Often, when I meet with a prospective new client, it’s important to take some time to take the mystery out of successand how you can achieve it as a business owner. Part of the mystery is that success means many things to many different people. For you, accomplishing your highest goals may mean building your annual revenues to $10 million or more. To someone else, though, success may mean making a good living doing a job they love. Still others may want to build a company they can leave in the hands of their children and grandchildren when they retire.

I believe the best way to help people understand how it’s possible to achieve success on your terms is to share a real-life story about a client I have worked with, or in this case, am currently still working with. For confidentiality reasons, I can’t reveal his name, but I can write about his circumstances and how his company’s transformation is progressing.

One of my current clients is a small business owner and, while his business is profitable, he is working more than 75 hours per week. On average, that’s more than twelve hours a day, which leaves very little time to enjoy the life he should be living. He has had almost no time to spend with his family or participate in the activities he enjoys. And during the brief time he does have away from his business, he’s mentally drained and physically exhausted.

In our early discussions, I worked with him to figure out what he really wanted out of his business and his life. By guiding him through these conversations and a few exercises, he determined that, while he wanted his business to continue growing, he also wanted to reduce the amount of time he spent at his shop, so he could spend more time at home with his family and lead a more satisfying life.

I’m happy to say that, after several months of working together, he has been able to decrease the amount of time he spends working and has started to implement new processes that will continue this trend until he reaches his goal – based on his definition of “success.”And, during this time, he has seen no drop-off in revenues at his business, and indications that it will start to reach higher levels. He has accomplished this by learning to work more efficiently and make better use of his time.He is working smarter.

That’s one of the primary benefits of working with someone who understands how businesses achieve success and is able to teach others. You learn how to work smarter. Too often, we allow ourselves to become distracted by tasks and activities that don’t add valueto our lives. For example, let’s say you are a self-employed marketing consultant and your laptop starts acting up, taking forever to open simple files. Do you try to figure the problem for yourself, fumbling through Google searches to find the answer? You can easily spend all day on it if you’re not tech savvy. Or, should you contact an IT professional who can access your laptop remotely and fix the problem for $95?

In other words, are you willing to trade an entire day of your life for $95?To save $95, are you okay with spending the day on something that’s really not your profession, when you could be taking a day off and going to a park with your family? Or, earning a lot more than $95?

That’s how entrepreneurs end up spending 75 hours a week working. Trust me… there’s a better, smarter way.

Acquiring a mindset of success also helps you refine and home in on your goals, as was the case with our small business owner. As a business advisor, I know which questions to ask and how to guide you through a discussion that will result in a clearer understanding of what you truly want, both professionally and personally. This sense of clarity, combined with an understanding of how to work smarter, has the power to boost your performance and help you achieve your professional and personal objectives.

That, my friends, is how you achieve the success you deserve.

Sanjay Parekh has more than 28 years of experience in business leadership, strategic planning, sales and marketing, human resources and effective team-building. He has worked primarily in manufacturing, starting in his family’s business, and eventually joining a multi-national corporation with operations in 18 countries, serving as a Regional Executive and Senior Management Member. Today, his passion is sharing his knowledge, experience, and business acumen toward the goal of helping others enjoy the success they deserve!