Queen Victoria was the longest ruling monarch of England to date. She ruled from the age of 18 until she died in her 80s. I think, perhaps, we have something to learn from her about being in charge.
However, her life did not begin by training her in being at the helm. Her mother's consort after her father's death tried to control her, kept her away from court and the two of them forbid her to clib a flight of stairs without holding an adult's hand.
Not exactly effective training in independence, is it?
Many of us learn this way: our education system was developed during the industrial revolution in order to make us redy to be cogs in a larger system of work.
Hmmm. So how are we to lead out in front on our own?
We will learn by doing, much as Victoria did. So let's look to her life and follow the 5 steps of ruling your business so it doesn't rule you:
- Choose your support team wisely. Just because the people around you are family, friends, or people who love you doesn't mean they will give you the best advice. Victoria's mother tried to throw her under the bus numerous times and her favorite Prime Minister lead her to a scandal that risked her life. Ultimately, she had to moderate her views and those who surrounded her.
- Take all advice and check it against your own values. Good advice is only useful if it applies to your vision and your goals. Make sure you check in with your own plan before applying any advice you receive, because blindly following someone else's ideas does not make you the leader you need to be.
- Stand up for yourself. As entrepreneurs, business owners, and creative professionals, you will need to assert your own authority. No one else can set this precedent for you and part of any business owner's job is to be a leader. This scares many people, but if you don't stand up for yourself as the boss, no one else will either.
- Learn to say no. Part of being a good ruler is to make difficult decisions that not everyoe will love. Sometimes we have to say no to opportunities or expenses, even though they might seem fun or shiny things to bring into our world. As the leader, you must hold the big picture in mind, and this does mean saying no in order to stay on course as needed.
- Follow your heart. Unlike Victoria, we all chose to start our own businesses and we chose what this work would look like. This instinct to do good work for the world and to serve others with our contributions will always steer us right. Keep asking yourself how your heart feels about a decision and you will find your way.
Ready to rule? Great!
Have other tips for us? Please share them in the comments below...we'd love to keep the conversation going.