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Running a business is awesome, but it can present some problems in the area of personal finance if you’re not prepared. The great thing about owning your own business is that you get to set your own schedule, you can work from home, and you have the autonomy to make your own career decisions. However, if you don’t have your finances under control, running your business full-time can wreak havoc on your wallet.

Ultimately, freedom is great, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your financial security and sanity. Not only is being a starving business owner detrimental to you, it’s also difficult to do your best work when you’re “just making ends meet” and constantly stressed.

Here’s how to bust out of the starving and stressed business owner cycle:

Stop Hustling Already

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get sick of the word hustling. Hustling is a short-term game, it’s not a long-term game. Some people enjoy the thrill of hustling morning, noon, and night, and they can keep up the pace forever.

If you’re trying to build a business that gives you a certain amount of freedom and a less stressful lifestyle, you need to be thinking long-term growth instead of focusing on just getting by from month to month. For example, yes, you may be making $3,000 per month working for 15 clients. Is that a full-time income? Yes. Is it sustainable? Maybe not.

It may be time to rethink the strategy instead of working 100 hours a week. You could charge more per client to reduce your workload and increase your income. You could also think of other passive ways to make money through products. This makes it so you have multiple streams of income coming in, and you’re not relying solely on your own manpower to make money.

Start Asking (Because Closed Mouths Don’t Get Fed)

I expect to increase income by close to 50% this year without adding new clients to my roster. It’s not because I’m a magician either. Instead, I grew relationships with current clients. Making good impressions and doing good work leads to increased responsibility and plenty of referrals.

Analyze what’s working and not working for your clients to find out if they have a need you can fulfill. Pitch an additional product or service. You can also simply tell your clients you’re looking for more work. They may have jobs for you, or their friends may have jobs for you.

Stand Up for Yourself

I’m someone who prefers not to ruffle feathers, and this hasn’t served me well in the past. I felt bad asking for people to pay me when I had done a service for them. This was terrible for my cash flow.

Remember — you’re running a business. You should be kind and courteous, but you also have every right to stand up for yourself. Send out invoices and follow up on payments regularly. Set prices for your services and stick to them. Say no to work that pays poorly so you can find work that pays well.

Come Up With a Money Plan

When the money is under control other pieces of your business can fall into place. Getting my business finances organized improved my personal finances. When the money stress was off of my shoulders, I felt positive about my business and it started to grow. It’s all connected.

Make sure you have a separate business account and pay yourself from this account. Set aside money for taxes, business expenses, and other business goals. I have an entire suite of accounts with Capital One that’s made managing my business money super simple.

Struggling and stressing can be challenging for your mindset. Commit to making small changes where you can. Look at your highest paying clients and try to get more of them so you can cut ties with lower paying ones. Stand up for your business interests and get ahold of your money situation to thrive instead of struggle.