit blurred as being poked and prodded a bit, the four day work week hybrid working. So there are some exciting developments happening and certainly my own thinking has evolved over the years as well.

But I suppose and I wrote a blog post on this on my personal brand website and other than bed.com, a while ago, where I said perhaps a bit insultingly when the problem is you not the job. Because of course, I’ve shared many times that I have self diagnose myself with good girl syndrome, my upbringing, my education, I tend to look for external validation. I also talked about the curse of the high achiever, you know, when we have that drive to perform to equate achievement with hard work, and so on. And I know that resonates with a lot of you as well. And there is a culture, there’s a tone set by senior management as to how you manage your time and energy, when you’re expected to pick up calls, emails outside your working hours, how much your well being and family needs are taken into account and so on. And of course, it’s hard to set boundaries and no one respects them, or when doing so will have a negative impact on your career prospects. But the truth is, it really does come down to you, your habits, your mindset, your choices. And that’s an empowering thought, in fact, because it means that you have the power to control how you live and work. And I’m playing around with a bit of a Venn diagram of you, your team and your organization at the moment. And if you think of you as an individual, all the work that I do with my clients and the Business Academy, it’s the whole first section of my book outside of the nine to five and the first pillar of defining success.

It starts with you having a clear vision for your life and career.

You having clear values, your purpose and understanding of your strengths and skills, that sense of balance, prioritizing self care having clear priority T’s setting boundaries, that is an I hesitate to put a finger on it, but it’s certainly a large chunk of of contributing factors, when it comes to how you’re feeling how on top of your work you are, how flexible and chill your day is at work, again, whether you’re a solopreneur, or in a bigger team, right? If you’re managing a broader team, as your own business or in a company, and so really it starts with those factors, your vision, your values, your priorities, your boundaries, right. And that’s really, really important. It’s up to you to identify and communicate your boundaries, you’re responsible for being clear on your priorities. Yes, when I was junior, I struggled to know what was the priority, I should and could turn to my boss to ask, okay, is this the priority with that, but really now at this point in our career, you know, we have the power and the opportunity to say no, we can and should drop certain balls. And yes, ultimately, we have the option to quit our job and go to a different employer or to do our own thing. But the important thing is that you then still have the responsibility to behave differently. Because the reason why I called that article when the problem is you’re not the job is that I see again, again, we take those same habits and behaviors with us, when we quit our job, when we change from one job to another.

If we have the same Good girl, good boy, overachiever habits and behaviors ingrained in us, then we’re not actually going to, you know, see any of the benefits really from changing employer changing business.

And you know, there might be some initial benefits, some initial excitement, from the change, you have that promise of things being different, and so on. But soon enough, the same issues will return because again, you’ve brought those same habits and behaviors with you. So again, whether you’re starting your own business, or you’re simply senior in your organization, you need to manage yourself, not to mention, then your team members. So I’d really love for you to ask yourself, you know, how would you want your boss to behave? What kind of role modeling behaviors would you like to see from your boss? And then that means of course, that’s how you should be behaving? What example Do you want to set for your team? What processes parameters do you want to put in place? Coming back to this Venn diagram? I talked about your role in making flexible working and so on work for you have a think about your team, right, the team needs to have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. And that goes for whether it’s me and my social media assistant, podcasting editor, whoever else accountant and so on. And it goes for you if you’ve got a broader team, multifunctional team in the office, clear processes, trust communication, obviously training in the right areas, including things like time management, and so on, right? So is that something you can consider for yourself or even for your team members to upskill in those areas to learn some new hacks for managing your time more effectively? So that’s your team. And then your organization? Yes, of course.

They’re flexible working practices. We talked about this the other week, in terms of what they allow in terms of job share, and remote and Flexi time, compressed time, term time working, all those things that has a factor plays a factor. The organizational culture even more so support from senior levels, the attitudes, the mindset, because of course, it’s one thing to have it on paper, it’s another to actually live and breathe it. And then you know, how your performance is measured. Because if it’s still measured on, let’s say, in law, billable hours, and so on, then you know, it doesn’t matter how effectively you manage your time, because it’s still based on sort of how many hours you know, you’re in the office and, and all of those traditional kinds of clocking in clocking out, so I’m speaking to you, whatever your role is, but what I find particularly interesting as a business owner, myself is that we no longer have the possibility to blame someone else. I can’t even blame clients. Because if I have a client, whether it’s an individual or a company, b2c, or b2b, I’ve chosen to work with that client. I’ve got myself into such situation potentially. And it happens less and less now hasn’t happened long time where I’ve perhaps become resentful because I haven’t set my boundaries. I haven’t been clear, I haven’t said no. And that’s my fault. And I’m not talking you know, it doesn’t matter. It’s not about the blame. The positive point here is that I have the capacity to change it. So I think it’s a really interesting thought experiment to think okay, what would your ideal boss be like? And can you be that person for yourself? Now, if you have team members, whether in your own business or in a bigger company, then that’s amazing, because that just means you’ll be a better manager, director, leader for them, but really, for your own selfish purposes?


Let us help you design a business and a life that gives you freedom from the 9 to 5. There are several options for how you can work with us. Choose the programme that’s right for you.

The Outsiders Business Incubator

A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business. onestepoutside.com/9to5

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An ongoing mastermind for service-based business owners, freelancers and online entrepreneurs who are ready to achieve success on their own terms. onestepoutside.com/accelerate

The Outsiders Business Academy

A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course

1:1 Coaching & Mentoring

If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching

The Outsiders Business Academy

A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5.


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