At forty, I’ll take ramen noodles over a bad boss any day

ramenToday, contributing her first article to Women at Forty’s – Money & Career category, guest blogger Denise talks about stepping out, and into entrepreneurship. A fellow blogger and freelance writer facing down forty, Denise has had one really bad boss too many…

A couple of months ago, Time magazine did an article about Internet start-up companies and their lean existence.  Time called it Noodleconomics, based on the term Ramen Profitable.  Basically it means making just enough money to pay the bills and survive on a diet of ramen noodles. You know those dried, versatile and very cheap noodles that are a major food group for college students worldwide.  Time was talking about Internet start-ups, but I think the term is applicable to any start-up business.  And as I approach forty, the appeal of a start-up, ramen noodles and all, outweighs the prospect of kowtowing to yet another bad boss any day.

I’ve had more Really Bad Bosses than I care to remember, and the stories I’ve told attest to their supreme badness. After having a string of bosses like that, ramen noodles are starting to look like steak tartar.  I think I’m due for a really good boss.  In fact, I think I’m due to become a really good boss.

As a really good boss, I’d cultivate confidence in my employees, not fear. I’d have the kind of open door policy that the other bosses promised, but never mustered up the courage to follow through with.  And, as a really good boss, I’d respect the opinions of my employees and admit that even I, the best boss in the world, can make mistakes.  Of course, before I can do any of this, I’ve got to get at least one employee, and be able to pay him or her with something other than noodles.  And sure, being a really good boss isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3.  But, what I do know for sure is I won’t refer to my employees by their ethnic group, sex or weight.  I won’t start thinking they’re old when they hit forty. When I have good ideas (of which I’m sure they’ll be plenty), I’ll promote them through logic and reasoning and not by threatening employees with poisoned  Kool-Aid.  And, I won’t conduct random trashcan searches and pantyhose inspections just for the hell of it.  I’ll be much too busy building my empire and cooking up the next batch of ramen noodles to do any of that.

Denise is a marketing consultant and freelance writer. She currently co-blogs for the site Really Bad Boss.