Sure, having someone peering over your shoulder, setting your priorities, demanding results, requiring more and more of you when you’re sure you don’t have more to offer are some of the very reasons you want to fire your boss and go it alone, but do you have what it takes to push yourself this hard?
Whether you’re working under a supervisor who is a clueless master of nothing but getting in your way, or a management genius who has all the right suggestions for peddling a product you’re just not passionate about, you’ve decided to ditch the dictator and take the wheel for yourself.
Having made the decision to follow your passion, you may have embarked in one way or another on your own journey to take A Day On and proceed with a life of freedom, but is the freedom to fail going to prevail over the freedom to fly? Even though you may have made your psychological break with your life of servitude at the feet of other people’s passions, it is worth your time to analyze where your self-management skills might be lacking. Reach back in your memory to an effective boss you may have once had. What were the qualities that he had, that he had used to build his empire, and that you could apply to your own life’s work?
Because you are now going to be both slave and master, it helps to determine what you must do to achieve your goals (have you even thought of goals?) and how you plan to implement your approach, how you will measure success and how you will adjust your game plan (hopefully to accommodate returns that will exceed your expectations.)
1) Be In For The Long Haul.
When I think back to a particularly effective boss I once had, one who achieved much through his management techniques, I realize that my break with him came not because I felt that I was being ill-managed, but simply that I was expected to completely submit to furthering his passion. And, while I felt a strong identification with his “product” I can’t say that it matched my own passions. He needed me to be indoctrinated to achieving his end and he expected my labors over the long haul find out here now.
One of the tenets of A Day On is that I want to be in synch with my own passions. If serving another in order to build another man’s empire gets you excited, then by all means have at it. But another man has not yet voiced my own passions to me in such a way that I could allow myself to fully serve as his lieutenant.
You must be sure what end you are serving, be able to name it clearly, and be sure that it is a commitment that is worthy of the utilization of all your powers.
2) Expect Perfection
When I think of the daily tasks that I am carrying out to bring A Day On into fruition I sometimes think of my old boss scrutinizing my work. He never said “good enough” because to him success could not be achieved by half-measures. If you never accept good-enough from those who are feeding into your product they will always know where you stand and they will never expect to slip something less than perfect into your mix.
The boss I’m thinking of was passionate about his goal, but he was also realistic enough to realize that he would encounter very real obstacles of all sorts that he would have to work his way around. Be prepared to steer around imperfection in order to stay on course.
Serve your passion by demanding it be expressed fittingly.
3) Be Obsessively Methodical.
We at A Day On want to be rock stars. Unfortunately the media is more interested in showing a rock star partying than a rock star working. The fact is that to play a ripping solo before adoring fans you must first practice your scales again and again and again. And, what’s more, you must love practicing your scales.
In an interview, Carlos Santana told of how the groupies would find their way into the band’s hotel room and would soon leave because the band was so into sitting around a tape player dissecting and critiquing that evening’s performance.
Be more obsessed with the thing you are doing than focused on some arbitrary reward that will only distract you from your work.
4) Measure Progress.
Much to my frustration, my super-boss measured progress every day. At my interview, he told me that he was an off-the-chart obsessive-compulsive, and he asked if we were going to be able to work together. Though this guideline seems to contrast with the previous one, it doesn’t.
Stepping outside your creative place in order to objectively assess your approach might seem like a bummer, but it allows you to recharge your creativity while at the same time allowing you the opportunity of being your own harshest critic. Again, this is a built-in component of the successful artist that we don’t often see, but that must exist for the artist to rise out of his own Narcissistic closet.
Hemingway wrote until his pencils were worn to nubs. Prince finished a song a day.
Quantify how you are defining success and then be sure you achieve it each day.
5) Be All Business.
This doesn’t mean that your sense of humor must be dropped, or that playfulness must be lost. On the contrary; your true personality should shine through your passionate pursuit.
However, when it comes time to stand up for your work in a business sense, you must be steadfast in its value.
If you don’t possess the business savvy to insist on what you’re worth it might be time to look into hiring a business manager.