Kathleen Shannon 0:04
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Caitlin Brehm 0:44
bosses, do you have an employee handbook? Because even if you are a solopreneur, and you only work for yourself, we think you need one. And we're going to talk about that today.
Kathleen Shannon 0:58
Okay, so whenever I worked my day job in advertising, one of my favorite things was getting my employee handbook. It's really truly at any job I've ever had, I get my employee handbook, and I read it cover to cover. That is the nerdiest thing I've ever know. And like, it probably reveals what a rule follower I actually am like, I want to know what is expected of me. And I'm going to follow those rules. And I'm going to do it perfectly, right. So whenever I was adorable, I never I quit my day job. I felt a little lost without an employee handbook and realize that I needed to create some rules and boundaries for myself, but on my own terms, because the best part of working for yourself is that you get to decide, you get to decide how many hours a week that you're working, you get to decide what it is that you're wearing. But I think that that can be a challenge for a lot of people to really redefine their own rules and break free of some of those old expectations that are no longer serving them to, in fact, create a handbook that will best serve your creative business,
Emily Thompson 2:06
for sure. And I think this breaking free piece is the one that most creative entrepreneurs struggle with where you know, they quit their job to find freedom, but then find themselves just working nine to five, you know, in their, like, whatever office where they were wearing. And they struggle with even seeing that they're still following the rules, which is why this can be such an important exercise, even if maybe after you do it, you want to throw it out the window because I was the kind of person who would read it to know exactly what I had to say and then be angry about the whole thing and not want to do any of it. I would certainly push the envelope all along the way. So the idea of this is for you to create some new rules for yourself as a way to help you on do the rules that you've been working and in a lot of ways probably living by through your previous careers.
Kathleen Shannon 3:01
Okay, so in the being boss book on page 92, we have a template for creating an employee handbook for yourself. But I think that this is just a scratching the surface beginning and we talked about very surfacey things like what your work hours are, how many hours a week you'll be working, what your pay is or what your overtime pay is, what your benefits include. And then I will say that as we are growing as a business, our employee handbook is even going beyond some of these things to include things around company culture, and to include things around like actual benefits. I feel like in the book, we're talking about, like font for fun benefits, but like real benefits, like health care and things like that. So yeah, right.
Emily Thompson 3:49
The idea though, is for you to define yourself the kind of job that you are building for yourself because this is a job and only when you treat it like a job, whatever those rules may be for yourself, will you be able to find the type of consistency that leads you toward success? And will you really be able to identify what parts of doing this really hard work is really beneficial for you. Because it really often is easy to get stuck in this log and start not enjoying the life that you're building. But you can look back at your employee handbook and even compare the two. Go back to your previous day jobs handbook. Compare it to the one that you've created for yourself, you'll see that you can work whenever you want. You can take vacations as often as you want. And your benefits include maybe a little more cool things than just health insurance and 401k and you'll realize that the hard work that you're doing is worth it in ways that I think will speak for themselves.
Caitlin Brehm 4:46
I think this exercise really support the one we spoke about in the previous minisode with the garden and setting your boundaries because this handbook is the key for keeping yourself from sabotaging your own garden. You can put those walls up for other people. But the handbook is helping you see, oh, I'm being a really bad employee for myself, like, I am not nurturing my garden with the hours I promised myself or, you know, the payment that needs to happen in order for my garden to thrive. So this is important for that internal work, I think,
Emily Thompson 5:24
for sure. So if you haven't gotten the book already, we suggest you go to beingboss.club/book to find out more about where you can find the book, this exercise is on page 92, when it does act as a really good starting point for you to define your role. And you are not even your role, your place or your purpose, or what it is that your business is giving to you for yourself, because this will do so many things, in terms of making you show up in the way that you need to or keeping you from showing up in the ways that you don't need to, and so that you and your business can nurture each other, because that's why we're all here.
Kathleen Shannon 6:03
Yeah, I think one of my favorite scripts that came out of this kind of exercise, when I first started working for myself was saying things like, Well, my company policy is that I get paid within 30 days. Right. And so really setting those terms and treating your company policy, like any other company policy.
Emily Thompson 6:25
Yeah, I mean, that's some powerful stuff. I think that I think that we are really good at downgrading or downplaying what it is that we're building. But if you create yourself, even if it's just on a piece of notebook paper, a nice company policy, it does give you a place to begin taking this thing as sincerely legit. And in my place, it gives you some rules to break, which always makes doing this work a little more fun.
Kathleen Shannon 6:49
And I found that like even energetically people will hold to your boundaries that you own for yourself. Like you don't even have to explicitly say it like I don't know that I've ever explicitly said, Oh, I'm sorry, I don't work on the weekends. I just wait and do the work on Monday. Like if I have a client project, for example, and they're expecting it, you know, I look at it on Monday, they're not going to get it on Sunday morning. So I found that like really outlining and defining what your rules are for yourself will allow you to just own it a little bit more. Even if you intuitively have these rules for yourself, writing it down can make a huge difference in your ability to stay focused around what it is that you're wanting to create, and protecting what you're wanting to create and weeding out any sort of distractions or anything that's trying to break down some of those rules. And finally, you can always break your own rules. I've certainly had moments where I've worked on the evenings or on the weekends. But you have to have the rule there in the first place to break it and at least it's your own. It's on your terms.
Emily Thompson 7:54
For sure. So if you guys haven't done your own employee handbook yet, even if you're just a solopreneur we highly recommend it because it gives you a starting place for understanding the relationship that you and your business will have.
Kathleen Shannon 8:11
This minisode was brought to you by twenty20. Check them out at twenty20.com/beingboss, that's t w e n t y 20 as in the number.com slash being boss.
Emily Thompson 8:25
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at beingboss.club. There you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work be boss