I really don't like to us the word boss, but it is shorter than self employed and means basically the same thing. My husband and I own our own business, and it is much harder than what I anticipated years ago. We started our own electrical contracting business ten years ago, and it I put owning your own business along the same category as having children. You just don't get it until you have your own. If I knew back then what I know now - I would have probably kept my mouth shut, or even not judged as harshly.
One of our employees left to go work with his dad this last week, and it was tough for Dean and me. We even had to tell another employee two months ago that we did not have enough work for him anymore. That was even harder. If the economy is bad - usually construction is one of the first to go, and it is a big reminder to me that we have to be grateful for our blessings. I don't know all the answers, but I do think that I have learned a lot in the past ten years, and now I include our business in my prayers. Use to I would just pray for my family, friends, myself, my husband, and others, but did not really ever mention our work. We are workers together with God, and I know now that he has to be in all parts of my life and not just the ones that I choose.
I never realized the responsibilities of a business owner were so heavy, and now I have more empathy to those that are in a position to change people's lives or have to make tough decisions. I think that a "service" or working for the public type of business is a true test of character many times. We care about the guys that work for us so much, and have become part of our family. I just hope that they know this, and I do pray that we are a good boss.
Be sure that you are honest and upfront about any expectations.
Observe your employees behavior - you can tell if they are happy or not.
Share with your employees that that they are appreciated.
Simply remember that you also were on the other side of the fence at one time - if you have never been an employee before, than take a good hard look at how you would want to be treated by your own boss.