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  • Writer's pictureRoger Pierce

Stay true to your self-employed priorities

In the chaos that is a small business, don't lose sight of why you started up

As the owner of a business you are able to design your business to support your personal priorities.

That may sound, well, selfish – but that's kind of the point.

Too many business owners become slaves to their business by working long hours, tolerating stress, and earning way too little money.

You got into business to have it your way (otherwise you'd take a job, right?) so make sure your business serves you, instead of you serving it.

Here are some ways your business can give you what you want.

Enjoy a better life. Work less, stress less, enjoy some freedom to do what you want and when you want to do it. Be with your family. These things are all possible if you focus on building systems that are so simple that other people can run them for you – or you can pull the levers with minimal time or energy.

Make money. 75% of North American millionaires are self-employed. Earning an exceptional income will allow you to do more of whatever is important to you. You can live better, travel more, buy a vacation property. An abundance of money will put your kids through university, help family members in need, reduce debt, increase savings and put you in a position to support your favourite charities. If money is a priority, look for ways to scale your business – perhaps online.

Support your community. Giving to people or organizations that are important to you can also be achieved through your business. For example, you can use your business resources and expertise to help a local charity to fundraise. Or move your schedule around to accommodate a volunteer role on the school committee.

Pursue your passion. More than anything else, a particular passion likely brought you to start your business in the first place. As a business grows, the owner often feels pressure to shift into a managerial role which takes away from the original thing he or she loves to do. Resist that pull and stay true to your original passion by designing your preferred role in the business and hiring around it. You don't need to be CEO if you prefer to handle sales.

You've got this wonderful opportunity to make things happen the way you want. Don't be pressured by others to compromise your priorities. Keep your business your own.

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