A single customer isn't necessarily equivalent to your boss in a job, but together they are.
Being your own boss means:
I get credit when credit is due.
I get to choose my customers.
I get to choose people I work with.
I get to influence the product in any way that makes sense.
I work with tools and in places that work best for me.
And so much more.
I think its all word play and its hard to ha e debate with what's been said in the post. I agree with post but disagree with ttiitle and conclusion
Having 10,000 bosses/direct customers dilutes that power greatly. Individually, none of them have any power over you. Only as a unified movement can they amass the power of that single boss.
There is every type of boss out there in world and I don't mean to say they are all to be feared, hated. But the power dynamic mentioned above IS there, and your boss knows it.
They ask for stuff, they wait for me to tell them what's possible and when it can be delivered, they're interested/engaged in the process, and they're happy to get the product in the end; they say thank you; they pay the bills I send them.
They don't tell me to sit here or there and do this or that.
Not the best job situation, but the reality if you are a sole operator.
My father is a physician in private practice. He rarely takes time off for being sick but it is possible to do either in an emergency or just being very sick. His front desk people could cancel his appointments.
This is not cost free, and it is a lot harder than just calling in sick. After all if you have fixed expenses, such as salaried employees, they collect their money whether or not you work.
So it is very different. Automating some of the processes can cut down on the expenses but it is still a major thing and not really comparable.
The lesson wasn't about this particular set of circumstances. Of course it would be trivial to automate this specific use case. The point is that as a business owner, as the person onto who everything comes down in the end, you sometimes just have to suck it up and do what no salaried person would do. The lesson was: as an employee you can just call somebody and make your sickness their problem (I'm not suggesting that people with cancer can make that somebody else's problem, please no autistic readings of an abstract point). As the boss, the final person responsible, you have nobody to offload things like this to. You just have to find a solution and often that solution is in muscling through the obstacle.
...if YOU are good at being a boss!
If you allow your employees (ie YOU) to slack, then that's not being a good boss.
That said, the second sentence in this statement is false:
"First, if you have investors, you are working for them. They are providing the capital for your business and you have a fiduciary responsibility to return their investment with profit."
Yes, you have a responsibility to investors to do everything reasonable to give them a return on investment, but the type of investment may or may not create a fiduciary relationship. And it's important not to be glib about what fiduciary duties actually are and when they arise.
To take a high-profile example, Chik-fil-A chooses not to open any of its stores on Sundays, because the owner believes the Sabbath should be a day off work. This may or may not maximize profits, but it's not an illegal choice even if it doesn't.
Short of a grossly malfeasant breach of loyalty or bad faith—or declaring dividends when the corporation meets the legal definition of insolvency—there usually aren't many claims for shareholders to bring.
If your primary interest is control (over your schedule, your work environment, the type of work you take on, etc.), consider freelancing.
If that happens to you, I'd highly recommend reading "Work the System" and "Emyth Revisted." Yes, it's self-help porn but it works.
Remarkable features I found were: Trouble delegating work (it's out of their hands), don't want to be hampered by decisions made in the group, resorting to "because I don't want it" where factual arguments are asked for.
For your energy, attitude and stamina it seems better anyway to have a positive drive ("I do because I want...") and not being steered by avoidance.
Nonetheless there is a huge difference in that the ability to terminate a relationship with a boss is possible from either side, without you losing your position in your company. It's wonderful being able to tell a client that if they are going to micromanage you, they can take a hike.
Not sure if that was on purpose, but I would have put it in the opposite order if the subtext of the article was how to successfully be your own boss...
But for many, I believe "being your own boss" is just another way to say you want more control of your destiny and want to capture more up side of your hard work.