We Have Met the Nightmare Boss—and He is Us

“What are you crying about?” asked the Scarecrow.

“Somebody pulled my tail!” cried the Cowardly Lion.

“You did it yourself,” said the Scarecrow.—from The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

In the spring of 2006, my new book, Zero to Zillionaire, was released by my publisher, Sourcebooks. Then in the fall, after many months of planning and creating with my fabulous team at Accent Digital, I upgraded my web site and introduced my online subscription-based Dolphin Club. In between these two big projects, I kept up with teaching my workshops three days a week, speaking at organizations, attending networking meetings, managing my 800+ emails per week, writing newsletters, making phone calls, enrolling the next workshops, writing articles for other groups, doing teleclasses, radio spots, and investigating new opportunities for new PR, new websites, new classes.

At the end of 2006, I reviewed my goals, checked off all the things I accomplished, and looked at the next goals on the list: create the Train-the-Trainer course to certify others to teach my Financial Stress Reduction Workshops, write another book (or two), create a video, record a CD, etc. etc.

Is this list making anybody tired?

But you have one just like it, don’t you? Aren’t we all so busy that our conversations revolve around how overwhelmed we all are and how complicated life seems? How all these labor-saving technologies we created have only serve to create more labor?

I hit the Wall of Overwhelm. And I saw that I had become the Nightmare Boss—the one that says that all you’ve done isn’t enough, that you aren’t rich enough, famous enough, or thin enough. You haven’t fully funded your IRA, you haven’t become a #1 New York Times bestseller, your buns aren’t steel, you didn’t win a World Series of Poker bracelet, and you weren’t in The Secret. You’d better hop to it, girl!

Wait! I cried. Didn’t I go into business to be my own boss so that I could be the Dreamy Boss I always wanted? So I could take naps in the afternoon, take Fridays off, go away for long weekends, and tell myself I was wonderful and beautiful? Where was that boss?

When I had that realization, I resolved to put a succession plan into effect. Like the Board of Directors of a mega-corporation, I retired the Nightmare Boss and hired the Dreamy Boss. I decided that this year I would undertake no new projects. I would take more time off to play, I would congratulate myself more on my accomplishments, and reward myself more often. I would award myself Employee Emeritus of the Month, and rest on my laurels. And become a living, breathing, human being, instead of a human doing. Ahhhh.

So when you don’t get your expected newsletter one of these months, remember my Dreamy Boss is in charge and gave me permission to play hooky. When I don’t do a teleclass version of my workshop, it’s because we decided that wasn’t as much fun as the live events, so I’m not doing them. Oh, new projects will come up, and I’ll do them—when I’m energized and they look like fun instead of just more work. But for now, I’m busy basking in the glory my Dreamy Boss is heaping on me for my job well-done…

Wouldn’t you like to join me?