The employee in a large corporation receives orders about his production, his location, and his attitude while he is working. To the extent that these orders actually help him do his work and avoid punishment, the orders are regarded as a necessary evil and are even welcomed when skillfully given.
When the orders attempt to exert bad control over the employee’s actions, the employee rightfully regards the orders as an unnecessary evil. Bad control is starting something, them interrupting it with a contrary order or starting something else that interferes with the first order given. Some managers specialize in this bizarre exercise. We generally refer to them as morons.
Corporate employees may look with envy at the "carefree" artisan or independent businessman and think how wonderful it must be to give orders instead of taking them. This is an absolutely incorrect view of how the world actually works.
We all take orders from someone. The only difference between a corporate employee and the self-employed business person is that the self-employed business person has more flexibility in deciding who they take orders from and what the orders are.
As a self-employed person, your biggest problem is finding someone
to buy your wares or services. When you finally find that person, you
need to persuade them to part with money in exchange for your wares or
Usually, there is a negotiation about price, delivery, quantities,
and payment. If delivery occurs at a later point in time, there may be
another, more strident negotiation about price, delivery, quantities,
and payment. Basically, a negotiation is an attempt to determine an
acceptable range of orders and responses, and responsibilities.
If you provide goods or services to a client, the initial stages of
the relationship are usually spent in deciding what orders you are
willing to accept from the client and negotiating a relationship that
works for both of you. Once the relationship is established, you are
given orders by the client and you try to follow them to the best of
Building contractors have long and colorful histories of clients
giving orders that produce unintended and unsatisfactory results.
There is an old dictum that says that the best leaders are also able
to take orders. You can use this to your advantage in many situations
simply by considering what orders you would give to yourself if you
were your boss, or your customer, or your client.
You might find that this exercise of putting yourself outside your
current situation and looking at it from an exterior viewpoint will
give you some insight on what you could do to resolve your current
You may find a solution that will put you in command of your life
again. At the very least, you will become part of the solution instead
of remaining part of the problem.
Wishing you success…