Awards & Engraving

August '19

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are registered as and help you apply for and secure an SBA loan. Most SBDCs offer free or low-cost training courses for small business entrepreneurs, and they may point you in the direction of reputable attorneys and accountants to assist you. One more thing about staying legal: Keep accurate books and records, and sepa- rate your business banking and personal finances. Establish dedicated checking accounts and credit/debit cards that have the company's name on them. Avoid the temptation to intermingle payment of personal expenses with business accounts and vice versa. If your business is ever audited by the IRS and there is abuse of how things get bought and paid, it could become a nightmare from which you may never awaken. A WORK-LIFE BALANCE Many home-based business owners suffer from constantly being "at work" — working at a pace that makes mere mortals seem slow by comparison. And while a fast pace in the same space in which you live can aid small business owners, it can also lead to burnout. The fact is, you can't compete when you're burned out. For years, many have sought to achieve the seemingly mythical nirvana of "work- life balance." While many experts say it's simply not possible, the truth is that defining one's work-life balance is in the eye, mind, and body of the beholder. To help you find your own unique work/life balance, you may want to try some of these ideas. 1. Instead of balance, try give-and-take. There will be days when your busi- ness requires more time and atten- tion. Conversely, there will be days when your personal life requires the lion's share. Try not to think of split- ting your attention between the two evenly but giving your attention to each as needed. 2. Set boundaries and guard them. Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of working around the clock, sacrificing weekends, sleep, family meals, and breaks to keep their business going. Establish the following boundaries: • Time: Set and publish "regular" operating hours and adhere to them. Determine which days you're going to take off and stick to them. • Space: Designate a room inside your home as "the office/shop" and try to maintain a separation between work space and living space. • Access: Determine when you will be accessible for professional and personal inquiries. 76 • A&E AUGUST 2019

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