Coping With Life as a Business Owner | The Zebra Blog

Coping With Life as a Business Owner

How many hats do you wear? As a real estate salesperson, you’re painfully aware that you’re not just a salesperson. You’re a marketer, financial consultant, troubleshooter, negotiator, computer repair person, legal consultant, and customer service representative, not to mention the owner of a small business. Yes, you are the President, the Chief, the Boss and CEO of You Incorporated!

Your job title should be changed to “juggler,” because that’s what you really are. You have to juggle it all – your time, money, relationships, and schedule. These are the four flaming torches of your life as a small business owner. If you drop one of them, the rest will fall and catch your toes on fire.

To make matters worse, today’s real estate industry has changed drastically. While the Internet and other advances in technology have made it easier for the consumer, they’ve made life harder for the small businessperson. Now, you have to add to your repertoire the titles “webmaster,” “programmer,” and “IT manager.”

All this “improvement” has heightened client expectations. Today’s consumer is more informed, more savvy, and more demanding than ever before. They expect us to be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This “always ON” expectation causes great fear in us. We begin to worry that if we aren’t selling our soul to our business, there may be a vulture around the corner who will – and steal our clients while we’re not looking.

What’s a good business owner to do to not only avoid being overwhelmed, but to (gasp!) have a “life” as well?

To that question, many agents respond, “A life? What’s that?”

It’s what you used to have before your business started to consume your every waking moment. This must change or you aren’t really living anymore! You may be the world’s greatest salesperson, but if you’re a miserable human being with no human relationships, what’s the point?

The good news: You have the power to control your business and your life. You don’t have to sell your soul, nor go ten years without sleep or a vacation or day off in order to be successful.

How? Well, first of all, be true to yourself. Think back to why you got into this business in the first place. I bet it wasn’t to be up all night working on a listing, was it? No, you wanted to do something different – to create your own destiny and make a lot of money so you would have the means to enjoy life. Being true to yourself means never forgetting this. Your business exists for you. You don’t exist for your business.

You must also make personal rules for yourself. Decide what you will and will not do. For example, when do you work? When are you actually off-the-clock? Do you have a certain time of the day, week, month, or year that you are unavailable to your clients? Do you schedule fun? If you don’t, you should. We all need fun in our lives. It’s what keeps us young inside.

You must also make personal rules for your clients – rules that must not be violated. Do you have rules or do your clients rule you? If you allow them to push you around, you will find yourself working more and making less. Rules help you attract the type of clients that will actually spend money with you. The fewer rules you have in your business, the less money you will make.

Granted, you will lose clients by setting rules. But the clients you gain will more than make up for the ones you lose.

For example, in my own business I will not work with clients who just want me to design a logo or create a partial marketing campaign for them. My rule is that I only do complete makeovers and I only do what I know works. I am acutely aware of the fact that just a logo alone won’t fix your broken business. I don’t want to fix a little part of your business. I want to help you make some real change.

Do I lose people by doing this in my own coaching business? Yes, that is possible. However, what I gain is long-term serious clients who want to invest the time, effort, and money to generate spectacular business growth. They get better results than a piecemeal effort would produce. It is a true win-win situation for everyone.

So, to cope with your life as a “juggler” and as a small business owner, ask yourself the following five questions:

  1. What is it that I do?
  2. What is it that I will not do?
  3. When do I do it? (How often do I work? From when to when?)
  4. What specifically do I want to achieve?
  5. What do I have to give up in order to achieve it?

That last question is very important because to expand your business, you have to simplify to multiply!

Don’t be a slave to your business. Make rules for your business, make them your habit and make time off part of your planning. Take control and do business by your rules.


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