Tuesday, 7 October 2014

5 Things Having a Crappy Boss Taught Me

This is a guest post that was seen on the Alisha Nicole.

I worked in a Bailiff's office as the Office Manager for a while, and I had the most terrible experience with my boss. We weren't a good match in terms of energy and I eventually left. We parted on good terms and Josephine taught me a lot, both through her mistakes and through the shining moments of guidance she did provide - however few and far between they were.

 Here are the top 10 things I learned while working for her.

Be Patient
There were times when how demanding Josephine could be made me just want to tear my hair out and SCREAM! Also, clients and debtors were extremely difficult at times.

Taking deep breaths, and really assessing if it was worth it to get worked up over helped save me a lot of stress. After all, it wasn't my business and at the end of the day when I go home it's none of my concern!

Within your own business it's still important to be patient with both yourself and customers/clients in order to be successful.

 Be Open To Change
As a younger person, we can always think that we're right, but Josephine was notoriously stubborn in her ways as an employer. It wasn't just a case of protocol or rules, but that she wasn't open to trying anything else.

When you have a business you should definitely be open to change, and carefully assess what's working for you and what isn't.

The Importance of organization
If you don't have systems in place in your business and your  life you will literally go INSANE. Simple systems and filing methods will save you and your assistants ( if you have any) so much time in the future when you are trying to reference things.

Be Approachable
Whilst a certain distance should be kept between employee-employer to remain professional, that doesn't mean if you're the boss you get to be an actual douche because you have authority. Whether you're a boss, business owner or  an employee you should be approachable. People will be willing to do more for you if you are nice!

The Importance of a Cohesive Brand
Having a brand is important not only for customers, but employees. Having templates to go to helped keep the office running consistently no matter who was working there and it meant that clients and debtors received correspondence that looked professional and was all well formatted and similar.

Promotion Is An Art
I'm not saying you should work for free, but you definitely see an increase in your business if you offer a time limited small discount, or a valuable offer vs cold calls and salesy emails. Promotion is a tricky thing, but there are ways to capitalize upon your business if you get creative. It also takes investment!

Know Your Files
Even if you need to consult a lawyer or your accountant to find out how long you should be keeping your business related files for tax purposes - do it.

You don't want to have clutter that you don't need to have in your office. I suggest keeping digital copies of all the necessary files and storing on an external hard-drive to avoid clutter - especially if your business is paperwork or document heavy.

Don't Give Your Services for Free All the Time
The whole reason clients came to us was that they were owed money. The majority of which was store credit/accounts that was unpaid  or personal loans still owed.

 The sheer number of files in that office let me know that credit is never a good thing to give OR owe, since you end up owing more in the end through interest etc.

 Persistence is Key
People with debts are always loathe to pay them, but in many cases simply getting on that person for a long enough period of time proved that persistence is the key to good business. I had to call the same people over and over and over again - it can be boring doing the same tasks so repeatedly but trust me, it does pay off in the end.

 Sometimes the Customer Isn't Right. 
As a business person you have to realize that sometimes your customers are clients aren't always right, or at the very least they are unclear about what they want and what they expect of you. One of the quickest ways to get unhappy in your business is to bend over backwards for clients who just aren't a good match for you, and aren't paying you well.

Having clear documents that outline your process, fees and exactly what is is expected of both parties is completely necessary to a good working relationship.

Tell me in the comments below what working for others has taught you about running your own business!


  1. Ha! This is so cute! I have had my share of not so great bosses and this all rings so true. Awesome!
    The Accidental Mama

    1. Thank you. Words cannot express how much I hated this woman while I worked for her lol.. but at least now I can appreciate what she taught me by being so horrible.

  2. I totally feel ya! I have had nightmare bosses and at the time, I had no idea what to do. It's funny how hindsight is 20/20. I'm actually thankful for my difficult experiences (after the fact of course) like bad bosses because they have added to my character. You might not have been able to put together this awesome list without the challenging people in your life.

  3. As a boss of 30 employees, your comments were insightful! Thank you.


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