Ideally your own business fuels your passion, funds the lifestyle you desire, and furnishes you with the time to pursue a healthy work/life balance. But it’s easy to fall into the age-old trap where there are never enough hours in the day, where you feel your business won’t function without you, and the responsibility is overwhelming.

These are the signs you’re not working your business, it’s working you, and here are the solutions.

 Big picture

If each day is about the completion of small tasks without an overarching view of where they’re getting you, it’s a clear sign you’re a slave of your own making.

Make no mistake, small business is about the big picture. It involves the investment of time and energy for a greater good that meets your goals. These goals may be building a business that you sell to fund your retirement, establishing an empire for your children or having an enterprise that operates without your direct input, providing the lifestyle and income you desire.

Whatever goals you have they should be clearly established along with a mapped out plan to meet them. This business plan not only outlines the intended outcome but the strategies you will use to get there, and when you hope to reach your destination. The plan allows you to focus on the end game and make clear decisions that will get you there swiftly.


Most small business owners are a jack of all trades, having started out as the owner/operator of their enterprise. But while you may be the master of many tasks, that doesn’t mean you are the only person who can perform the important roles in your business.

When you require assistance, seek it out; whether that’s employing qualified staff, outsourcing on a casual basis or calling in expert services like bookkeepers, business coaches or financial advisors.

If you are large enough to have staff, use them to their best ability while resisting the urge to micromanage. This involves implementing policies for the way you want things done, and then trusting the staff you have hired to do it.

And yes, odds are your business will still be standing, that your clients will still be satisfied and your staff will have risen beyond your expectations if you take that well-earned week off to holiday with your family!

New perspective

Chances are you started a business or bought one to utilise your skills and bring them to the public, but as the owner of a business, your job role is not the deckhand – you are the captain of the ship. That means your job role is about guidance, encouragement and looking to the horizon to chart the best course ahead.

When you clearly establish your own role within the business as the person at the helm, it becomes easier to see what needs to be done to get to the ultimate destination.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of business, and feel the overwhelming responsibility to solve every problem and meet every need. But like parenting, there has to be a time when you have faith in your early investment of skills, energy and guidance, and release your business in the knowledge it can stand on its own two feet, without you shackled to its heels.