donuts.... © by blue.tofu

Self-employed people always find themselves wearing a lot of hats. That’s fine as long as you remember to wear the important one regularly: the “business owner” hat. The problem is, lots of harried entrepreneurs fail to find the time to do this — or worse, they don’t even know what the “business owner” hat looks like. Here’s the deal:

Running a business is about more than making the donuts.

Doing the actual work of the business, versus fulfilling the role of business owner, is a distinction that’s often lost on people or at least misunderstood. When you do the work of the business — say, preparing someone’s tax return if you’re a CPA, or shooting a wedding if you’re a photographer, or ordering inventory if you own a retail store — you’re working for the business, but this isn’t truly part of the role of “business owner.”

As the business owner your most important job is to steer the ship: to look for opportunities, watch out for threats.

It’s really easy for small business owners to get caught up in “making the donuts” and fail to find time to step back and do big-picture, strategic analysis.

And note that I’m not talking about making sure you take care of important tasks like bookkeeping, data entry, or any of the many other tasks that business owners often find burdensome. I’m talking about long-term strategic thinking here. It’s essential that you find the time — or make the time — to do this.


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