I know a lot of coaches, consultants, creatives, and small business owners who play “fast and loose” with their businesses.
They work whenever they feel like it. Dawn. Midnight. Weekdays. Weekends. Weddings. Anniversaries. Whatever. No specific routine or office hours.
They pay quarterly estimated taxes, sometimes. Sort of. Mostly.
They keep track of receipts and business expenses. Kinda.
Instead of mapping out a clear vision and marketing plan for the year, they wing it. When it’s crunch time, they churn out newsletters, blog posts, and social media content, hustle hard to line up clients, and pull a miracle outta their ass. Or not.
I’ve been running a business for 15 years. I’ve advised and coached hundreds of entrepreneurs.
Here’s what I know for sure:
You can play fast and loose and scrabble your way to six figures per year in revenue. Maybe even multiple six figures. That’s possible. I’ve seen it.
But playing fast and loose will not get you to seven figures and beyond.
And, whether you want to admit it or not, playing fast and loose will eventually bite you in the behind where the sun don’t shine.
You will wind up depleted, disorganized, facing a huge tax bill or some other financial crisis, or struggling to manage and lead a team because—surprise!—your employees don’t want to deal with your 2 am emails and last-minute procrastinator-frenzy ideas.
This is why it’s very smart to create structure and systems, now, even if you’re not earning much yet.
Behave like a seven figure CEO, even if you are not one yet.
– Decide when you’re going to work, and not work, and stick to a consistent schedule.
– Hire professionals to set up your business bank account, do bookkeeping, prepare tax returns, and keep your financial house in order.
– Get your self-care on point. Invest in your mental health, physical health, pleasure, and joy. Do things that make you feel powerful. Don’t neglect yourself.
– Pay yourself a real salary. And make sure you’re paying yourself enough to fund your retirement accounts and plan for the future.
– Take real weekends and real vacations.
– Create efficient, repeatable systems to handle client inquiries, consultation calls, enrollments, payment, communication, marketing, everything you do, so that you are not constantly reinventing the wheel.
– Focus on money-generating activities instead of frittering away your time doing busywork.
– In other words, go legit.
Treat your business like a real, legitimate business and not a whimsical hobby that generates money, sometimes.
I promise you. Once you stop playing fast and loose and go legit, you will feel a huge confidence boost. You will carry yourself differently. And you will make a lot more money.
Successful entrepreneurs are people who “think like an artist but work like an accountant,” says David Brooks.
You can be wild, creative, passionate, liberated, authentic, and free.
And? You need a payroll system.
Boo-berry, that is the truth.