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Emotional Health And Radical Honesty With Yourself – The Paradox Of Freedom Being Your Own Boss


I want to start by suggesting that you have a serious heart-to-heart with yourself. I know a few people who have left the workforce to be their own boss. They were frustrated by issues they believed were out of their control.  They made the perhaps fair generalization of how much better things would be for all parties involved if the owner or manager addressed workplace issues to their satisfaction.  In time, they realized running a business, the consequences of being the boss, were not what they envisioned it to be.  The problem is that when you give birth to a business there are greater demands that even the most prepared mind cannot fathom.  It is easy to romanticize owning a business when you are only focused on escaping unfair workplace problems.  Being in charge creates a new set of unfair problems.  I do not want to discourage you, but I also do not want to glorify owning a business.  If you are not in a stable place mentally or at least have a strong support system, the timing may not be right for you to start a business.  I want to start by suggesting you (future and current business owners) ask in private if you are starting a business for the right reasons.  Ask yourself this serious question periodically.  Does your answer feel inspiring to you?

Why Customers May Not Take You Seriously

I have a great deal of respect and admiration for young entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in their teens and early 20s.  I cannot say I had the emotional stability to run a business (especially high-end detailing) 20 years ago.  In my youth and early adulthood, I struggled with self-acceptance and self-confidence.  Little did I know that all the work I put into bettering myself and facing personal demons was also preparing me to be a business owner.  Little did I know some of my qualities that many of my friends raved about translates well to business.  Maybe self-acceptance is that final roadblock holding you back.

When you start a business, it cannot just be about what you are escaping from.  I absolutely have a ‘chip on my shoulder.’  But the reason you are starting a business must feel inspiring to you.  Jonathan Monson authored a great article titled, ‘You Need A Reason.’  It is about your ‘WHY’.  Those mission statements and vision statements are supposed to be empty phrases.  They serve as personal reminders when we may become fatigued or distracted by outside influences.  Just knowing who you are and learning to appreciate that provides a foundation.

There are many ways to keep a positive mindset and hit the reset button when feeling exhausted with stress.

Taking family, friends, and clients’ advice (at times reluctantly) to spend time away from business for myself.  To get away does not always have to cost a fortune.  Immersing yourself with nature, a silly text exchange with that friend you can be yourself with, some comedy and a lovely home cooked meal can do wonders.  Some of my best ideas have come after exercise, a shower, or even a good night of sleep.

Sometimes I will take time to think of all that I accomplished.  In our pursuit for perfection, we become deflated obsessing over our shortcomings.  I have always been more motivated by positive energy.  That drive includes taking others negativity and turning it into a positive force.

Sometimes I take time to feel gratitude.  I am thankful for having those friends that gave me timely support, compassion, and encouragement.  I am thankful for some of the most decorated individuals in the detailing industry to see something in me that I did not necessarily see in myself.  I think a lot of us have felt gratitude for those moments when our client sees the detailed car and becomes overwhelmed with emotion.


Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
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2 comments on Emotional Health And Radical Honesty With Yourself – The Paradox Of Freedom Being Your Own Boss

  1. Beau says:

    Thank you for the fantastic article on the joys and pains of owning your own business. I share many of Rodney’s thoughts, and if you are considering self-employment, one of the biggest challenges is overcoming the fear of taking the leap. Set yourself up to have all the advantages that you can, prior to the change, so that you can walk out one door, and then walk into your new environment ready to work. Make sure you are prepared, an expert in your field, and have a support system. Keep in mind that even though you are starting your own business, you are still a full-time employee. Once you get going, establish procedures to make your transition automatic. Even if you don’t have any projects going, show up to work and make getting new work your priority. And, as a last piece of advice, never burn your bridges with former employers (they may be surprisingly supportive and send you work.) Some people are made for this, and some are not. If you are up for the journey, it can be extremely rewarding.

  2. Shirsty A says:

    Excellent article. Written well and gave me lots of ideas and tips to apply in my life. Thanks.

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