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Want to Stop Working For “The Man?” Here Are 7 Signs You’re Ready To Become Your Own Boss

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It seems that everyone wants to be an entrepreneur these days. Everyone wants to be the boss and run their own show. I can certainly understand the motivation. The idea of doing your own thing, of ruling your own destiny, is certainly an attractive one. Besides, the job market sucks.

That’s why there’s a nearly insatiable demand for start-up and leadership advice.

But here’s the thing. The vast majority of you are putting the cart before the horse. The characteristics that will distinguish you and your career are developed, not when you’re the boss, but when you’re an employee.

You see, all the accomplished entrepreneurs and business leaders I know built their success on a solid foundation. What starts with your parents and teachers, continues with your managers and mentors. Maybe you’ll become the manager, the teacher, the successful leader. But only if you were a great employee first.

Here’s what it takes:

You manage your responsibilities, not your personal brand. Look, I know personal branding is a big deal these days, so let me be very clear about this. If you’re great at what you do, your personal brand will take care of itself. It’s the same with great products. The customer experience speaks for itself. Likewise, business isn’t about you, it’s about what you can accomplish. That’s your brand.

You tell the cold, hard truth. And you do it for no other reason than because it’s the right thing to do and you care about the company and its business. You don’t worry about the consequences. Contrary to popular belief, accomplished leaders and executives know better than to trust yes-men. I’ve always valued people who say what’s on their minds and I myself have never sugarcoated anything. CEOs truly value that, and my reputation stands on it to this day.

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