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If you are a business owner, you probably follow certain standards within your business. I'm talking about those "rules" you set up and follow - your business etiquette.

For example, my standards include:

• not working on Fridays, evenings or weekends
• not answering my business phone after hours
• working only with clients I'm compatible with

For me, having my own business is a freedom and a privilege that I was unable to experience in the corporate world. As a business owner, I feel entitled to make my own decisions about how my business should be run. After all, I'm the boss!

Your business should be run the way you see fit. If you have employees, you can of course (if you wish) take their needs into consideration as well. If, on the other hand, you are a sole proprietor like me, having strong standards can go a long way towards keeping you happy and satisfied in your career.

What is important to you? If you haven't already done so, think hard about this. Make a list of the important things in your life, and base your business standards around them. If maintaining a good balance between your business and personal life is important, create a standard that allows you to stop working at a reasonable hour each day in order to spend time with your family. If going grocery shopping on Wednesday mornings is what you prefer to do, work that into your schedule.

I think you get the gist of what I'm trying to say. Create a solid set of business standards today. Then stick to them. Remember, you're in control of your business and your life.

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