Do You Have a Business or a Charity?


Written by Joanna Sapir

I’m curious: do you have a business, or do you have a charity? I ask because I meet far too many practitioners and coaches are unable to pay themselves, or pay themselves enough, from their businesses. And yet they’re working hard, trying to help as many clients as they can. In fact, they seem to be “busy” all the time. What gives? 

If you’re busy in your business, and still not able to pay yourself what you need or want, there’s a serious problem. If you’re working with lots of clients and really helping them (which I know you are because you’re awesome!) but you’re not able to make a living, you’re basically a volunteer working at a charity.

How People Build Charities By Mistake

Maybe your servant heart or your past experience in non-profits has led you to unconsciously create this scenario. Maybe you’re totally uncomfortable with the idea of “taking” people’s money for your service. (“Taking” is in quotes, of course, because you’re not “taking” anyone’s money when they willingly investing in themselves and get results!)

Or maybe none of that is relevant to you, you’re comfortable enough with money and ready to make more, but find that you have to work harder and harder to make enough. 

Signs You Are More Charity Than Business

Maybe you find yourself:

  • Trying to fill as many client-facing hours as you can (in order to make more money)
  • Accepting reschedules or clients sessions at times that are supposed to be your family time, your fitness time, or your social time (because you don’t want to turn down the income)
  • Believing that you have to get more clients (and thus work more and work harder) to increase your income

Underneath all of that is the belief that you have to sacrifice your own self-care and your own needs to make your business more successful and give you the income you need. But it’s not true. 

Why You Need To Put Your Business First

You do not need to be a martyr to your business or your calling. In fact, you will make more money, and have a more successful and sustainable business, and even be able to help your clients see better results when you take care of yourself FIRST.

You know how on the airplane they say, “Put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others?” Think about it. This is THE protocol for saving lives in an airplane emergency. And it’s the protocol you have to put in place as the leader of your business. 

If you want to grow your business… If you want to make more money from your business… If you want to have a streamlined business that can run without you doing everything… You have to put your own health and well-being first. 

What Happens When You Don’t Put Your Business First

You have to fill your cup with health and vitality and life force to be able to pour your energy into others.  And listen, I can’t stand false scare tactics, so I want to be clear that what I’m about to say is not a scare tactic, it’s just the the truth:

If you’re someone that’s always fully booked, busy as all hell in your business, and have no space for your self to receive what you need (whether that’s love, money or something else) then either you or your business (or both) will stagnate or die a slow death.

I speak from experience. I started down that rough, rough road in my first business before I righted myself.

Working harder and harder in a struggling business that’s not providing enough is the recipe for complete burnout or worse. You have to choose differently. You have to choose to put yourself first. 

What Putting Your Business First Looks Like

That means things like:

  • Scheduling your exercise into your calendar as fixed appointments with yourself that clients can not bump
  • Receiving bodywork or energy work or therapy on a regular schedule
  • Committing to a personal chef or a subscription to a community-supported kitchen or food service 
  • Investing in learning how to design and build your business for the success and sustainability you envision!

If you’re saying or thinking to yourself…

“But I can’t afford that!”


How To Break The Cycle And Get Back On Track

If you don’t currently have the money or time to invest in your own health and self-care, or learning how to grow your business so that you have the money to invest in your own health and self care… then Houston, we have a problem. You see the Catch 22 this is? 

The only way to get the money is to step out of the cycle and do something different than you’re doing now. 

This is the dividing line between business owners that create successful and sustainable businesses and those who don’t:

Investment in yourself. 

Making The Decision To Invest In Your Business

Some people just hold on to the refrain “I can’t afford that” and forever stay in that scarcity mode.  And some people take the risk and invest in themselves, expecting – and thus getting – a return on their investment. 

I’m sure you know which camp I fall into. My personal and professional development are top priorities in my life. Of course I invest in myself. I spend tens of thousands of dollars every year on my growth. And you can bet I get a return on those investments.

I make more and more money as I grow, I feel more and more fulfilled in life, achieve more and more goals that I have, and I’m modeling all of this for my children. Other people are planning for retirement. I’m planning for my continued growth, inside and outside. 

You can too. Schedule a discovery call with me to learn how.

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Joanna Sapir is a business strategist and coach helping innovative wellness practitioners and coaches build more profitable and sustainable businesses. She's on a mission to build a movement of people creating a new vision and reality for our future as humans on earth.

Want to talk about how to grow your wellness business?
→ Book a free consult today.

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