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Your Business Is You—for Better or Worse

Take a moment to think about your business. Go ahead—picture your typical work day. What does that picture look like?

Does it look like you clocking into a job, immersed in the technical work of your business? Does it look like you putting out constant fires, struggling to check a single task off your to-do list without adding five more? Or does it look like you running a team, delegating tasks and keeping the wheels turning? A well-oiled machine that seems to run without you pushing a single button? Or does it look like something else entirely?

Whatever it looks like, this picture of your business defines how you’re doing business. Let me explain what I mean.

Topics: Leadership, Client Stories, Management

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7 Tips Every Business Owner Needs to Take a Real Vacation

When I started as an EMyth Coach in 1996, I had a client (let’s call her Kathy) whose biggest frustration was not being able to trust her people to take care of the business in her absence. She confessed that it had been ten years since she’d gone away for longer than a weekend. Just one week prior, she’d stepped out for two hours to take her cat to the vet and literally closed down her business during that time because she was so sure it would fall apart in the two hours she was gone. Two hours!

“I want you to set a goal for our work together,” I told her. “In one year, I want you to take a week-long vacation.”

Kathy laughed at me.

So I asked her, “Why not?”

Topics: Managing Employees, Leadership, Systemization

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How to Cultivate Leaders You Trust

Okay—let’s say you’ve taken all the necessary steps to build a self-sustaining business.

You’ve made a clear decision to do it, and you’ve let your desire build.

You’ve let go of unproductive beliefs and are thinking like an Entrepreneur. You’ve come to see your business as a process designed to produce a desired result without you.

You’ve envisioned a business that doesn’t depend on your personal production, and you’ve written your vision down. You’ve imagined a culture where your employees are committed to your picture of the future and share your view of what really matters on the way there.

You’ve freed up your time to work on your business, not just in it. You’ve built systems in every area of your business that stand for what you believe in, and you’ve continuously improved them until they generate consistent, predictable results. You’ve set standards that everyone on your team lives by.

In other words, you’ve created a world of your own that can operate without you.

It’s an incredible accomplishment...but are you done?

It depends.

Topics: Hiring, Leadership, Values

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Systems Will Set You Free

If you want to confidently step away from your business—whether it’s for two weeks, two months, or two years—you need to trust that two key dynamics in your business can operate consistently and predictably whether you’re there or not.

Topics: Company Culture, Values, Systemization

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Building a Self-Sustaining Business is a Choice

Let’s be honest: Building a business that doesn’t depend on you isn’t easy. It’s going to take lots of time, attention, and know-how. You’re going to be drawn into fighting fires you wish weren’t happening; you’re going to worry about having the right resources to create the right results; you’re going to have to make things happen that you don’t really know how to do. At times, you’re going to feel let down by the very people you depend on to free you.

Topics: Company Culture, Leadership, Values

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You CAN Build a Self-Sustaining Business

If you’re fortunate enough to have taken your company on a journey through all of its highs and lows for 5, 10, even 20 years or more, chances are you’ve had those moments when you wished your business weren’t so damn dependent on you. No matter what you’ve achieved, most business owners know in their heart that if they walked away—whether for six months or two weeks—they probably wouldn’t have a business when they got back.

Topics: Leadership, Values, Systemization

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Planning for a Business That Works

Let’s start with one thing we all know:

Being good at something – designing a building, baking specialty cakes, performing micro-surgery, repairing cars, promoting artists, installing electrical wiring or plumbing, providing legal or financial advice – achieving a level of expertise in any area for which you have a passion, is a highly satisfying accomplishment. You put in the time, you kept to the path, you studied and practiced the hard work to achieve mastery. Being recognized for that expertise is the affirmation that makes it all worth it.

Topics: Strategic Planning

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It's Time to Stop Putting Off Organizing Your Business

I met with my client, Paul, earlier this week. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, it had been three weeks since our last meeting. I was looking forward to reviewing with him his list of Key Strategic Indicators that he’d committed to delivering – the critical, quantifiable reference points he’ll use to track the health of his business and his progress towards his stated goals. An hour before our call, nothing had been posted. Not a good sign.

Topics: Strategic Planning, Coaching, Management

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Stop Overpaying Your Small Business Taxes

The money you make in your business is hard-earned. It’s the reward for all of the sales calls, difficult client deadlines, and customer support challenges. So it’s hard to give it up to anyone—least of all the government. Yet, taxes are a part of doing business in almost every country on earth. And we want you to focus on one thing: keeping as much of your money in your pocket as possible by taking advantage of every possible legal method of reducing your year-end tax bill.

Topics: Managing Money

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The Financial Tools and Teammates You Can't Afford to Live Without

If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. A relationship with your numbers is a key ingredient of your success, but there are some tools you can leverage to reduce the technical work significantly.

Topics: Leadership, Finance

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