Business owners are in a very select group that’s different from the rest of the world. While everyone else is working for a boss, you’re the one that’s in charge. You call the shots, you steer the ship, and you take responsibility for everything that goes down.
As a consequence, life as a business owner can be equal parts rewarding and stressful. It’s far from easy, and a lot of people aren’t cut out for it. There have been countless examples of people who started a business, but couldn’t handle everything and ended up driving the company into the ground. But, there are also examples of business owners who have enjoyed a lot of success and gone on to live happy and prosperous lives!
The trick is knowing what to do when you own a business, and how to manage your life. For me, it all starts with these life lessons:
Make time for your family
The first, and the most important, lesson is that you need to make time for your family. I would say the number one business owner mistake is getting too consumed in your company. If all your days are spent doing work or basically living in your office, then how will this affect things at home?
More often than not, your partner starts feeling less close to you, and a lot of tension arises. They feel like you never make time for them, and they don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who’s never there. Things are even worse if you have kids; you’re not there to see them grow up, you don’t establish a relationship with them like you should.
This will inevitably lead to separation, which leaves you all on your own. From here, you can spiral into depression and end up in a very dark place. The bottom line is that your family always comes first. The chances are they supported you when you started your business, so don’t neglect them now that you have a company to run. A happy family life will create a happy life overall. What good is it to have a business and make lots of money if you go home to an empty house every night? Don’t get consumed by your business; make an effort to spend as much time with your family as you can – they’re your rock, they can help you make better decisions and run your business more effectively as well.
Don’t try and do everything
When you own a business, you feel like everything is your responsibility. In a way, this is somewhat true. Yes, you are overall responsible for all facets of your company, but this doesn’t mean you literally have to make yourself accountable for doing everything. A common error is assuming you need to handle things all on your own, which will only end in tears.
So, the next life lesson is to learn when you need help. In fact, this ties in with the first point about making time for your family. If you delegate tasks to other people and hire a team that can help you run your business, then it gives you more time to see your family and enjoy that side of your life. Nobody is capable of running a company on their own, get help for different things. Focus on your own area of expertise, then bring in help with other things that you simply don’t understand or spend too much time on.
Yes, it means investing more money into your business, which will raise overheads. However, think about the positive impact it will have as well. You can run a more productive and fluid business when you have experts helping you. It ultimately helps you create a company that offers a higher-quality service to customers, which can help you make more money moving forward.
Prepare for the worst
As a business owner, you should always have contingency plans that you can put into action if worst-case scenarios happen. What happens if you stop making a profit and start losing money? What will you do if your business becomes embroiled in a PR disaster because of something an employee did or something you published on social media? You need to have plans in place that you can quickly call upon to right any wrongs – or at least reduce the impact that negative things can have on your business.
Not only that, but you have to prepare for the worst that can happen to you as well. No one likes to think about it, but what if one day you got involved in a car crash and passed away? What if you got sick and only had a few weeks to live? As it shows on the Doug Newborn Law Firm PLLC website, you can use estate planning to help ensure your assets all end up in the right hands when you’re gone. It’s not something you hope will happen anytime soon, but it helps secure your business if you do pass away. Also, it helps to continue the legacy of your business if you grow old and then pass – you can hand it down to your children or their children.
Preparing for the worst just means that you’ve got contingencies in place to cope with some of the unpredictable things in life. If you don’t prepare, then your business could suffer, and your legacy will be destroyed. All your hard work will have been for nothing!
Plan for the future
Technically, preparing for the worst is part of planning for the future. But, it’s more a case of planning for things that might happen if the future isn’t kind to you. Instead, this point is all about having an idea for your business and where you want to take it. Also, it’s about planning for your own future and what you see yourself doing when you get older.
As a business owner, you need to sit down and think about your goals for the company. Where do you want to be in a year from now? Where do you want to be in five, ten, fifteen years? Set specific targets that you believe you can achieve, and this helps create a path for you to follow. As an example, what if your target for ten years is to open up new chains in different countries and be the leading business in your market? Now, you have to set the wheels in motion and come up with ideas that ensure you follow this path and can achieve your targets. In essence, planning for the future makes sure that your business continues to grow and remains in a healthy state.
Then, think about your personal future. Much like all of your employees, you need to think about life after work. When are you planning on retiring? What will you do when you retire? As a business owner, you don’t have the luxury of a retirement plan that’s set up by an employer. So, explore different options to ensure you’re saving money for the day you might step away from the business. When you plan for the future, it becomes a lot less scary to think about.
I’ll end this post with a very quick summary of everything. Essentially, if you want to enjoy a balanced life full of success, then you need to follow these life lessons. Being a business owner can be very stressful, but living by these lessons helps you stay on the right path and ensure you don’t become overrun with everything that’s thrown at you.