I'm the bossI am one of seven brothers, and you can imagine the “king of the hill” games we played as kids. As one of the youngest, I’d get lots of orders from the bigger brothers, and bravely stood up to them with, “You’re not the boss of me!”

I didn’t know then, how true that statement was!

Recently, I was having lunch with a young business professional I’ll call “Edgar,” the only sales person for his own company. While discussing his business, Edgar confided in me that he had started coming in late.


“I’m not doing the things I know I should do to move my company forward,” he admitted matter-of-factly. “I’m sure you understand, there are times I’m just not motivated and don’t really FEEL like doing anything!”

I couldn’t keep from blurting out, “No, I don’t understand, Edgar!” I said again, this time with emphasis, “NO, No, I really don’t understand that!”

Cruel to be Kind but in the Right Measure

“I’M the boss, Edgar,” I said abruptly. “I’m the boss of ME!

“I tell ME what to do and when to do it. Furthermore, when ME says, ‘I don’t feel like coming into work early’ or ‘I don’t want to make 40 sales calls a day,’ I say to ME, ‘That’s too bad!’ I tell ME, ‘You ARE going to do it anyway!’ It doesn’t matter what ME says or how ME feels.

“I‘M the BOSS of ME—and ME will do what I tell ME to do—period, end of statement!”

After what seemed to be an authoritarian rant, I softened my voice and gave some heartfelt advice to Edgar. I really WAS concerned with his “feelings.”

Like the song, Cruel to Be Kind, real love is telling someone the truth, in the right measure, even when it hurts. The song goes on to say, “Cruel to be kind, means I care.

Motivate Yourself, When Negative Feelings Become Boss

In my book System Busters; How to Stop Them in Your Business, I wrote a section called “Staying Encouraged.” I shared that, there will be times when there is no one around to encourage or motivate you, except yourself.

An ancient king, an actual giant killer, surrounded by many enemies, once said, “I encourage myself!”  What did he mean by that? His method or system was to encourage himself, in the Lord he trusted.

However, there are countless other methods to encourage ME when ME talks back, and says, “I don’t feel like doing this or that. My suggestion to ME, and YOU is:

  • Read books on positive thinking. Zig Ziglar called those feelings of discouragement “Stinkin Thinkin”. Get past it!
  • Listen to Podcasts of successful people in your industry and other industries.
  • Stay away from negative people, whenever possible.
  • Keep business magazines around that always have articles on success, and countless tips. [A business magazine would never consider discouraging their readers. They are trying to grow their industry, which grows their magazine]
  • Stop watching television programs and movies, if they discourage you.
  • Stop playing video games when you should be working on building a business career and improving your life. [Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister said, “There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back”]
  • Join business groups that meet on a regular basis. Make that a habit!

I Don’t Feel Like Doing That

How do you build bodily strength? By consistent exercise and consuming food that is good for the body.  In the same way, by consistently exercising the mind with positive input, and consuming materials that move your life and business career forward, you will become and remain the “Boss of YOU.”

Did I mention? Great Systems Work!