Would You Fire Yourself?

If you were the boss and had you as an employee, would you be happy with your performance, or would you fire yourself?
Let’s pretend for a moment that you are conducting a performance review of your work. Evaluate whether or not your expectations as an employer are being met by your performance as an employee.
you are fired

Employee Review Considerations

Do you show up late for appointments with yourself or others?
Do you show up at all?
Are you fully present for the task at hand?
Are you able to focus on an important job, or are you too easily distracted?
Do you miss deadlines? Do you only work when you feel like it?
Do you work on what’s important to the boss, or do you procrastinate and waste time? Do you catch yourself spending too much time on little things while avoiding what’s hard?
Do you return calls and emails promptly?
Is all of your communication business-like, or has it grown sloppy?
Do you take initiative or wait to be asked?
Do you only perform when there is a gun to your head?
Do you avoid tasks because you don’t know how to do them, or do you find a way to make them happen?
Do you make excuses or accept responsibility for your actions?

Let’s Think About This

I said above that we are pretending in this exercise, but we are not. Remember: you are the boss.
You are the owner and CEO of the business and your livelihood is at stake.
So do you give yourself a raise? Or do you fire yourself?

A nod to Pamela Bruner for asking this question of our mastermind group.


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52 thoughts on “Would You Fire Yourself?”

  1. Is today Deep Thought Thursday?
    : )
    Great question. And though I wouldn’t fire myself – I wouldn’t be giving myself a raise either. Thank heavens I’ve enlisted in your Art Biz Marketing Bootcamp!!

  2. Well, if I was my boss, I’d give me a raise and a mandatory vacation. Honestly, I do work too hard sometimes and reminding oneself that a rest period is as valuable to a marathon runner as the time they spend in training, and nutrition is the most valuable advice this boss can give.

  3. I read the ceo post and realize that I am not a very good ceo, yet. So, would I fire me? No, I’d get myself some training. First came some self study, now Bootcamp.
    Reading the CEO post gave me sudden realization that I need to work on countering the effects of too often in life having been put down and told, “no.” Now that I know this, I need to schedule some risks in marketing and selling.

  4. I have applied this principle since I took the mindset that this was my Business – just like any other. It made a huge difference in my production, for sure. I set a 9-3 (When the kids left for school until they came home) schedule and made sure that all my friends were on board and knew I was at work in my studio taking no calls and doing no errands except for an occasional Friday. At my peak, I painted 50 paintings in 18 months, all full sheet watercolors (22×30) for a corporate exhibition. Another part of the business attitude was to make a new contact once a week. Didn’t particularly enjoy it, but it put me out there. I kept reminding myself that I would have to do the same for an employer, so it is better to do it for my own gain. Right?
    At this point, I would be fired though, as there have been a few major life changes that have curbed my production. I am hoping to turn the corner this year though so that I can be rehired 🙂

  5. I would definitely fire myself, and then rehire myself using your list as a clear job description for my new position. Yikes! The great thing is, if I follow the parameters of my new job to a T, it should inherently bring me a raise!

  6. I am using this post to re-organize myself. I often spend time on the wrong things. I am nothing if not professional, but I find myself promoting classes instead of my art or doing the business end rather than finishing a piece. OK todya I will work on better focus.

  7. Wow, this brings me up short, although I hate to admit it. I would certainly have to see myself as a problem employee. I would have to say “it’s hard to get him to work, but when he works, he’s brilliant!” If I approached my “day job” the same way, I would certainly be in trouble. So now I need to find ways to turn that idea around, that is, to approach my “art job” the same way I approach my “day job!”

  8. Well, I’ve had to do some firing back in the day. To keep from having to do that, I would set clear and specific goals for the employee and give them specific examples of what success looks like. Now I have to treat me as an employee and provide goals and clear examples. I’m so grateful for bootcamp now!

  9. That is a powerful question. Everything you need to know about yourself in a working environment is contained in that question. You made me stand up and take notice.I am the boss of my life. Discipline has a real place in the world of an artist. Thank you.

  10. I have to say – this question stopped me in my tracks. I think I might fire myself based on that kind of performance evaluation….which then only makes me realize that it’s up to me to be the employer and employee that I want and need to be. Thanks for this!

  11. YES.. I would fire me for sure. I wrote a poem about Frida Kalo…. she puts me to shame.
    It is for Frida then that I write:
    “Notorious Kahlo I Love You I Do – As I Stand in the Shadows Weeping For You”
    Mexican art goddess
    Frida Kahlo
    Spanish gem
    rebellious thunder
    independent glamour queen
    of a most glorious wonder.
    Shocking conservative foes
    dressing her canvases
    with mirrors
    from her very own
    and injured soul.
    Notorious Kahlo
    I love you I do
    as I stand in the shadows
    weeping for you.
    If I do not understand
    mine own pain
    I will lust after Frida
    and her soulful
    honestly delivered
    Mexican goddess
    tears marked her days
    you and I should remember
    such courage
    Wounded in body
    demons of the dark
    yet despite convalescence
    on canvas
    this goddess
    left her deepest remarks.
    Diego Rivera
    came into her life
    murals of politics
    and Mexican strife.
    France did know them
    an artists pair
    who danced in their art scene
    reputations to flair.
    Ahh feminist Frida
    I light candles to you
    when alone in my closet
    unsure of what to do.
    Cult figure I honor
    write notes on my door
    remember Ms Kahlo
    who painted her soul’s roar.
    Who better to paint
    than the one, one knows best
    from cradle to grave
    Frida revealed her own struggles
    and difficult tests.
    Vibrant colors
    sure of her gestures
    leaving no misunderstanding
    Frida Kahlo said and painted
    what her heart measured.
    Sexuality not ignored
    as some women do
    Frido Kahlo said it all
    as she thought her life through.
    She gave herself freedom
    creative displays
    dramatic symbolism
    gave us visions
    within and without
    her cast prison.
    Within your bodies torturous doorman
    your efforts to explore
    courageous decisions
    will forever ignite me
    past the tunes
    of simple
    Notorious Kahlo
    I love you I do
    as I stand in the shadows
    weeping for you.
    by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
    Copyright 2014

  12. “Take your brushes and your unfinished paintings, Jimmy, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” I’m about to feel the wrath of Carp!

  13. Wow! Thanks for the wake-up call! Although I had been pretty focused and productive before the holidays, I’d have to write me up for taking too long to recover from the holiday break. I would require an action plan with deadlines and follow up consistently.
    Thanks again!

  14. Yikes! These questions and the CEO article strike an uncomfortable chord. I wouldn’t fire me, but I would certainly put me on probation, making sure I fully understand the habits and attitudes that the job requires. I would allow accommodations for my quirky work style, believing it to be an inescapable part of my creativity, but if those accommodations aren’t leading to income-producing outcomes, I would strongly encourage me to consider a different occupation.

  15. I have been up and down and sideways..now at down. “Stop it”, I continually say to myself. Why can’t I get myself in gear? Each night before I go to sleep at night I tell myself I WILL do better. In the morning I think I “might” but I don’t. I feel like I am sinking. Art is who I am and all that I am and yet I abandon that child. It makes no sense.

  16. I love this Alyson! Now I can be boss (since I am in reality) and write down my assignments for me, my employee (which I also am). This will help me take out the subjective aspect and just do the work as I would if someone else were my boss. Great!

  17. (This is a response to the 1/22/14 email you sent, titled “Inside My World” of which this “Would you fire yourself” article was one section – so my numbers 1 and 3 don’t make sense to this article but they make sense in the world of Art Biz Coach! 🙂 )
    Love this Alyson!
    Things that really resonated:
    1 — “The numbers will make it a reality.”
    Not just true in YOUR case but, a good lesson for those afraid to or uncomfortable with handling finances or looking at numbers. I need to paste this on my wall, above my computer, and let it SINK IN. THAKS for saying it and putting this in the email.
    2 – Would you fire yourself
    GREAT LIST. I might put that list right next to “the numbers will make it a reality”.
    3 – SO GLAD you are pushing video!!! I think video is helping ME a LOT these days…. I have jumped in a tiny bit to video myself. Nothing polished/scripted, but my feeling is, you gotta start somewhere! If I feel they are not up to par down the road, I can always remove a video later when I get better at doing them!) I’m finally getting over my video phobia now, which is a HUGE accomplishment. I will be ready to do your video workshop soon. It’s on my list.
    THANKS for the great content.

  18. Oh No, I just found a pink slip on my desk! Kidding. However, when I do the work and it’s finally done, it’s always done well, but I have quite a lot of mental chatter to cope with. That translates into the need of focusing actions to completion and learning not to take on too many things at one time which is easier said than done.

  19. I would not get an excellent review, but would be acknowledged for working very hard. I find when I am stuck in a slump being gentle with myself and doing something I want to do breaks me free from my inertia, allowing me to continue forward with must dos and greater productivity.

  20. Me? I’m now to laid-back in retirement to care..I had no problem it was the rest of the world that was wrong!

  21. No I would give me a huge bonus. I might say, ‘You know Barbara you could
    use some help.’ Then I would get me some savvy assistance. I think my boss is lucky to have me, and should be proud of my strengths. I’m a hard worker, resilient and creative. Other people should perform the tasks I’m not the best at. As CEO I am working on that too. Great topic. It let me take me
    out to lunch in my kitchen. Tip the salad was delicious.
    Thanks for the great topic.
    XOXOXO Barbara

  22. I was scared when I saw this title! I thought I Would fire myself but after reading the questions, I am excellent at each of those tasks. The problem is I’m trying to so too much so I need help. I am moving a bit slower than I’d like to this year so I need to step it up & stay on plan. I would love to find time for another round of ArtBiz classes since I need a fresh look at my direction. Will need to evaluate the plan for 2014 & check back in.

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