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2012

Body_QAchrisgardner.jpgby Susan Caminiti.

 

Christopher Gardner first made headlines with his best-selling memoir, The Pursuit of Happyness, the story of his homelessness, which was made into the movie of the same name starring Will Smith. Today, he is the CEO of Gardner Rich & Co., a Chicago-based brokerage firm and the author of Start Where You Are—Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Recently, business writer Susan Caminiti spoke with Gardner about the challenges of running your own business, the importance of failure, and how entrepreneurs need to sometimes get out of their own way.

 

SC: What aspect of starting and running a small business is most often overlooked or underappreciated?

CG: When you do something that you truly are passionate about, nothing gets overlooked. And that’s the key. It’s when you decide to do something strictly so you can make money that the problems start setting in. The glass all of sudden always looks half empty. When you start a business, it’s not easy. There are a million things that grab your attention and need to be addressed. That’s why it’s so important to do something that you’re passionate about. It has to be that feeling of, the sun can’t come up soon enough in the morning so I can go out and do my thing. That’s the part some folks overlook.

 

PQ_QAchrisgardner.jpgSC: Is that why it’s so hard for entrepreneurs to delegate, because they’re so passionate about what they do?

CG: No, it’s because we’re control freaks! But seriously, for any business to truly grow and be successful, the owner has to get to the point that I had to reach in my business: there are people who are better than you at certain things. The hard part is finding them and then leaving them alone. I’ll give you a perfect example. I have a bad record in hiring people. But I have a person who’s worked for me for the past 18 years who’s much better at it than I am. She has every license I have and then some. It finally dawned on me that I should let her do the hiring. And you know what? It works. Figure out what you’re good at and what you’re not good at—and then find the people that fill in those gaps. You can’t do everything. That’s just ego talking.

 

SC: In your book, Start Where You Are, you say there is no plan B for passion. How does someone starting or running a business balance this quest for passion with the practical needs of every day life?

CG: Passion is important but you have to have a plan and be very clear on what it is you want to start or how you want to grow a business you already have. I call it the “C-5 complex” and it revolves around these five words: clear, concise, compelling, committed, consistent. It’s great to have a dream of what you want but without a plan, that’s all it’s every going to be—a dream.

 

SC: Can you give me an example of how that played out in your life and company?

CG: In early 2008 my company had a $50-million commitment from an investor and I thought all was great. Then in September the financial crisis happened and that $50 million walked away. We had to re-evaluate everything. But that’s the beauty of having a plan, of being clear and committed. We didn’t try to take the company in a completely different direction. We stayed focused and kept moving ahead. And you know what? If I had gotten that $50 million and invested it before the crisis, we’d be so far under water right now it’d be hard to breathe. Sometimes the universe has a way of saying to you—step aside, the timing isn’t right on this.

 

SC: Failure is difficult in a corporate environment; for entrepreneurs it seems to be magnified and even more personal. How can business owners handle failure better?

CG: If you’re not failing occasionally, you’re not really trying anything. In fact, when you hire someone, the most important question to ask is: Tell me about a time you’ve failed at something. If they can’t give you an answer—or won’t—then you’ve got someone who’s not really going to get in there and be creative and energetic. They’re going to protect themselves. I always tell people, I’d rather be knocked out than tap out. I spent a part of my life homeless. It would have been so easy to give up. I didn’t. Success in life is about how many times you get up, not how many times you fall down.

 

SC: What’s the best piece of management advice you ever got?

CG: I was with [former Citigroup CEO] Sandy Weill years ago and we were talking about finding and keeping talented people. He said to me, ‘Chris, don’t ever be afraid to hire people smarter than you.’ Then he added, ‘But remember, even though they’re smarter it doesn’t mean you have to pay them more than you.’ I just laughed and thought, they sure don’t teach you that at Harvard!

Steve-Strauss--in-article-Medium.pngIt is easy when you are a small business owner to have a narrow view of how you are doing. If things are going well and you are making a profit, you are in good shape, right? And, if you are in a rough spot and money is tight, then you need to be doing something better, no?

 

Let me suggest that both views are probably too myopic, and as a result, probably incorrect as well. Judging the success or failure of your business by a snapshot of how you are doing today, or this week, or even this month, is not what the savvy businessperson does. Do you think Howard Schultz determines how Starbucks is doing based on the sales of one day, or one region, or one product? Of course not. A lot more factors into the equation.

 

Here then are 7 things to examine vis-à-vis your business in order to determine how you are really doing.

 

1. Marketing: Of course you have a few marketing tricks up your sleeve, after all, if you didn’t, you would not be in business. But having some old standbys is not good enough. When was the last time you invented a new marketing campaign? Great businesses not only have a variety of marketing methods, but the marketing tactics are innovative and refreshed on an ongoing basis. They all may not work, but the point is, by continuing to market in different ways, you will learn what does work, and that’s key.

 

2. Social media: Hot on the tail of marketing generally is social media – specifically Twitter and Facebook.  Compared to more traditional marketing approaches, social media is the new frontier. It is an area that you should have begun making traction in; if this isn’t the case, you need to determine how social media best aligns with your business goals and begin immediately.

 

Click here to read more articles from small business expert Steve Strauss.

 

3. Culture: All small businesses have a culture.  While most are by default, what you want is a culture by design. Why? Culture is the air that your staff breathes - and the values they work by. It is your vision for your business made tangible on a daily basis. Is your small business a fun, engaging place to work? Are people treated with respect? These things make a huge difference.

 

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4. Brand: Think of your brand as your culture turned inside out. If your culture is how your business is run internally, your brand is what people see from the outside. The best businesses have a synergy and integrity between their culture and brand. The values of each should be identical.


5. Operations: How is your business run on a day-to-day basis? Is it efficient and effective? Do you treat customers well? Are emails returned promptly and professionally? What about returns? It’s essential not to overlook operations – because your customers surely won’t. 

 

6. Innovation: It doesn’t matter whether you work in a big or small business, great businesses innovate. Innovation may be a new product that shocks the world, or it could just be a new way to serve sushi. Either way, new ideas are exciting, get people jazzed and lead to new business opportunities.

 

7. Strategic planning: Lastly, the best businesses continue to take their vision, brand, culture and the rest and put them down on paper. They strive to apply their lofty rhetoric to the real world by setting goals and committing to numbers.  These visionary leaders don’t lose sight of the big picture, and continue to work toward positioning their business for future success.

 

If you had to grade your performance today, what would you give yourself? Share your thoughts with the SBOC community below.


About Steve Strauss

Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss


You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.


Steve Strauss

9 Ways to Give Back

Posted by Steve Strauss Apr 17, 2012

Steve-Strauss--in-article-Medium.pngSmall business people are among the most passionate, idealistic people out there. After all, how could you be anything but if you are willing to quit a more traditional job, forgo your benefits, follow your passion, take out a loan, open up shop, find and serve your new customers, and believe you will be profitable and happy? I would consider that fairly idealistic – in the best sense of the word.

 

So it may be no surprise that small business owners are among the most active people in terms of giving back to their communities. After all, it is the community that supports these businesses, the community that makes up their employees and customers, and it is the community that keeps them in business.

 

How do they give back, and how can you? Here are nine great ways:

 

1. Become a mentor: One of the real problems with all of the educational cutbacks is that young people have fewer opportunities to mingle with mentors. Teachers and coaches are spread thin, and after-school activities are disappearing. Kids need mentors.

 

One place you, or your business, can make a great difference is by getting involved with schools. Mentoring students, not only about business and entrepreneurship, but also about life, would be invaluable.

 

And while we are at it, let’s not stop there. Mentoring older people as well, especially those just starting in business, is equally beneficial. You can do this through your local chamber of commerce, trade organization or SCORE (www.score.org)

 

Click here to read more articles from small business expert Steve Strauss.

 

2. Sponsor: Sponsor a little league team. Sponsor a concert. Co-sponsor a big event. Sponsor public television. The value of sponsoring is two-fold:

 

  1. First, due to lean budgetary times, being a sponsor is often the difference between an event happening or never getting off the ground. You will be a local hero.
  2. Sponsoring is an excellent way to soft sell your business. People will see your sponsorship signs and associate you with the good feelings they have about the event. It is branding, selling and impressing all rolled into one.

 

3. Hire a vet: Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home now, and they need work. In fact, unemployment among veterans, especially young veterans, is extraordinarily high. Frighteningly high.

 

And the ironic thing is that these folks make great employees. They have learned how to take direction, think independently, work hard, be a team and focus on the big picture and accomplish goals. What else could you want from an employee?

 

4. Hire an intern: Students need to learn skills and get recommendation letters. You need to get work done and don’t want to spend a lot of money. It sounds like a match made in heaven, right? 

 

5. Offer discounts to the elderly: We don’t need to make a profit on every sale to make a profit. By offering a senior citizen discount, you help seniors, and they will become loyal customers and recommend your business.

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And not only that, it feels good.

 

6. Offer in-kind contributions: If you sell widgets, consider offering your widgets to different non-profits in the area. They would welcome the help and it would probably cost you little.

 

7. Giving a percentage of your sales to charity: You would be surprised at how many small businesses make this a part of their regular business practice. Some set aside around 5% of profits for charitable giving. Yes, you can deduct this, but better, it builds goodwill and good karma.

 

8. Offer health and wellness programs for employees: Like so many things on this list, there are both selfish and selfless benefits that come from doing the right thing. Helping your employees become healthier is good, and it may also cut down on your health care costs.

 

9. Go green: Greening your business is easier than ever. It saves the planet, can cut your costs, and definitely impresses a certain segment of the population. For example, did you know that there is a green alternative to the Automobile Club? It offers roadside auto and bicycle assistance, among many other eco-benefits. If you look, there are lots of similar programs.

 

These are just a few different ways you can help make a difference in your community. Below, share how you give back (or would like to) with the SBOC community.


About Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is one of the world’s leading small business experts. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. Steve is also the author of the Small Business Bible and his latest book is Get Your Business Funded: Creative Methods for Getting the Money You Need. A popular media guest, Steve is a regular contributor to ABC News Now and frequently appears on television and radio. His business, The Strauss Group, creates unique, actionable, entertaining, and informative multi-media small business content.

 

You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.

Body_QAcharlesduhigg.jpgBy Sherron Lumley.

 

Award-winning business reporter for The New York Times, Charles Duhigg (right), discusses his new book, The Power of Habit, about the science of habit formation in people, companies and societies. He explains the research behind the book, why habits exist, the secret to changing them, and how keystone habits set off chain reactions for sweeping business transformations. He examines the habit loop, making it clear why some companies struggle to alter course while others do so facilely. Duhigg provides insight to small businesses about changing institutional, employee and consumer behavior through the power of habit. 

 

SL: Describe the backstory for The Power of Habit, where and when did you first become interested in the subject?

CD: I first got interested in the subject eight or nine years ago when I was a reporter in Kufa, about an hour south of Baghdad in Iraq. The U.S. military is very interested in understanding habits and I heard about an Army major who had figured out how to stop riots there by removing food vendors. What he discovered was that when people would gather, the food vendors would show up and the people would stay longer and the situation would escalate.  By removing the food vendors from the series of events, at about 5:30 p.m. the people would get hungry and start to go home if there was no food. Crowds are collections of people with habits. 

PQ_QAcharlesduhigg.jpgSL: Why do habits exist and what purpose do they serve?

CD: Habits exist because our neurology needs them. It would be mentally exhausting if our brains did not make everyday routines into habits, which are actually a combination of three parts: the cue, routine and reward. The cue is the trigger to the behavior or routine, which is reinforced by the reward. 

SL: Could you give an example of a simple habit loop – a cue, a routine, and a reward?

CD: Yes. Recently, I would eat a cookie every afternoon and that caused me to gain a little weight. A trigger can be a time or place, the presence of other people or a ritual. For me, the cookie cue came between 3:15 and 3:45 p.m. each day. At first, I thought the reward was simply eating the cookie, but rewards are complicated, so I reconsidered it. Was it that I needed a burst of energy? Did I need sweetness? I did little experiments exchanging coffee breaks for the cookie breaks, and what I discovered was that the reward I was craving was socialization. I needed time to socialize and that was the real reward of the habit.

SL: Why do some people and companies struggle to change?

CD: Change is hard if they haven’t analyzed the cues and rewards. The brain tries to make the patterns in our lives, our every routine, into a habit.  Most people focus on the routine part of the habit rather than focusing on the cue or the reward, which are actually more important.

SL: You discuss keystone habits in The Power of Habit.  What are they? 

CD: Keystone habits are those habits that cause chain reactions. For example, exercise is a keystone habit, which leads to people eating better and also using their credit cards less.

SL: How can small businesses use this information to improve performance?

CD: For small businesses, look at the employee habits that are driving organizational habits. There are also consumer habits, with their own cues and rewards and one problem is having the reward set too far in the future.

SL: Could you provide an example of a situation where an institutional habit could be changed to improve outcomes?

CD: When a crisis happens, this is often an opportunity for improvement. An example is a Rhode Island Hospital, which had bad communication habits, which led to mistakes being made in surgical rooms that led to deaths in some cases. They changed their habits by starting to use checklists and by having time outs before going into surgery, and those changes became the new routine.

SL: Lastly, in the book, you tell the story of how Alcoa changed one habit that turned the company around, could you talk about that?

CD: When Paul O’Neill—who went on to become Secretary of the Treasury—became the CEO of Alcoa, he wanted to make the company more profitable, but there had already been a big strike, so any change risked having people at each other’s throats. So, what he decided to do was focus on worker safety first, and by changing the institutional habits about safety, the company became more efficient, more productive and more profitable. Safety was a keystone habit that unlocked a chain reaction that created a top-performing company.

Body_CustWorthSaving.jpgby Jen Hickey.

Breaking up is hard to do. But, as in life, some business relationships aren’t meant to last. For a small business, especially a new one, each customer has a measurable impact on the bottom line. You try to make every customer happy by offering top quality products or services, but there’s always a few that never seem pleased. The more time and effort devoted to those “high-maintenance” customers, the less there is for the rest. You must decide early on whether such customers are worth the trouble. If not, then it may be time to part ways.

Before calling it quits, look at the ROI of a “problem” customer. Are they really worth keeping when considering intangibles like time and employee morale? Andrew Blickstein, chief visionary officer[JH1] of HomeRun Media, a media buying, research, strategy and planning company, calls this the ‘[garbage] metric.’ “It used to be if a client was paying us a lot of money, we’d deal with whatever [garbage] they threw at us,” says Blickstein. “Now, I measure by how much [garbage] I’m picking up.”

Blickstein recalls the first client he ‘fired.’ “Every conversation with this client was a struggle,” he says. The final straw came when the client ignored a memo from Blickstien that gave a detailed analysis of his campaign and the significant internal resources it took to provide. “I realized that this client did not respect the work we did and was never going to,” says Blickstein. “I thought, do I really want to do business with someone that doesn’t respect what we do?”

Blickstein called a few days later to sever the relationship. “The client was shocked because he was still paying me,” Blickstein recalls. “I wished him well and promised to continue servicing him until he could find replacement.”

Whether a customer is a drain on resources should also be calculated into the ROI. “The bottom line is the bottom line,” Blickstein notes, adding that his staff understands his preference to work with customers who don’t erode profitability due to high-maintenance demands.

For  customers that may be worth saving, however, try to lay out parameters to help change their bad behavior. “In writing, present three ways to fix the problem. It’s important to offer them choices, but also limit those choices,” notes Beverly D. Flaxington, co-founder of Advisors Trust Advisors, and author of “Understanding Other People” and “Make Your Shift.” 

PQ_CustWorthSaving.jpgIf that doesn’t work, it’s time to have the talk. “If you’re bending over backwards for a customer and there’s no strategic reason for keeping them, you need to offer them an alternative,” says Flaxington. “The client isn’t always right, but the worst thing you can do is to get defensive or try to show them the error of their ways.” It’s important to remove emotion from the conversation. Frame it as a business decision: Your company is moving in a different direction and can no longer meet their needs. Better yet, offer to refer them to a competitor and service them until they can find a replacement. “Give them the option to go,” says Flaxington. Often times, the customer will agree and maybe even be relieved.

Sometimes customer expectations are beyond the scope of your business. “We learned quickly the importance of knowing your target audience and what you can offer,” says Flaxington. “You start to get pulled away from other clients when all your energy and time is focused on pleasing the difficult ones.” 

For a startup, saying no to any customer, even a difficult one, may seem risky. “Every client’s a percentage of our business at this stage,” notes Brett Brohl, who co-founded scrubadoo.com, a virtual one-stop shop for medical uniforms, in 2009. “If you lose one client, it hurts.” But Brohl has ceased business with two clients since going live just over two years ago. One was a large medical practice, with multiple locations and doctors that ordered lots of products. But the client continually sent requests to match or beat prices of lower cost vendors.

Brohl realized he was getting away from what differentiated his business from other medical uniform suppliers. “We are first a customer service company,” Brohl explains. “It was tough to turn away from a big client, but competing on price is not what we’re about.”  When he stopped matching price, the client stopped placing orders. And it turned out to be the right decision. “Not only were we making a very slim gross margin, but this client consumed more time than any of the others,” notes Brohl. “It’s been positive in that it’s freed up time to do more selling and bring on new clients.”

If a high-maintenance customer is part of an overall strategy to expand into a new business segment, or a referral from a high value client, consider pricing the additional time and services into their bill. “If you’re a small shop with 100 clients and 10 of them are fairly low return and require a lot of time, we recommend that our clients use a price tier for services,” says Flaxington.

“The least satisfied customers, those in the bottom 20 percent, generate 16 times more complaints than customers in the other 80 percent,” notes Betsy Kruger, owner of Strategic Power and author of “Top Market Strategy: Applying the 80/20 Rule.” “Successful businesses are ones that specialize and focus on their loyal heavy users, those in the top 20 percent, and do not try to be all things to all people.”

Kruger recommends automating services for the bottom 20 percent of customers or moving them off the books by discontinuing that market segment or introducing them to a competitor. “Figure out how can you best serve those that delight in your business and bring in more customers just like them,” says Kruger. “Referrals from your top customers are really going to multiply your business. Focus on what you do best and who really appreciates that.”

In return, offer extras designed to keep those top customers loyal. “Reward high volume customers with loyalty programs, reduced fees, and customized products,” advises Kruger. “Give them personalized attention.”

In the end, if a customer’s calls inspire dread, it’s probably time to call it quits. “Deep down inside the client usually knows that, too,” says Blickstein. 

Recently, I had the good fortune to sit down with some exceptional small business owners to discuss their businesses. We chatted about the importance of what we called “relationship capital” – specifically how they fostered and maintained great relationships with customers to keep them coming back time and again.

 

Their ideas and strategies were as unique as their businesses. Whether it was creative uses of social media, quality products, exceptional service, or using videos to reach their targeted audiences, what I learned is that there isn't only one right answer; great entrepreneurs use many different ways to deepen their customer relationships.

 

The interviews were done as part of a series of videos I am working on in partnership with Bank of America – “Big Ideas for Small Business.” The series of YouTube videos focuses on addressing specific small business needs, including “How to Turn Resolutions into a Vision for Your Business” which you can view here and “Relationships Capital,” which is below.

 

 

Watching the relationship capital video made me think of different ways to keep customer interactions going, because, like all relationships, they need to be nurtured if they are to be long-lasting. Here are four ways to spring clean your relationships and make your customers fall in love with you all over again:

 

1.  Give them some candy: One reason that relationships get stale is that sometimes, one party begins to take the other for granted. This is as true for interactions in business as in anything else. So, before that happens, the smart entrepreneur will keep wooing them. How?

 

Give them some candy, some business candy.

 

Click here to read more articles from small business expert Steve Strauss.

 

What I mean by this is it is important to show customers just how valuable they are. Send them a thank you present, or a ‘discount good for long-term customers only’ coupon, or what about opening the store during off hours for a ‘best customer’ loyalty sale?


 

The important thing is that you let those great customers know that they are appreciated.

 

2. Write them a love note: When is the last time you got a thank you note from a company with which you do business? I bet it has been a while, and an even longer while since you received one via snail mail. But that is exactly what I am suggesting you do. Write to your best customers, thank them for their patronage, tell them that you value their business and personally sign each note.

 

3. Take them to the movies: What is the essence of the movie experience? It is about being taken away to a different place and viewing something new, is it not? Well, what do customers see when they go to your website? If you are like a lot of small business people, those customers see the same show they saw last week and last year.

 

Boring!

 

Instead, you can capture their eye again if you give them a new movie, something different to view online and you can do that if you spruce up your website:

 

  • Add some videos or photos
  • Create a new look
  • Develop a Q&A about what’s new going on in your business
  • Use some different colors and pictures
  • Add new content
  • Start a blog

 

4. Introduce them to your friends: Do you have a Facebook page? If not, consider one. Facebook sites are all the rage because they are affordable, easy and a friendly way to interact with customers and potential customers.

 

Of course this is just a partial list. Check out the “Relationship Capital” video and you will see even more ways that small businesses stay in touch with their customers and show them how much they are valued.

 

In that spirit, let me also say – thanks for stopping by our site. Are there any topics that you think I should explore for future columns? Share your thoughts with the SBOC community below.

 

 



About Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is one of the world’s leading small business experts. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. Steve is also the author of the Small Business Bible and his latest book is Get Your Business Funded: Creative Methods for Getting the Money You Need. A popular media guest, Steve is a regular contributor to ABC News Now and frequently appears on television and radio. His business, The Strauss Group, creates unique, actionable, entertaining, and informative multi-media small business content.

 

You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.

Steve-Strauss--in-article-Medium.pngRecently, I have been involved in a big, new work project. You know the type –it gets your adrenaline flowing, requires creativity and discipline and takes up a lot of time and bandwidth. The kind of project that is both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

 

Did I mention that I am pretty tired?

 

But unlike other times when I have faced similar deadlines on big projects, this time, while weary in a good way, I am not burnt-out like I may have been (OK, have been) in the past. The reason is that this time, I consciously tried to retain some work-life balance, and it made a difference. Not only am I not as tired at the finish line, but my work along the way was better too.

 

It is easy when you are an entrepreneur to let work become such a priority that other parts of your life take a backseat. After all, that sort of dedication may be one reason you are so good at what you do and why you’re still in business.

 

But, as they say, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. To truly be effective in your work, you need to maintain a good work-life balance because losing that balance can lead to burnout, marital problems, health problems and business setbacks. If you don’t strike a balance, you may come to resent your business.

 

What is a balanced life, exactly? There are probably as many definitions as there are people, but a simple way to look at it is to imagine your life as a pie chart, cut into six equal pieces.  If you want to have a balanced life, none of these pieces should ever get too big and all require some of your attention.

 

These six essential pieces are:

 

1. Your business. Let’s begin here. You have a business you love and one that probably takes up a lot of your time; after all, you are reading this article, right? So the first thing to remember is that you cannot neglect your business, even as you work to put it in its rightful place. If you are in business for yourself, then, like Goldilocks’ porridge, the time you put in can’t be too much, or too little, it has to be just right.


Click here to read more articles from small business expert Steve Strauss.

 

2. Your family and friends. Especially when you run a business, it is easy to let this part of your business take a back seat since you may think these folks in particular will understand why you need to work so hard. And they will, until they don’t. Once that happens, it may be too late. So the first non-work part of your work-life balancing act needs to be spending enough time with your loved ones.

 

3. Leisure time. Having balance means that you take time out to watch a game, hang out or otherwise do those things that you like to do.


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4. Physical and mental health. When you are a small business owner, it is easy to become so stressed about time that you let your exercise routine and eating habits falter. But truly, one reason you go into business for yourself is so you can have a more flexible schedule to do things you want. Your personal well-being is at the forefront of what you do day in and day out so it’s important that you take care of it.

 

5. Personal growth. Take a class, read a book, learn something new, listen to music, go to a play, volunteer, stay involved. Business becomes a burden when it is the only thing in your life.

 

6. Spirituality and religion. Going to church or synagogue, meditating, talking a walk – however you connect, keep with it.

 

Satisfaction must be obtained in each one of these six areas in order for you to have a fulfilling life. There is little point in creating a great business if you end up being married to it 24/7. Every time you say yes to your business, you are saying no to something else. If you can figure out the areas in which your life is not balanced, you can start to adjust accordingly. The important thing is to take the time to reflect on what is important to you and make sure your schedule reflects that. What are some ways you achieve a work-life balance? Share your recommendations with the SBOC community below.


About Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is one of the world’s leading small business experts. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. Steve is also the author of the Small Business Bible and his latest book is Get Your Business Funded: Creative Methods for Getting the Money You Need. A popular media guest, Steve is a regular contributor to ABC News Now and frequently appears on television and radio. His business, The Strauss Group, creates unique, actionable, entertaining, and informative multi-media small business content.

 

You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.


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