How the Worst Boss in the World Changed Her Ways

I normally don’t like to resort to name-calling on my blog, but today I want to tell you about a boss I had who was a complete bitch.

She was extremely vague about project parameters and deadlines. She disapproved whenever I took a day off. And she never, ever acknowledged my hard work.

The worst boss I ever had was…me!

I was a terrible boss to myself, much worse than any boss I’ve had in a corporate setting.

As a solo entrepreneur, I had to learn how to effectively manage my work habits without having someone standing over me wagging her finger. There’s no one around telling me what to do!

Even if you aren’t your own boss in your career, you ARE the boss of your life. It’s vital that you learn to manage yourself in and out of the office.

Here are some tips for being your own manager. Let’s go, bossypants!

Be Clear

A boss who gives her employees half-ass directions will get half-ass results. When you’re leading yourself to a goal, be as specific as possible about the outcomes you want and how things should be done.

For me, I need to write for 1 hour every morning before 8:00 am. Boom—specific.

Assign Deadlines

A task will take exactly as long as the amount of time you allot for it. Give yourself a deadline of 3 days, then you’ll take 3 days. Give yourself a deadline of an hour, and you’ll work your buns off to get it done in an hour.

If you don’t have a deadline, how can you expect to get the results you want?

Now as my own boss, I give myself deadlines that are just short enough to give me a sense of urgency but not so short that they give me a heart attack.

Take Time Off

To be an effective boss, you must model good behavior, and that means taking your vacation days.

A core component of my life coaching programs is putting yourself first and making self-care a high priority.

I take 1 day off plus 2 evenings off per week to do nothing but enjoy my family and free time. I also get away from it all during several vacations every year.

And you know what? My business (and life!) actually thrives when I allow myself to take breaks…and yours will too.

Celebrate Success

Any boss will tell you that success doesn’t fall out of the sky and land on your lap. It takes TONS of hard work and consistent action. That’s why successes need to be celebrated like the huge achievements they are.

Keep a notepad on your desk or work space and write down any successes you have during the day, big or small. Save all your daily success lists and read them once a month to see just how far you’ve come.

You’re amazing! You totally deserve a raise.

Are you a good boss? In the comments below, share your tips on how you manage yourself.

Want to take your self-management to the next level and reach your goals faster than you ever thought possible? Click here for all the details for Motivation Makeover Month: Career.


  1. Erika on September 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

    This is so true, Sage! We can be our own worst boss – and I’ve been guilty of doing this to myself! One thing I’m really bad about doing is not celebrating my successes. I just hop on to the next thing I want to do without savoring the moment of victory. I’m thinking of starting a “Success List” or something. A reward of some kind seems to be in order, too. Maybe at least a happy dance but I like the idea of a donut or magazine, too!

    Thanks for the great post!.

    • Sage Grayson on September 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      A Success List sounds like an awesome idea, Erika! And so does that donut. 🙂

  2. Emily on June 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    This is great food for thought. I think I have room to improve in bossing myself, especially with setting more specific deadlines and goals, and taking time off. Thanks Sage!

  3. H&K Style Journey on June 5, 2013 at 6:00 am

    These are all great tips! Working in an office setting full time, running a home business in the evenings, and being a mom, I definitely have to set goals and perimeters for myself to manage my time effectively. One thing I do is set a reward for myself. Finish a task, I get to have that donut or whatever. It’s the little things that make me happy 🙂 Heather

    • Sage Grayson on June 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      I love the idea of rewarding yourself after you do your work. And who wouldn’t want to celebrate an achievement with a yummy donut? 🙂 I use magazines as rewards throughout my work day.