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06 chapter six: Money

Many thanks to Megan, Jenn, and Val for their excellent contributions to this
thread.

Keeping a rein on expenses is vitally important. It's better to not spend it
than to have to earn more. Being a business owner does not mean building a
big fancy house and driving an expensive car. It means developing a canny eye
for cost-cutting without impairing your efficiency. Debt is the worst- debt
is a big fat anchor.

There will be dull chores. This is obvious stuff, but what the heck: answer
phone calls and emails promptly. Best way to lose a customer is ignore them.
Prioritize jobs that actually generate income. It is easy to spend countless
hours refining your business card logo, or waste hours with a customer who
won't spend money. Hire pros to do important jobs that you don't enjoy, or
are not good at, like filing and bookkeeping. Being highly organized is very
important, even if you have to hire it done. It is better to hire some jobs
out, and focus your energies on what you do best. Anyone can clean a house or
mow a lawn. You need to focus your energies where they will do the most good.

The whole point of working for yourself is to do what you want, and to be
more in control of your destiny. Jenn's post has an excellent description of
what not to do, as well as what to do. The world metes out enough misery- no
need to create more for yourself. Do you hate getting up early? Then don't. I
know, getting enough sleep is most anti-American, I hope other countries have
more sensible values. It is better to be well-rested and put in 4 or 5
productive hours, than to drag around uselessly for 8.

For me, the Monday-Friday 8-5 routine is not only itchy and galling, I think
it is evil. Humans are not machines. There is nothing magical about a 40-hour
workweek. I work less in the summer, more in the winter. I take 6-8 weeks off
every year. I dislike crowds, so my 'weekend' is during the week. Your work
schedule will be determined by the type of work you do. I chose work that
gives me much scheduling freedom. Sometimes I take a nap, then work all
evening. Sometimes I work like a fiend all day and all night. Being in
control of my schedule lets me take advantage of extra-productive times.

The tricky part is staying disciplined. I love to loaf. You're probably
getting sick of hearing it- "The Millionaire Mind" is a great motivator. The
world is chock-full of motivational tapes and books. They work- use them.
Victoria Johnson and Susan Powter rev my engines. Short o money? Public
Library, my little grasshoppers!


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