The voice of Rover the family dog, "Bacon! They are having bacon! mmmmm. I know there will be a bit left on a plate after they finish eating. I haven't chewed anything or dug in the yard. I bet they will give me a bite if there is any left over. Ooooh! Here it comes! She's taking the plate of the table! ... Yes yes yes ... Oh, she wants me to sit. No problem lady! Ok...I'm a stittin' gimme gimme!.....YEEEEEESSSSSSSS!" Chomp! One scrap of bacon gone. Rover is happy.
Why did I write this strange paragraph? Well, for fun of course! That and because I believe that often, entrepreneurs take the roll of Rover when it comes to how they run their business. Have you ever said anything along these lines?
"If I can see 20% growth this year, I will reward myself with a trip."
"If everything goes well at the office this week, I might have time to take the weekend off!"
"That client is really sucking up my time, I guess it is another late night at work for me."
Granted, being a business owner has it's share of sacrifices that must be made. Especially in the start-up phase. But if you are a few years into your business, it is operating successfully and you still are dominated by thoughts like these, you are probably a Rover. A table scrap entrepreneur! If the business you own and have created only rewards you when there is left over time or money, something is wrong. It has become your master!
If you are the master of your business, you will not be at it's mercy once it is running smoothly. Instead, the rewards that you desire from owning a business should be built into your expectations of it.
You did not create a business in order for it to be your master. You created a business so that you could be the master of it.
In order to solve this, ensure that your goal setting process is correct. Set your personal goals before your business goals. Know what you want out of life and then design your business to provide it. I run a workshop that does this very thing with entrepreneurs. It helps them think through their business as masters of it and ensures that their personal goals are built into the very fabric of it.
Did you get into business to have more free time? Design the systems and hire the staff to make that a reality.
Did you get into business for money? Make sure your marketing, sales and customer service are top notch and enjoy the income.
Did you get into business in order to be the world biggest provider of flugelbinders? (I don't think that is a real word). Then make sure that your brand is synonymous with flugelbinders and find ways to conquer your flugelbinder competition.
In short, identify what you as a human being want. Then find a way to structure your business in a way that gives you that very thing.
Rover is happy with his bacon scraps. I am willing to bet that if your run your business like a table scrap entrepreneur, you will not be happy for long. Ensure that you are getting what you want out of your business, not just what is left over.