Ever hated your boss? Plenty of us have. In fact I only lasted six months in employment before I worked out that being told what to do by someone else wasn't for me. We've all imagined quitting on the spot and flouncing out of the office on to bigger and better things. In fact, speaking to friends and colleagues I don't think a good boss actually exists in large corporations, they're a fictional anomaly. The unicorns of the business world. No one I know has ever seen one. At best, they've started out great, then become grating. And it's a huge drain on your well being and motivation.
So how do we avoid that sense of dread that creeps up on a Sunday night? The dread of the 9-5 that await us, the weekend is over, it's time to iron that suit for the morning and you'd give your right arm for a time machine to take you back to Friday night. But instead, you're off to the grindstone tomorrow, where you will dream of the lottery win that will allow you to quit your job. Who wants to live this way?
The answer is to be your own boss. I'm not saying it's the easy option but I do not have enough time in my life to deal with poor management or being spoken down to, so off I went and got started on my own. It was time to take control.
Becoming your own boss is a daunting prospect. Do you have a business plan? A bank loan? Investors? Of course you don't, no one has those sorts of things at their disposal. But what you do have is a unique skill set, completely tailored to the lifestyle you want to lead. You just don't know it yet.
What are your hobbies? Art, music, gardening, reading? OK, so I'm not suggesting every guitar player at a Monday Open-Mic is going to be a star if only they had the balls to quit their job, but what I am saying is that it's possible to make your money by utilising your existing skills. So you play the guitar - This can be used a number of ways. Place an ad for lessons on Gumtree for example, get to know your local venues and offer to review their bands (if not only for the free tickets!) and get yourself savvy with social media. Busy pub owners don't have the time to tackle Twitter or faff about with Facebook, they're busy changing barrels. But you're just the person to run their social media accounts.
Getting active about self-employment is essential, and requires passion. Before you know it, that love of music turns you into the "Promotions and Marketing Mogul" in your local area, and with your pool of music-lesson clients building, you'll have a swelling income before you know it! And this can be translated across the board.
Gardening experts - Get on Gumtree and advertise your niche potting skills. You don't need to set up a landscaping business. The internet has changed the face of freelancing, and the customer is up for grabs. Don't be elbowed aside by the bigger corporations, because you can offer what they can't - Personal service, flexibility and reliability. And isn't that what the consumer deserves?
Increasingly, customers are preferring to deal with a particular person when it comes to engaging in a service or product. And that means you. Freelance writers are the best example for a skill that gives an individual the opportunity to smash the 9-5 barrier and become their own boss. With websites like PeoplePerHour, it doesn't matter if you're a newbie or novice, because it's about pitching. Think of it like the executive's eBay - A freelance writer can log in and bid for real-time projects that are suited to their skills and interests, and get that job done in hours. The premise is "fastest-finger-first" and the guy who gets the job isn't the writer at the top of the "approved suppliers" list any more. It's the person with the best pitch. Again - That's you.
It's changing the way we do business, as it's no longer about who you know and your business contacts. It's about who you are and what you're good at. And it's no secret that doing what you love is the key to a successful and happy life. But it does have its downsides - Working from home can be lonely, and decreases your opportunities to meet new contacts. But with LinkedIn bringing networking online, signing up and making contacts will make sure you're not left behind. As for lonely? You'll be far too busy keeping up with your work to worry about that. And if all else fails, get a dog.
I've seen many a freelancer flourish, and it's so rewarding watching someone live what they love. The best freelancer is someone who maintains method, has a set workspace and sticks to a schedule. This isn't about being able to work in your pyjamas, so treat your day like any other work day. Get up and dressed, get behind that keyboard and don't be tempted by distraction. No Jeremy Kyle. Although that's a rule that doesn't just apply to improving your work productivity...
So screw the downfalls, it's worth the risk. Taking the plunge into freelancing is frightening, but trust me, you have the talent. So find it, farm it out and start flourishing. And leave the bad managers behind.