In my first agency, I thought of myself as self-employed — I had a job, but my boss was myself.

All my focus of "what's in it for me from all this hard work?" was in paying myself a (fairly meagre) salary.

That is wrong, wrong, wrong.

When you create an agency, you're building a business.

A business should be an asset for its owner.

That means you have to remember you have this extra role as the owner of the agency, and you have to set aside time to think in that role about this asset you own.

  • What do I want this agency to achieve for me, over and above financial returns? Is it providing that? How can it provide more?
  • What is this business worth now, roughly? Is that value growing?
  • What regular financial returns is this business providing on my investment of time, energy and money?
  • How is this agency enabling and supporting the life I want to lead?

Yes, you might choose to work in your agency too, but that's a separate role.

And just because you enjoy that job, it doesn't mean you should expect any differently from your business asset than if you owned a boring functional business that you didn't want to work in, like a car wash or a dry cleaners.

So you're not self-employed, you're a business owner.

Don't forget to wear your agency owner hat from time to time.