A pep talk for the self-employed

A softball league of one. 

Trust exercises, after work softball games, the obligatory happy hour. It’s all part of everybody’s favorite office activity: team building.

But what do you do if you work in an office of one?

The freelance writer Anne Brinser Shelton has some tips. Here’s an excerpt from her recent post on McSweeney’s: Team Building for the Self-Employed.

I bet I’m wondering why I’ve called this meeting today. As CEO of this business, it is my responsibility to ensure that all of our employees are working efficiently in their day-to-day operations and finding their roles fulfilling. It has come to my attention, as I review the figures from our last profit-and-loss statement (which seems to be written on the back of a Wendy’s receipt? Come on, me in Accounting, can’t we at least try to make these things look professional?), that perhaps morale is a little low around here, which might be impacting the bottom line.

While I hate to pick on any one individual, I’ve noticed some patterns of behavior in a number of key areas. Our manager of operations (me) is not doing a great job motivating her direct reports (also me). To be frank, I am a pushover, and I allow myself to get away with a lot that might not fly at other, more professional organizations. For instance, while I’m impressed with my progress in Candy Crush Saga, when I took me on as administrative assistant, I was expecting some actual administrative work to get done, but I’m clearly not taking this role very seriously. I’m still waiting for me to get around to drafting those emails I promised to send out two weeks ago.

 

 

About the author

Anne Brinser Shelton is a freelance writer and editor from Columbia, South Carolina.

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