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Think back to when you decided you wanted to be a business owner. What made you decide to take the leap from working for someone else to becoming the owner of your own business? What was it for more control? Better hours? More money? A vision of how you and your business could impact the community or the world? Maybe you didn’t really have a vision for how you wanted it to be, maybe you just wanted to strike out on your own and see what would happen.

No matter the reason, here you are … the owner of your own business. As a small business owner myself, I loved the idea of opening my shop each morning, greeting the people of the town and becoming a local merchant whose merchandise attracted people from far and wide (for those of you old enough, think, Andy Griffith’s Mayberry). However, as I soon discovered, that is not exactly how it happens. Don’t get me wrong, each time I opened my shop and greeted customers, I felt a sense of pride knowing I was living the American dream.

The thing I didn’t know was how much work it really was to own and run my business. I found myself working seven days a week, worrying about cash flow, not understanding a thing about marketing or sales, margins or hiring the right employees? What do you mean I can’t just open the doors and the place would be filled with customers just waiting to buy my products? I even remember, early on, opening the back door to my store and putting a lawn chair out so I could soak up the sun while waiting for customers to appear. What was I thinking? Looking back now, I chuckle at how naïve I really was in the beginning.

Fast forward nine years and many triumphs and challenges later. I am a business owner who works on her business instead of in it and who, as a business coach, teaches other business owners to do the same. It is my hope that through this blog I can pass on the lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn. I will share some practical tips you can use right away along with a bit of humor to help make your journey easier.

So back to the original question: Why did you decide to open your own business and become a business owner? It is the clarity of the answer that will help keep you going when it’s midnight, and you’re still working on the books or finishing a job that is due first thing in the morning, or just so overwhelmed that you’re wondering what it would be like to make seashell jewelry and bartend while living on the beach. It is also in the WHY that will help you reach for the stars.

A couple of tips when thinking about your WHY:

  1. Your WHY is much more impactful and meaningful if it involves someone else vs just you.
  2. Your WHY should be inspirational to you. It is in the inspiration that you will find motivation to go on when things are challenging.
  3. Your WHY will help you create a vision for your business. It is that vision that will help set the direction of your company.
  4. Your WHY will help you and your business reach farther than you ever thought possible.

I would love to hear your stories, feedback and questions so please email me at

Jackie Zach is an Action Coach certified business coach with offices in Racine and Elm Grove. She is also the owner of The Oilerie® in Brookfield. She can be reached at or (262) 901- 4253.