Lessons I’ve Learned by Being the Boss of Me

Being your own boss is hard. It’s dreamy in theory, but a lot of hard work. As I sit here in my pajamas (I’m my own boss, so I can do that), I’m trying to remember the last job I had before I started to legitimately live off of my dream. It was either a waitressing job at a steakhouse in Glendale, CA, or a children’s go-go dancer.

Let me explain.

I used to be a part of this party company that would provide entertainment for children’s parties. Like a clown, but way less scary and a little less makeup. Rich parents would hire a DJ and some dancers to help get the party started and teach the kids party games. I would literally drive my Nissan Altima up to this mega mansion in the canyon where some family would be throwing a $100,000 birthday party for their nine year old. I know right… only  $100,000. Poor kid.

It was a good gig for me at the time, and I worked plenty of other gigs like it, but I’m much happier being my own boss and not having to teach kids the Maccarena. (that was our Nae Nae

I feel blessed to finally be my own boss, but I’ve worked really hard to get here. I know that sometimes it just takes a little nudge to keep going after your dreams. So if you want to one day be your own boss lady or boss man, consider these lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Not giving up is easier said than done.

Especially when you are given the opportunity to quit every single day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “No. Not this time. It’s a great idea, but not right for us. The timing just isn’t right. We love you, but we are going in another direction.” Or the one that stings the most, but is equal parts hilarious (just not at the time): “I’m sorry, who are you?”

No matter how nice they try to put it, rejection hurts. “It’s not you, it’s me,” has never eased the blow. I have had so many opportunities to throw in the towel, and could’ve easily started an entirely new career. I could’ve gotten certified to be a massage therapist because people tell me I’m good at that (and they’re not wrong #humblebrag). Or I could’ve been a professional massage getter because I’m really good at that too (#humblebragagain). For me, those career options would allow me to pursue something with more stability and less rejection. Or I could keep chasing my dream no matter how much it hurt at times, trusting that the reward will eventually be greater than the risk.

So my advice: If you’re contemplating giving up on your dream; decide what it is you really want and how much it’s worth to you then go for it!

“To whom much is given, much will be required.”

This is a popular scripture from the bible in Luke 12:48. Not really a bible person? How about a super hero person?

“With great power comes great responsibility,” – Spider Man. It’s basically the same principal, just more comic book-y.

Sometimes I have to stop and think about what my gifts are and how I am using them. I think about the position that I am in to impact people and the amount of responsibility that comes with that. I never aspired to be a role model. Actually, to be honest, when people tell me that I’m their role model I immediately want to cuss or kick a stranger just to prove that I’m not perfect. But I’m also not insane, so I don’t do that.

No matter how big your sphere of influence is, there’s a lot of pressure when you have people looking up to you. I live by the motto, “Do you and do you well.” Be the best version of you for you, not for the people who are watching you. I think the best version of ourselves is always the generous, kind, forgiving, accepting, encouraging and loving version. Basically, don’t be a dick (sorry, that was me trying to get you to not make me your role model).

My advice: Whatever your gifts are, whatever responsibility you’ve been given, apply the above attributes to it and I think you will be the world changer you were meant to be.

NO is hard to say but vital for survival.

Raise your hand If you are a people pleaser,  hate confrontation and hate knowing that people are mad at you? Actually, don’t raise your hand, someone might see you and get mad at you. Here’s the deal: You have to learn when to say no, because you don’t want to burn yourself out or find yourself in a compromising situation that could have been avoided if you just said no in the first place.

My advice: You don’t have to take on every project, do every favor, or go every time you’re invited. Saying no isn’t what is going to make or break you. Your character, talent, work ethic, drive and determination is what does that.

These are just a few things I’ve learned on this boss lady journey of mine. I have so much more I want to accomplish, which means I have so much more to learn. There will be so many more opportunities to give up. So many opportunities to be selfish instead of generous. There’s going to be opportunities to say yes to something my heart says no to. I may succeed and I may fail, but one thing you can be sure of, I will continue to strive to be the best version of me that I can be. I hope that you’ll strive to be the best version of you as well. No compromises.


4 Comments

  1. Laura wellspeak, February 1, 2016:

    I’ve never had the privilege to attend a live show but I have watched your shows on Netflix and I want to thank you for all you do.I watch them repeatedly because it’s like my only escape from my bad part of my life.. Thank you again.

  2. April, February 3, 2016:

    I have not had the privilege to see you live but I have watched all I could find online. I would love to see one of your shows. Please book a show in Kentucky! Central Kentucky preferred but I would travel if I had to. My daughter and I love to watch your shows online.

  3. Phillip, February 4, 2016:

    I’ve been waiting for a few years for an opportunity to see you live. It’s here. When you come to Pensacola, FL I want to be as close to the stage as I can. Your brand of comedy is so refreshing. The thing that’s the most impressive, is the laughter you generate without using profanity. I can’t tell you how much I adore and appreciate you. I wouldn’t have know you were coming to Pensacola had it not been for a coworker mention The Nail Salon one day. Much to her surprise I broke out in word for word performance. I’ve memorized most all of your material. That led me to check up on you. ( I do periodic check ins on you – lemme see what Anjelah up to dis weeeek. Okayyy ). I can’t wait. You’re a joy and an inspiration. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I wish you so much continued success.

  4. Gino, February 4, 2016:

    In my personal dictionary under the work ‘Genuine’ is a picture of Anjelah Johnson. In a world where so many people are pretenders, you are showing the value of being real and genuine. Thank you for the hilarious laughs and the sober reality checks! You are Awesome!

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