Your responsibility to yourself = responsibility to your stakeholders

Business owners are famous for being self-sacrificing. Besides the long hours, in many enterprises they’re the last to sit down at the table to eat. I spent 23 years as a business owner in specialty retailing and I often read business articles advocating “pay yourself first.” Boy, that seemed easier said than done, and I long considered the advice to be fantasy.

But I came to realize that this philosophy is, first of all, a state of mind. And it is not nearly as selfish as it might appear. For the past couple of years I have been attending the big restaurant show in New York City every winter to try to pick up knowledge about the hospitality industry for some of my clients. Previously my only real experience in this sector was washing dishes at a cafeteria for a month in high school.

I’ve heard two presentations from a restaurant consultant, David Scott Peters. He’s a no-nonsense, in-your-face speaker who could make a Marine drill sergeant blush.

Peters has a slide in his talks titled “Your Responsibility as a Restaurant Owner to Run a Profitable Business.” But this goes beyond the food service industry. Just scratch out Restaurant from the title and mentally write in whatever your business is.

Watch his short video on YouTube and you’ll see his point with clarity.

— Frederick Welk, CEDF Business Advisor

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