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You are the Most Important Part of Your Business

Huge corporations have a tendency to be faceless—they're made up of hundreds or thousands of people, all working together to run a business that feels rather distant. That's one of the reasons why so many people prefer to work with small, local businesses.

Most SMEs are built around a single person or a small group of high-level employees, which means the companies are very much like extensions of those people. And while that's great for running a stand-up, successful, likable business, it does come with some risks.

When a business becomes an extension of a person, that person often starts to develop a tendency to place the business first. "I'm not feeling well today, but the business needs me." "I really want to take this vacation, but I can't risk leaving the store in the hands of someone else." "I'll start planning for retirement as soon as the company is stable."

If these statements sound familiar, take heed—you could be headed for trouble.

Obviously, placing a lot of your time and effort into your business is good. But there is such a thing as giving too much to your business. And when you do, your health—both physical and mental—can suffer.

If you don't get enough sleep, you can become ill. If you don't manage your stress well, you can start making poor decisions. Without taking some time off to rest (which often means giving over control to someone else for a bit), you can run yourself down to the point where you just can't run the business effectively.

Of course, not everyone makes it to this point, but it's important to remember that it's a risk. Especially around the holiday season, it's important to take time away from your company to spend time with your friends and family, and to clear your head.

Take some time to deal with the things that you're putting off, too—clean out your inbox, tidy your office, return messages that you've been meaning to, start exercising again . . . do anything to help keep your mind and body in order.

You are the most important part of your business, and that's a crucial fact to remember. If you're not in the best condition you can be in, neither is your business.

Do you plan on taking time off over the holidays? Are you doing anything special to help you relax and get back in the proper mental shape for the coming year? Or do you just work straight through because you feel like you need to? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image credit: Bureau of IIP via flickr.

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