You don’t realize how much you need a boss until you don’t have one. Bosses don’t always do the following, especially when they’re not very good bosses, but here’s what we know about good bosses:
Bosses organize your time for you.
Bosses decide what’s urgent.
Bosses give you cover when you work on something stupid ("she told me to!")
Bosses pay you even when the client doesn’t honor the invoice.
Bosses can be sued.
Bosses create deadlines, and stick with them.
Bosses make sure you show up in the morning.
Bosses pay for the Postits.
Bosses give you someone to complain about.
Bosses carve up the work and give you just that piece you signed up to do.
Bosses give you a role model. (Sometimes one to work against, but that’s a different story).
The main thing a boss does, though, is give you the momentum you need to get through the stuff that takes perseverance. The main thing that ends the career of a Free Agent is the lack of a hand pushing on the back, someone handing out assignments and waiting for the deliverables. Who keeps you going when you don’t feel like doing it?
If you don’t have a boss, you may need to invent one.