How to Think like a Boss (From a Boss)

What are the rules of success in business? How can you think like a boss?

Now if you’ve ever Googled this and looked at the “rules of success”, there’s no doubt you've seen a marketing or self-development guru tell you a list of dogmatic rules that are true, always will be true and have no alternative truth to them. 

Well, let’s get a little bit beyond this. Let’s outline the rules that everyone’s parroting, and then really think about what we can come up with.

Here are a few quotes published in a Forbes article. 

  1. “Don’t aim for a 10% improvement. Make it radically better and different.”
  2. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
  3. “Build the enterprise and the brand as if you’ll own them forever.”

No disrespect to Forbes, but the person who wrote this article is probably not a business owner and probably just parroted these quotes from random interviews. 

It’s not based on any substantial personal experience.

These are supposed to be actual rules you can benefit from, but in reality, the person writing these rules can't know the rules best for your success as they don’t know you personally. They don’t know your strengths, they don’t know your weaknesses. These rules are too generic. 

Prioritize Independent Thinking

To come up with your own rules, we use something called “independent thinking”. 

If you learn how to be an independent thinker, you won’t need someone to give rules to succeed. You may need some tips to help you get started with a working business model, but once you get things rolling, you won’t need these ‘feel-good’ rules to progress. You should come up with them yourself, and here’s why. 

Business is moving away from this ‘feel good’ motivational way to progress and more towards promoting independent thinking. Because independent thinkers can adjust to any situation that the market throws at them.

They’re able to change, based on the times. They won’t have to follow the guru for the next paradigm shift and the subsequent paradigm shift. 

They’re able to achieve this themselves, while they’re building their business and pulling people along with them.

They’re able to do this because they’ve learned how a business truly works and the fundamental building blocks of business. Also, they’ve improved how they think as an independent thinker as well as their employees and the culture of their business. 

That’s why they’re leaders and not followers. 

If you want to be a leader and be successful in the long-term, you need to stop listening to rules and start thinking.

The Problem with Self Development Books 

People will read books like “12 Rules for Life”, by Jordan Peterson, and assume that these 12 rules will apply to their lives and help them progress in life. 

This book isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s the assumption people make that it can fix everything in their lives which is bad. 

Most people that I know that are successful have read the book 12 Rules for Life and thought that it was a bit bland and generic because they’ve already figured much of their life out.

So what can you read and how can you read to train your brain to create your own rules?

To Think like a Boss, Read Books About How to Think

What I recommend you read is a book about ‘Epistemology’.

Epistemology is a concept that refers to the “branch of science called philosophy that is devoted to the discovery of the proper methods of acquiring and validating knowledge.”

A book I recommend is “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology”, by Ayn Rand. 

This book will teach you how to discover the truth behind things to the best of your ability. It will help you think of your ideas and think of your own concepts. 

Gurus talk about what they are thinking about, and while that’s useful for them, that’s not always useful for you. It’s about them, and not you. 

Remember, books like Ayn Rand’s are only useful if you’re taking action on things in your life. You shouldn’t expect to read 20 books on philosophy and make money from that. These books can help, while you’re already involved in the process.

The Bottom Line

To be a boss you have to think like a boss. Prioritize independent thinking and don’t rely on others to figure stuff out for you. Trust your own judgment and focus on learning more about how to think for yourself. 

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Aleksander Vitkin

Aleksander Vitkin has helped over 700 people with a sincere interest in entrepreneurship and contribution, to start profitable businesses and quit their jobs.