I often hear people refer to their business as their "baby." They view the business start-up process and subsequent growth period as similar to birthing and raising a child. While sometimes there are similarities, viewing your business as your baby is a huge mistake.
Your business is just that, a business. The only point of having a business is to make a profit. Yes, you hope it will be fulfilling, etc., etc., but if it's not profitable and making money for you, it's just a hobby. This can be a hard pill for some people to swallow.
The first step is you must emotionally detach yourself from your business. Viewing it as a baby will cloud your judgment when it becomes time to make some difficult decisions. For example, you may be totally overwhelmed and desperately need help running certain aspects of your business. You might hold yourself back from hiring much needed help because it's "your baby" and no one else could possibly understand your vision or do things right. You may hire people but dismiss them when they fail to do things exactly as you would do. Or worse, you may fail to fire people that are taking advantage of you because your employees are like family. Save the strong emotional relationships for your family and friends, not your business and employees.
While being a small business owner definitely takes passion, cooler heads prevail when it's time to make important decisions. Take a step back, cut the cord, and make decisions that are good for your business.
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.