This is a guest post by Michelle Salater, CEO of Sumèr, LLC. Sumer, LLC is a full-service content marketing firm that helps high-end entrepreneurs and small business owners capitalize on their vision to achieve online exposure, increase sales, and generate a higher return on investment.

Your business wouldn’t thrive if you didn’t provide value and excellent service to your customers. But there is a fine line between putting customers first and letting them run all over you — or allowing them to come before your own needs and desires.

Many women entrepreneurs – including myself – have a hard time separating work life and personal life. We’re conditioned to be everything to everyone, to multitask, and to be polite and not make a scene. When this conditioning shows up in how we conduct business, it directly affects sales, profit, creativity, and mindset.

When we are so focused on our business’ needs, we lose ourselves in our work. We forget who we are. We forget what makes us happy, what drives us, and what brings us joy.

You are of no service to clients, colleagues, or employees if you are always putting others’ needs before your own and taking a backseat to everyone and everything else. The world needs your unique gifts. You cannot share your purpose and passion if you’ve lost yourself in the hustle and bustle of work or sacrificed your joy (consciously or unconsciously) for clients’ happiness.

The solution? Be selfish.

Develop a Selfish Mindset

Becoming selfish requires shifting your mindset; it asks you to maintain a constant awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This means you have to stop operating on autopilot and start acting with intention. Getting clear on what you want and then taking action on it is how you not only build the life and business of your dreams, but also serve others better in the process.

I see too many women business owners forget what they want because they put the company’s needs first. In order to regain clarity, ask yourself these questions:

  • What does my ideal day look like?
  • Who are my ideal clients?
  • What do I see myself doing that I love to do?

Create an image from that list, and read it daily. Make a list of 5 tiny changes you can implement each week. Then act on it.

If you want more than anything to spend more time nurturing client relationships and less time working on setting up appointments, then make a decision to hire someone to set appointments for you. If you don’t want to work weekends, write it down. Then make an action plan for what you need to put into place so you never have to work weekends. Client relationships won’t suffer if you implement these changes, because you are finding a solution that will help you grow your business—a business based on your passion and vision.

Create Your Own Reality

Prioritizing your interests and likes means you create your own reality. You get what you focus on, and you’ll find you’re much happier and at peace when your days are filled doing what you love to do with the people you love doing it with.

Losing sight of your overarching vision, and getting bogged down in the daily minutia, leads to an unhealthy mindset. The more you sacrifice your wants and desires for the needs and demands of your business, the more likely you are to burn out, implode your business, or worse, wake up when you’re 80 and realize you’ve wasted your life.

Really, what this boils down to is creating a business built on what you love and what you do best. If not, you might as well go get a job.

Michelle Salater is the CEO of Sumèr, LLC, a full-service content marketing firm that helps high-end entrepreneurs and small business owners capitalize on their vision to achieve online exposure, increase sales, and generate a higher return on investment.