When the economy gets difficult, it sometimes leads to small business owners changing their behavior and developing a poverty mentality. What do I mean by poverty mentality? I knew a successful businessman who always wanted a Mercedes and he could easily have bought one. But, he never did. He also would spend hours looking for the cheapest airline fare, the best price on office supplies and anything he considered a bargain. He worked almost every weekend and evening when he could have been enjoying his family, social activities and friends. That’s what I mean by a poverty mentality.

Paying attention to costs is a good thing. But, don’t lose sight of the fact that you can’t buy any more time. Money is a means to an end. Having a goal of dying with the biggest bank account is not the way to live. Working more hours and giving up the things you love is not good business or good living.

Spending time – which I believe is the best currency – on family, friends and yourself is the best investment. Taking the afternoon off to take your kids fishing or your spouse on a surprise trip to the ballpark is much better than spending it looking for a cheaper airfare.

I haven’t seen the man I described above in many years but I hope he’s finally bought the Mercedes.

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