For years I was told that I should open my own restaurant, and I always balked at the idea. The insistence of others that I become my own boss seemed crazy. You see, I put years into running other people’s businesses and was always amazed at how much more they worked than I did – and I worked a lot. In fact, I ate overtime like it was candy, even after moving to salary status. Why (and how) would I double down on my commitment to hard work? Still, the nudging of others got me thinking.
Looking back, I worked with and for entrepreneurs my whole life. They included my father, who has worked for himself throughout my life and still does. There was also the independent restaurateur who gave me my first shot as an executive chef. He fired me one year only to rehire me the next year and then developed me for nine more years. He was a great boss. And there were others. G.J. Hart and Kent Tayler (RIP) taught me that if you can envision it, you can make it happen. And today, there is Eric Goodwin, who is driven to give away his knowledge and skills to help others find their dream of business ownership.
The year I took the leap
In 2013, I finally made the move to work for myself by launching my talent recruitment partnership with Goodwin Recruiting. They provided the support, systems, and infrastructure. All I had to do was provide the effort. Or so I thought. It turned out that this move would stretch and challenge me in ways I could not imagine until I was fully invested.
Each week I wear two hats – the business owner’s hat and the hat of the performer, the person who makes the wheels of the business turn each day. As the owner, I put on this hat each Sunday night or Monday morning to plan my week. Once the week is planned, the owner’s hat goes on the shelf, and I put on my performer hat. On Friday afternoons, I put my owner’s hat back on and review the week’s successes and opportunities.
Some weeks, I find that I’m a great boss and terrible performer. Other weeks, I’m a great performer and not-so-great boss. I think most entrepreneurs would agree that being your own boss is about learning, growing, and knowing that being the best boss and team member 100% of the time is not a constant reality.
A time and reason to celebrate
National Boss’s Day is celebrated every year on October 16, and I’m celebrating the boss version of me by looking at some of my greatest moments as a business owner. It’s easy to pinpoint the defining moments of business ownership because they involve people whose lives were changed by the clients and recruiting partners with whom I work.
For example, one of my partners and I had the opportunity to work with a recent college graduate who was also a first-generation immigrant to the United States. We helped her find her dream job right out of college and begin her path to U.S. citizenship. Moments like these are the best gifts. They turn into celebration-worthy milestones and are the reasons we keep doing what we do – like a boss!
The importance of gratitude and an open mind
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to be a great boss or even a good manager if you don’t listen to the people around you. I’m thankful to the people who picked me up when I fell down, spoke the truth when I needed to hear it, and partnered with me to change people’s lives. I am grateful for the clients I’ve worked with through the years and the work we accomplished together to grow our mutual businesses. Most of all, I am thankful to the people who long ago pushed me to become my own boss. Their confidence in me led to a successful startup.
I may run my own business and be my own boss, but I must express gratitude to some people who taught me so much along the way.
When I first interviewed with Eric Goodwin more than eight years ago, he asked why I wanted to own my own business. To which I replied, “People have been telling me for years that I need to work for myself because I ‘don’t play well with others.'” Yes, I still smile every time I think about that interview. From that day forward, Eric has been a source of inspiration to me and a great leader and business owner.
My first regional director at Goodwin Recruiting taught me that you’re not running your business unless it feels like a wheel is about to come off the bus. Great insight! It taught me always to anticipate and be prepared to act. And to Jessica Diamond, one of the best training leaders I’ve ever known – thank you for pushing me. There are so many other influential people here within Goodwin Recruiting who have helped me develop a true ownership mentality. Happy Boss’s Day to me and all of my partners here at Goodwin!
Do you want to be your own boss?
If you love the idea of building careers and helping companies find great talent, consider joining our team at Goodwin Recruiting. Entrepreneurs thrive here with the perks of being your own boss, running your own talent recruiting business, and having unlimited earning potential. The culture and training are second to none – and celebrating success is highly encouraged!