May 14, 2020

How to Be Your Own Boss

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Getting Started:

 How to Be Your Own Boss

I have owned various businesses for over 30 years, and I am excited to share with you some tips and know-how on starting, running, and succeeding in a small business! 

As the managing partner of a law firm, a real estate broker and trainer,  and now a successful coach and author, I have helped many clients start, purchase, and sell businesses, and represented clients in litigation that arose from disputes. I helped many hundreds of clients start new corporations, and get them set up ready to make money. I counseled small business owners on all kinds of legal and entrepreneurial questions and challenges. Let me share some of the knowledge I have with you...

There has never been a better time to be your own boss than right now! Small businesses make up a large percentage of economy in the United States, and I believe that the more small businesses, the better for everyone. There is a movement happening to support local and small businesses. If you have ever dreamt of being your own boss, keep reading!

Why Would You Want to Start Your Own Business and Be Your Own Boss?

Is being your own boss worth it? Owning your own business and being the boss can be amazing, but it can be quite challenging if you do not know what you are doing. The rewards for me far outweighed the problems and issues. Life is what you make of it, and your life boils down to what you believe (more about this later). Making all the decisions, setting your own hours, being the one responsible for all aspects of your business can be a real rush. It can be empowering to be your own boss, but it can also be scary as hell! It takes a lot of courage to quit your job and take the leap into entrepreneurship.

I hope that this article will assist you in the beginning steps you need to take to make your dream a possibility.

Get Your FREE Be Your Own Boss- Starting a Business Checklist

Pros and Cons of Being Your Own Boss Vs. Staying an Employee

Video marketing for your business is a must! Let me show you how I use it. Check out video #1, where I will walk you through some of the pros and cons of being your own boss, as well as the pros and cons of staying an employee:

“I want to start a business, but I don't know what to do.”

Prospective clients who had a great business idea would always wonder where to start. Getting a consultation with an attorney is a good way to begin the process. The biggest challenge for most wannabe business owners is you don’t know what you don’t know. You have a huge “knowledge gap” as I like to call it, and which is why I wrote this article and recorded the free mini-class training you can get HERE.

Is a $100 Startup possible? I have seen videos and blog articles about this idea. As a realist, let me tell you now this is not possible. It is an excellent way for someone to sell you a book, but it is not realistic. It will usually cost you more than this to incorporate your business depending on what state you live in, so don’t believe the hype. A real business that has a successful future ahead of it cannot be set up to run effectively without some capital, time, and effort.

How hard is it to start a business/Is starting a business hard? 

If you have the knowledge and information you need from the get-go, then starting a business does not need to be complicated. What makes things tricky is when you try to wing it without any game plan or a road map. Would you take a trip in your car to somewhere across the country without a map or a GPS? Of course not! This is why I do the work I do! 

How long does it take to start a business?

You can get up and running in a couple of months, but the planning and thought behind your idea may take longer to figure out. When I had to start a new law firm when my law partner and I decided to part ways, I had my new firm set up and running in a week. But, I had already been in practice for ten years. So plan on at least six months to a year before you have your business up and running. If you need an office or retail space, then this process might take even longer. Proper planning is crucial to long term success.

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Knowledge Gap

I discussed this briefly before, but let me expand on this idea. If you have never been involved in the running and management of a small business in the past, then you have some things to figure out! Even if you helped in some way running or managing a business, you more than likely have no clue how to start a business. Read some books (see my reading list), hire a coach or consultant (get more info on working with me), and buy and online program or two (I have a fantastic course and online coaching program which you should check out). Learn what you need to start a successful business!

Ideas to Start a Small Business

So you want to start a small business, but have no ideas? You are not alone! Begin to brainstorm the following:

  1. What kind of knowledge do you have that you could share?
  2. Do you have a service you could provide?
  3. Do you have some products you can buy wholesale that you could sell online or in a store?
  4. What is your area of expertise in the world? What do you have to offer others?

Once you come up with an idea you like, then start to research the idea to see if there is a market for your product or service. If there is no market (no one will buy what you have to offer), then continue reading about why not many businesses make it long term.

Ideas are the new currency

The SBA (Small Business Admin- USA), only 50% of businesses make it past the fifth year. And only 30 percent make it to year 10. There are lots of reasons for companies failing, but success and failure hinge on some common themes. Here is a shortlist of reasons why some companies make it and others fail:

  • The negative impact of a bad economy;
  • The changing tastes and preferences of the customers and prospects;
  • The business owner was clueless on how to market and advertise effectively;
  • The business doesn’t provide top-notch customer service.

Want to Learn How to Attract Ideal Customers?

Let’s discuss market research a bit more. Will your business make enough money to pay you and the expenses of running your business? You need to make sure you can pay the expenses of the business, but also your personal expenses. Make sure your idea is a good one, so do some market research before moving forward. What kind of income will the business need to generate to pay the bills and create the kind of lifestyle you would like?

Legal Requirements for Starting a Small Business

Business being done graphic

If you searched google for “How to Start a Business”, you might have had several reasons in mind. One of the top reasons for this search is to help a wannabe boss attempt to figure out the steps to legally create a new business. I helped hundreds of clients incorporate or create limited liability companies when I practiced law. Getting a new business set up legally is not that big of a deal. It is a step by step process. Miss a step or use incorrect info and it could cost you time, money and create huge headaches. If you live in Florida and want to start a business there, I am working on an article just for you.

If some of this seems overwhelming and you don’t have money to hire a professional, check out for help. They can help to get your corporation or LLC filed.

Note- these are some of the steps that are needed to set up a business. It depends on the state and locale where you live. If you are not from the United States, then you need to do your research.

Did You Search for Any of These?

  • Incorporating
  • How to start a corporation
  • How to incorporate yourself
  • Starting a corporation
  • Cost to incorporate
  • Forming a corporation
  • DBA vs. LLC
  • S Corp vs. LLC

Then you are in the right place in this article! 

Before we discuss how to incorporate, you need to do some research on the kind of corporation you need (or want) to utilize. The main options in many US states are the following:

Small Corporation (S Corp);

Large Corporation (C Corp);

Limited Liability Company (LLC);

Professional Corporation or Professional Association

I won’t get into much detail here since there are lots of articles out there on the differences. You should do some research and look at the pros and cons before you decide. There are different tax consequences for each, and unless you are a doctor, lawyer, or professional, the “professional corporation” is not for you. Limited Liability Companies are not a smart option if there is to be only one owner (an LLC owner holds what are called “Units” instead of stock). The “C” Corp is probably not an option for anyone reading this article, but you should still research your state laws before you make your decision. Hiring an attorney, CPA or accountant can be of real help. Don’t cheap out on the crucial advice you need to protect yourself and your business!

How to Incorporate

Incorporating is filing a paper document or online filing with your State of choice (usually the State in which you will do business.) The State has a list of information it wants from you to formally file for the corporation or LLC. The information they will require is usually the same State to State.

What do they want?

Here is a shortlist of some info they require:
Name of the Corporation or LLC,
business address,
mailing address,
board of director information,
as well as other information they deem necessary.

Before you file, research your name of choice and make sure another company or LLC doesn't already use something similar in your State.

Most states allow you to do the actual corporate formation online, and it can be quick and easy. I can have a corporation or LLC filed in Florida in about 5 minutes! Make sure you know what you are doing before using these automated online systems. Read through the requirements before you decide to go this route.  


Licenses and Permits

Does your local city, town, or county require a permit to do business? Research this by calling your local government and find out. Some areas have occupational licenses, which are usually just fees for businesses to operate in the area. Find out and make sure you are law-abiding, since there may be fines and hefty fees for not complying.

Taxes, IRS and EIN

Once you have your corporation or LLC filed with the state, you will need to get your IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can accomplish this online, but you might want to get some help from a professional. You will also want to make the “S” or “C” election at the same time.

Bank Account

I would work with a community bank or smaller bank that isn’t owned by one of the huge corporate behemoths. I valued the personal service I received from the small banks over the big banks. Having a contact who is local, you can rely on can be very important in running your business.

Research your options and understand there can be lots of fees involved, not just one time fees, but recurring fees that you may pay monthly. Make sure you know what you are getting into, and see if you can negotiate for the best deal and terms for your business account (or accounts).


What kind of insurance will you need? There may be several types you need to run the business and protect not only the business but yourself and your family, depending on the laws of your state. Does the insurance company you use for your home and auto do business insurance? Call them and inquire. 

In my BYOB (Be Your Own Boss) Online course and coaching, I have lots of downloadable options when it comes to creating your business plan. Don’t find yourself in the more category of having a failed business! Plan for success. What is your plan to make money? What kind of marketing will you do? What types of advertising will you do? Who are your ideal customers, and where can you find them? 

When you join me in the BYOB course, I will teach you that in addition to the traditional business plan that should be done, your beliefs about being a business owner and your intention around the entire process is of utmost importance.

I get the following question quite a bit- “How hard is it to start a business?” An important factor that can be the determinate between success and failure is how much capital you have saved or is available to you from the start.

It may take you 12 months or more to begin to make any considerable amount of profit from your new business. So, in addition to all the money you will need for a startup (office, equipment, staffing, and the like), it takes time to get the word out about your business, and have enough customers in your sales pipeline to make a profit. You either need to have enough money saved up to get to this point, or you need some partners, shareholders, or some crowdfunding. 

Real success depends on your intentions, beliefs, and work in and on your business.


picture of an office

The type of business you plan to open will necessitate finding an office space, retail space, or whether you can work from home. I run entirely online and virtual companies, but I still have a small office I use for video and live training. The internet I have in my home office is not very fast (we live out in horse country in NC), so I have both! If you need an office or retail space, there you have some work to do. Location and the cost to set up the office with desks, furniture, and equipment are decisions you will need to make. Then there are the several types of leases that a landlord might have you execute. Some lease agreements require you to pay a percentage of the expenses (such as taxes and the like), others have these expenses built into your lease payment. The leases where they add on the costs to the base rent are usually called “triple net.” 

You may want to consult with an attorney to assist you with all of these decisions.

Ideal Customers/Clients and Creating Raving Fans

How do you find customers for your new business? Aren’t all customers the same? Nope! Some are ideal, and some suck.

All in all, customers are the lifeblood of a business. Without them, you have no business! I learned early on in my law practice that I didn't like most of my boss’ clients at the time. I decided to find some answers on how I could “attract” the kinds of clients I would like and would appreciate the work we were doing for them. Years later, as I became a partner in the firm, and he and I owned other companies, I wanted to know how to find customers and clients. I wanted customers who appreciated us, who paid their bills on time, and who it was gratifying to assist. Luckily I had some great mentors and read some fantastic books on how to find these ideal customers, and things got much easier from that point on.

Want to learn more about how I was able to attract ideal customers (and clients) and work with people I liked and appreciated me? Find out more here

Ideal Client graphic

What do you believe about being a business owner and being your own boss?

Out of all the items in this video blog post that I have outlined and shared with you, this is the most significant piece of the entire puzzle when starting a new business. I have some free videos on the importance of your belief systems to your life coming soon, get signed up so when they come out, you have the info—

Why are your beliefs about being in business and your own boss so important?

What you believe about anything in life creates your life in every single way, big or small. When I do work with my consulting and coaching clients, I always begin our time together with a few simple questions on what they believe. They don’t know why I ask these questions, but it is quite simple to elicit what they believe about anything in life. I have learned from countless books, coaches, and workshops on how and why this is the case.

What you believe will cause your success or failure in business. It is straightforward! How hard will your path be to opening a business? Your beliefs about life, being a business owner, and your collective beliefs about the process are very telling on what will happen. Change your expectations, and you change your life! The idea is simple, and so is the method I lay out in my upcoming course. The challenging part is doing the “inner work” it takes to let go of the limiting beliefs and replace them with the beliefs you want.

What you probably didn't realize is that you are living someone else’s life. Many other people’s lives. Sadly not your own life. You are a culmination of many sets of belief systems that you took on and learned without questioning any of it. Is it time to believe what you want to believe about life, relationships, money, business, and your health? Get some compelling training and begin to open up to an authentic life you choose—

How to Become Your Own Boss:

Overcoming Employee Mentality

What the heck is this? If you’ve always been an employee, there can be a huge obstacle to your success. Employee mentality happens when you hold on to the mindset you had when you were employed. You bring this same mindset to owning a business, and it is a recipe for disaster. I spend lots of time on this issue in my Be Your Own Boss course. It is a problematic issue for many people to eliminate from their viewpoint. They cannot seem to allow the new belief systems in and to let the old ones go. Many new business owners have been programmed by their parents, who were also employees, that they should never take the chance on themselves by opening a business. They believe there is too much risk. They should just collect a paycheck and be a follower.

My father was always an employee and went down with a sinking ship that was Eastern Airlines back in the day, even though he had some ideas for opening a business.

Sadly he never realized his potential in the world, and it died with him. 

If you are driven and excited about the prospects of being your own boss, do not let anything stop you!  

How to Become Your Own Boss:

Marketing , Sales, and Branding

You have to learn all you can about the new ways (and old) ways of marketing and selling your product or service. If you can build great word of mouth, you may not have to deal with much marketing or advertising. This is not the case for most businesses. Check out the recommended reading list for some great books on marketing, advertising, and selling.

Every business owner needs to know how to sell. "Selling" and "sales" can be scary words to some, but all it takes is some knowledge and practice. You must become a good sales person (or hire one) in order to have success.  Keep on the lookout for my free training on real-world selling coming soon. Selling is an art AND science and should be tailored to your ideal customer persona.

Your Team

Your employees can make or break your business. I have employed lots of people over the years, from associate attorneys, paralegals, and assistants in my law firm and title companies. Over the years, I have had some great employees, but most were subpar or average. Make a list of the ideal qualities you want from your team members and wait to hire until you find someone that will be ideal.

Hire slow and fire fast should be your mantra.

Check out this book for more information- Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers

Leadership Skills and Managing Others

Leadership pic

Before you take the leap into being your own boss, make sure you have some necessary leadership and management skills. You must understand a little about psychology, leading a team, interpersonal relationships, how to deal with difficult people, and much more. If you plan on having a team read these:

Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You


There are so many things that softwares can automate in a small business nowadays.  Save yourself and your team time by researching how you can leverage software to run your business on autopilot.

Check out this article from a software I use called Infusionsoft on the top 25 things to automate in a business.

Some questions to ponder:

  • How Would You Envision Your Ideal Business?
  • What is the ideal? Here are some questions to ponder:
  • How much money do you want your business to make monthly and yearly?
  • How much money is needed, so you have the lifestyle you want?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What kind of team members do you need to assist you in your business?
  • What work would you love to do in your new business?
  • What kind of work would you like others to do?
  • What are your skills and strengths?
  • How many weeks of vacation would you like to take a year once the business is doing well, and you have a fantastic team in place?

Taking the Leap

Taking the leap grapic

How long do you need to stay in your day job before you can leave and be your own boss? I wish I could give you an answer that would apply to everyone, but sadly I cannot! You have to look at your situation and decide when you have enough capital to begin, and when it feels right to leave your day job.

This decision is a personal choice that should not be taken lightly, but you also have to weigh the pros and cons of the right time. Try your best not to let fear overwhelm you. All my online courses include a powerful 1-hour training on how to overcome and let go of fear. The only thing causing the anxiety is your thoughts and your lack of control over your mind. Check out this book by a great author Gay Hendricks: The Big Leap.

What No One Tells You About Being Your Own Boss

There are a lot of articles out there written by people who have never owned a business. They are just writers who have some knowledge. So when I read articles on the $100 startup and the like, I cringe.

Opening and running a successful business can be tough work! If you don’t set your business up strategically from the beginning, you could be working more hours than you have off for many years. Turning a profit may take a LONG time. You may not have the funds to hire staff from the get-go, so you might be stuck doing lots of jobs that would be better handled by others.

Most newbies in this business world are sadly clueless. They may have worked in the industry or business they are in, but they do not know how to be a REAL BOSS.

Be Your Own Boss Training Logo

Anyone who can afford a coach should hire one. I created the Be Your Own Boss online coaching and training so you wouldn't have to pay $500 or more a month to a coach. I took what I teach one on one and distilled it down into a kick-ass online course. Then I added the live training as well. You can ask a question every month. 


There is a Japanese principle called “Kaizen” that I have studied over the years. Back in the day, the Japanese Automakers used this principle to kick the asses of everyone else in this industry. They made more dependable and longer-lasting vehicles. This principle effectively teaches us that small changes every day create lasting positive change over time. Plan and move your new business idea forward every day, and in 6 months or so, you might just have your business opened and making money!

Want to know more about Kaizen? Purchase one my favorite program on Kaizen here: One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way to Success


I hope this article has helped you start to fill the knowledge gap you have, but there is so much more left to learn and figure out.

This is only the beginning!

Join me on your entrepreneurial journey in the BYOB Master Class and Live Training. For more info, visit: and get started today. Every month I have live training where you can ask me questions and learn about new topics. I charge $500 an hour for my consulting/coaching time, so this is a great way to get your questions about starting and running a successful business.

I looking forward to having you as a member of the community.

Simple, No Legalese Disclaimer:

Even though I am a licensed attorney in Florida, none of the information in this article, anywhere on my website, or in any of my videos should be construed as legal advice. What I offer is general business advice, and that is it. If you need professional advice, contact a local attorney or tax professional. 


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