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I spend a lot of time observing other businesses and business owners, always looking to pick up an idea or two that I can apply to my own business or teach my clients. One of the things I’ve recently noticed is business owners who put everything and everyone ahead of themselves. While I understand (and believe in) the servant leadership model, it doesn’t require us to stop caring for ourselves ahead of others, and in fact might even require us to take better care of ourselves.
I started asking my clients who their #1 Client was, and across the board I got one of two answers, both wrong. About 2/3rds of them mentioned the name of their biggest client, and the other third spoke like true professional salespeople – “the next one”. While these are both true from a certain perspective, the real best answer is that YOU, the business owner are your #1 Client.
The goal of owning a business is to create a “Commercial, Profitable Business That Works, Without You”. Said another way, your business should be built to support your dreams and goals, your life. Too many owners live to support their business, making the business the #1 client and their own life a distant 3rd or 4th priority at best. The reason you need to be your #1 client is that if you aren’t taking care of your own needs, then you will not be in a position to serve your 2nd most important client(s), your team.
Here are a few ways to treat yourself as the #1 client:
Time off – everyone needs time to recharge, to enjoy family, community, travel the world
Zone Time – Stephen Covey’s Time Target teaches us that we need to allocate 20% of our time on the Important and Not Urgent things in our life and business.
Dreaming – create a vivid picture of what your dreams are for your future
Goal Setting – what do you need to achieve to be able to live your dreams?
Education – you need to be constantly growing as a leader and manager, using some of your zone time to grow yourself. What do you need to learn to achieve your Goals that support your Dream?
Every morning when you look in the mirror, remember that you are looking at your #1 Client and treat yourself that way. Your team, your customers, your community, and your family will thank you!
Author: Mark McNulty, Business Coach in Louisville, KY