When business owners start "playing to lose," the game is already over. And unfortunately, they've already lost more than they know.
Once your business starts to do well financially, there's pressure to "do the right thing" with your money.
Pressured by the advice of parents, TV pundits, and other non-entrepreneurs, you take money out of your business to stash into your retirement fund or savings, in the interest of being "prepared" and out of fear of falling behind. That money then is likely invested in the stock market, in other words, in other people's businesses where you have little understanding, knowledge or control.
It's also a classic illustration of playing not to lose, and completely forgetting about what earned you the lead to begin with.
Here are three tips for playing to win in your business.
1. Remember what got you here.
It's important to remember what made you a success in the first place--your business.
When you start investing outside of your business, your mind is outside of the business as well. And whether you win or lose day to day in the markets, what's really lost is your focus on the business. Because, instead of building wealth the way you know how, your thoughts are on investments you can't control.
So, rather than changing the game plan, think about ways to continue investing in your business. Should you hire a new employee? Invest in new equipment to make your business more profitable? Create new procedures for your team, so members can take on tasks that you've been doing, freeing up your time to work on growing the enterprise?
2. Build wealth in the business so you're not "playing scared."
A good way to start building wealth inside your business is with what I call a wealth creation account. Basically, it's a safe place to store money, earn a return and provide the liquidity a business owner needs to pounce on the right opportunity when it comes along. This can be as simple as consistently setting money aside in a savings account.
Having this secure financial foundation gives you the peace of mind to take more chances on growing your business, just as you did in the beginning. It's the opposite of "playing scared," and you'll be financially rewarded for it.
3. Play aggressive on defense.
Now that you have a wealth creation account, you can fund a good defense. Your good defense helps you make sure that unforeseen events don't ruin your financial life.
You can mount an aggressive defense by transferring risk with business-owner or umbrella insurance policies, by creating an estate-and-asset protection plan and putting a legal team in place -- all important moves that can protect you in case of unexpected disasters.
Remember that it was your business that got you here, so always play to win. Build a financial foundation with a wealth creation account and implement proactive defense strategies. These will give you the security and peace of mind to shoot for the moon in your business--where real wealth is created.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.