Are You A Slave To Your
Small Business?

If you own your own business and you're struggling with too much responsibility and not enough free time, you need to stop and reevaluate your approach.

Too many of us get caught up in working in a business rather than on it.

The first implies immersing yourself in the day-to-day tasks, while the second refers to taking on the role of project manager and guiding the business onto a successful path.

Here are 7 tips for transforming yourself from a slave to your business to a business owner whose business runs without your being there.

  1. Don't try to do everything yourself.

    Yes, it's difficult in the beginning to find extra cash to hire people, but as soon as you possibly can, hire at least one part-time assistant to take care of the busywork, like phone calls, correspondence, filing and so on. Your mind needs to be free to think strategically – to look at the big picture and plan your next step – not spend time engaged in maintenance activities that don't actually bring in any cash.

  2. Don't get stuck in perfectionism.

    It's great when your product or service meets your own high standards, but you don't want to spend so much time fine-tuning it that your competition beats you to the marketplace and you end up looking like an also-ran. Accept 'good enough' for a start. Get it out there and then improve it as you go. Look at Microsoft's example: they launched Windows 'flaws and all', then sold new versions and upgrades to their existing customers as well as to new computer owners. All the big players do this. Why shouldn't you?

  3. Don't think you're the only one who can do it.

    When you do hire an employee or outsource a task, don't condemn the other person just because they don't do things 'your' way. Sure, it's good practice to get rid of unsatisfactory performers and continue looking for the best value for your money, but don't expect other people to be your clones. Everyone's different, and perhaps your employee or sub-contractor's method is better or more effective than yours. Your aim should be to surround yourself with people who are more talented than you. They'll make YOU look good and your business will benefit.

  4. Don't let clients get away with not paying you.

    People will come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid paying you. If your business can't always operate on a cash basis, allow a maximum of 30 days credit. Start with small amounts of product or service, and if the client drags out the payment process, cut them off and put them back on a cash basis. After 60 days call in a collection agency. Advise them of your payment policies at every step so there are no unpleasant surprises. Adopt a 'firm but fair' attitude. You're in business – you're not a charitable institution.

  5. Don't let your ego get taken in by a joint venture proposal.

    You may experience get rapport with a client and, depending on the type of service you offer, be tempted to consider a partnership or barter agreement with them. Sometimes this is appropriate – there may be a great opportunity just waiting to be seized – but you need to evaluate the situation carefully. Clients will sometimes offer you a share in the profits of their business to avoid paying you for the work you've done or plan to do. This is more likely in an online business where everyone seems to have joint ventures on the brain. The same goes for bartering. These exchanges rarely work out equitably.

  6. Don't accept a sense of struggling as the norm.

    If getting your business off the ground is hard going, or you find yourself stuck at a certain level of income that you can't seem to break through, perhaps it's time to step back and take a look at your beliefs and attitudes about money. Do you think you have to work hard for it? Do you believe you have to put in long hours if you own your own business? Do you secretly fear that you'll never 'get ahead'? What you think and feel dictates the kind of life you create. So don’t gloss over this. This is just as much a part of your business success as producing a product or service and learning how to market. Visit the Wealth Mindset page for some strategies on changing your beliefs.

  7. Take time out!

    Yes, I know it's hard, but you must take some time away from your business. Don't get so one-dimensional that you eat, drink, think and breathe 'the business'. Soon you'll stop having to decline invitations from friends because there won't be any – they'll all avoid you because you'll be so mind-numbingly boring as you prattle on about your business to the exclusion of any other subject. So get a life, or at least revive the one you had before you started on your grand enterprise.

    When you die, you won't get any extra brownie points for working 14-hour days.

A saner perspective on running a small business

Marketing wizard and former accountant Rich Schefren created quite a buzz recently with this no-cost video that exposed the depressing reality of most small business owners.

If you haven't yet seen this life-changing video, you'll find it on Be warned that it's 90 minutes long, and if you're desperate to change how you run your business, be prepared to take notes!

You'll find links to Rich's video and his no-cost downloads on the Business Manifesto page.

Disclaimer: This site is purely educational and we make no claims or guarantees with regard to the information presented. Please consult a certified NLP practitioner for individual coaching in the use of NLP techniques. We strongly advise consulting a financial industry professional before embarking on a wealth creation journey.

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