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How To Be A Better Boss To Yourself, Part 1

You’ve heard the industry saying a million times.

Franchising allows you to go into business for yourself, but not by yourself.

What’s not to like about this model? If you’re a motivated, entrepreneurial thinker with a high need for work autonomy who wants to own their own business, then owning a franchise can be an ideal path to professional satisfaction.

But let’s not forget the core human truth of being your own boss.

If most business owners treated others like they treated themselves, they wouldn’t have any friends, probably get fired and maybe go out of business.

The word boss derives from the term baas, which means overseer. And in the franchising world, there are numerous elements to oversee. Starting with yourself. In this new series, we will be examining a variety of common issues owners deal with, through the lens of being a better boss to yourself.

Staying focused on high leverage work

Have you ever worked for a boss who stopped by your workspace unannounced and talked your ear off about foolishness?

It’s frustrating and invasive. Get off my back boss man!

And yet, many entrepreneurs and small business owners commit this same workplace crime with themselves. They destroy hours upon hours every week with weapons of mass destruction like social media, fear based news and other toxic energy sources that pull focus away from what matters most, which is growing the business.

Franchises rise and fall on the shoulders of their owners. And if those shoulders are slumped over irrelevant work that isn’t moving the business forward, that company is in trouble.

One simple solution is to figure out your franchise’s okrs. This concept, made popular in the startup world, stands for objectives and key results. It’s a goal setting framework for defining and tracking meaningful work, but also a communication tool that helps you arrive at a common understanding and alignment towards your franchise’s goal.

For example, franchise owners might have the objective of increasing profits by ten percent. Or doubling their membership by the end of the year. Or reducing costs so their store shows the highest margins across the region. And as for the results, that might mean beefing up sales, improving customer service training or ramping up paid media efforts to lower cost per acquisition.

Whatever your okrs are, once they’re in alignment with the larger franchise organization’s mission, you now have a focus point. Even when you’re tempted to distract yourself with work that doesn’t matter, you can use this framework to rein in your attention and make better owner decisions more rapidly. That’s what a good boss would do.

Speaking to yourself about failure and rejection

Entrepreneur magazine once reported that one quarter of startup businesses fail within their first year, half of the remaining fail within five years, and thirty percent of the remaining in the last ten years. Yikes! Nobody said owning your business was easy.

And yes, in the franchising model, you have the advantage of a parent organization to help you, the owner, ramp back up after setups. But failures and rejections are part and parcel of the business ownership journey. They are what makes your life a story.

The question is, how do you speak to yourself when they happen?

Maybe you decide to pay a business growth consultant a large sum of money to supercharge your fitness franchise, but the results are subpar.

Maybe you underestimate the amount of time it takes to get your restaurant franchise rooted and established in your local community, and it feels like your business is running in quicksand.

Maybe you planned to expand your hair salon to a multi unit deal over the next year, but there was a global pandemic that decimated the economy and sent your customers seeking shelter in their homes, rather than into your store.

These failures, rejections, setbacks and disappointments happen. But as the franchise owner, you can’t allow your value to rise and fall in lockstep with that event. Maybe it was under your control, maybe not. But if you want to be a better boss to yourself, don’t beat yourself up for not being a fortune teller. Learn from the event, turn mistakes into lessons and lessons into habits, and keep moving the story forward.

Whatever type of business you're running in, if loud in your ears from every side you hear, failure, failure, failure, then franchising is going to be one hell of an uphill battle. On the other hand, if you learn to view your mistakes as just more of the universe coming into view, then you can create the energetic leverage to catapult yourself through.

- - -

Ultimately, being your own boss demands unremitting effort. Not only operationally, financially and strategically, but also psychologically.

And with increasing levels of self-employment, newfound entrepreneurship, mobile offices and global telecommuting, self-care has never been more essential for people who run their own small business.

That’s what being an owner is all about

You are the overseer.

Treat yourself as you wish to be treated, and your franchise will follow.

Read part 2 here.

Scott Ginsberg is Head of Content at FranchiseHelp. He was his own boss for ten years, until he got fired.

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