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  • Gerard Irvine

Own your business: How to be your own boss in someone else's company

Updated: Jun 21

Being your own boss is something we all strive for, but being successful in business is likely playing for the Wallabies, it's for elite players, and a lot of us will never get there. So how do we be our own boss and get the satisfaction of controlling your own destiny; without the hassle of running a company?


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Control your sphere of influence Whether your an Administration Assistant or an Executive Director you influence a specific part of the business, make that your business, develop the vision, business plan, management principles, and processes. Be the expert in that field and own the space. Know your customer and provide value.

Build your brand You want people in the company to think of you instantly when interacting with your specialty, promote yourself and what you do. How are you different? Write LinkedIn articles, get up and tell your story at meetings, be the expert.

Don't be dictated to Remember this is your business, even if the person doing the dictating is at a higher level. Use reason, influence, and empathy to get them on your side. If they have a better idea, take it on. Remember no one has the monopoly on good ideas, not you and not the CEO.

Work your schedule Set your schedule and don't change it. Times one thing you can’t get back. If you want to be the boss you have to control your time and what you produce in that time. Block out time for calls, emails, meetings and time for yourself. Share your calendar and set messages on out of office. It'll be hard at the start, but once people are used to it, you can start reaping the benefits.

Get board If you have an idea for the company that you can't implement alone, build a Board of Directors. These are experienced senior people in your organisation that you can work with to implement the idea. Get buy-in, write the business plan, finesse your pitch and seek advice. These people have crucial influence to get you access to the CEO or even the companies board. Plus you'll learn a whole lot even if you're unsuccessful.

Drive attention Experts and SMEs are a dime a dozen, whats unique are knowledgeable people who can command attention. Do you think Nigella Lawson is the best chef in the world, or even the top 10,000? Is Jeremy Clarkson the world authority on cars? No, but they bring something unique and exciting that drives attention. Be bold, think outside the box and be true to yourself; while seeking a platform that works for you.

Value above all else Constantly ask yourself: Am I providing value? If you implement amazing transformation around how you do business, but you realise no value. Then what was it you were trying to achieve in the first place?

You're now well on your way to being your own boss. But don't stop now, constantly reevaluate, evolve, be the chameleon and move fluidly with your surroundings. You got this!

If you enjoyed this article you'll probably love these books: - The Compound Effect - Own your industry