Workplace Rights

Weekly (9/26/16)

Topic of the Week  Hire a New Boss

  • Can you adjust to playing multiple roles in a small shop?
  • Can you learn to love it?
  • Can you live with less frequent deposits?
  • Can you learn to love life on your own?

Hire a New Boss: You

Ever dream of being your own boss? Daydream about calling the shots where you work? Tired of feeling like other people control your life? Join the club. I hear from a lot of people who are ready to do their own thing. Or at least escape doing someone else's. Which reminds me of a song that was popular in the 1960's, "Both Sides Now." Feel free to sing along with my updated "cublicle" version:

Memos & pulling out your hair, decisions left up in the air,
And little tyrants everywhere, I've looked at work that way.
But now it only blocks my fun, it makes me mad at everyone,
So many things I could have done, but my job got in my way!

Believe it or not many people have escaped the corporate hallways to start their own business. And with all the technology out there, it's easier than ever to challenge the big boys (yes, they're still mostly boys). But before you start planning your escape, it's important to take a long look in the mirror to see if you have what it takes to take that big step from a tenth floor cubicle to working off your kitchen table. Thousands of intrepid souls have made that leap, but it's not for everyone. Unfortunately a lot more end up selling out on their dreams than end up selling stock in their companies. So I've come up with four questions to help you take your own entrepreneurial pulse.

You're used to playing one role in a big organization. Can you adjust to playing multiple roles in a small shop? In the corporate world there's a specialist for every detail. In your own shop you're the chief cook and bottle washer. Do you have the skills and the patience?

You're used to minimizing risk. Can you learn to love it? Corporations treat risk the way Japanese chefs treat blowfish: a tiny bit, carefully prepared, and only on special occasions. In start-ups, risk is the main course. Do have the stomach?

You're used to a steady paycheck. Can you live with less frequent deposits? Most entrepreneurs start out with Mercedes dreams but keep the Chevy a lot longer than they thought. Are you ready to chuck the expense account for a more humble lifestyle?

You're used to having colleagues. Can you learn to love life on your own? Your coworkers may drive you crazy, but at least they're there. The support and insight of colleagues is the thing that most entrepreneurs miss the most.

If you've passed this "test"--and if you've got a damn good business idea--go for it! Kiss your boss goodbye. 'Cause as Joni Mitchell could have said:

Tears and fears and feeling proud, I said,"I'm outta here!" right out loud.
Dreams and schemes and IPO's, now I look at work that way.
My old friends are acting strange, they shake their heads, they say I've changed,
Sure, something's lost, but something's gained: I'm working my own way!

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

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