Are you looking after your (own) interests?

Small businesses owners are famous for eating, sleeping and living their businesses. It is after all, your creation, your baby, and your livelihood. The problem comes in when all your money or investment is tied up in your business, which you'll usually discover when you're in a financial bind on the home-front. Rather learn the lesson the easy way.

Be as responsible about your personal finances as you are about that of your business.

Time for a personal finance spring clean?

Simply working to pay your debts is the biggest de-motivator on pay-day. Pay off your credit cards, clothing accounts, personal loans and so on. When they're paid off, cut up as many of the cards as you can!

Save, save and save some more

Open an account with rainy-day money it. Most of us refer to this as an emergency fund. If necessary, delay big purchases, sell things you don't need, have a local holiday... You'll need so save enough to tide you over that emergency arises; most financial experts recommend 3 to 6 timesyour salary.

Plan for retirement

Are you planning to work for the rest of your life? What will happen to your business and your family's income at your death? Plan for all eventualities and shop around for the most comprehensive insurance at the most competitive price.

Get your family involved

Explain to your family what you're trying to do. Do your monthly budget with your spouse or partner, so they have input on where money can be saved. Challenge your children to earn their pocket money by doing odd jobs around the house. Not paying a gardening service or visiting a car-wash saves you money and your children may learn to be more responsible about how they spend their hard-earned cash.

Take good care of number one

Times are stressful. This is an excellent opportunity to take better care of yourself. Maybe you need to increase your exercise or vary the routine you have. Now may be the time to eat healthily, quit smoking, decrease alcohol consumption and make sure you are getting that good night's sleep.

Network with the 'keepers'

Reconnect with your friends and business associates. Find out what others are doing and how you can learn from them or be of service. Avoid pessimists; they're not only depressing, but can be contagious. Surround yourself with positive people who want you to succeed.

Be grateful for what is going well

There are many things that are good in your life. Make a list of 3 to 5 things everyday that you are grateful for. Be thankful and appreciative for what is right, right now.

Give back

You will receive more than you give by reaching out to others. Someone always has it worse. What can you do to improve your community? Give your time and attention where it is needed. The ability to give shows you just how much you have and if that's not motivation enough for you, it's good PR for your business.

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