Entrepreneurship is hard work. It involves long hours, taking on clients of all sizes, doing whatever it takes to increase the bottom line, and often foregoing holidays, time off, sleep, and yes, a regular pay cheque. So, how do you make the transition from paying into your company to paying yourself? By having the right revenue equation, building a process to pay yourself first (after the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) [takes its share](https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed-income.html), of course), and by building and committing to a realistic budget.
## Where Do You Start?
As an entrepreneur, you’re good at wearing a several hats, which means you can do a lot of jobs for your business that aren’t necessarily in your areas of expertise. Make a list of every task you do for your business that you would eventually hire someone else to perform: This is the best place to start paying yourself. In the short-term, you might want to invest in a software like [QuickBooks Online](https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/), which is designed to help new entrepreneurs like you manage their bookkeeping and [invoicing](https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/invoicing/).
For example, if you’re handling all of the customer service and you plan to hire someone in the future at a salary of $10 per hour, start paying yourself $10 an hour for tackling that job. As your business gets accustomed to spending the money for these tasks, you can go ahead and hire for that position a lot quicker (or at least subcontract it out), so you can concentrate on other tasks – including that first full night of sleep.
## Are You Handling Sales?
The next best place to find pay dirt for yourself is the sales floor. If you’re instrumental in generating leads, working with your potential clients or customers, and closing deals, then you’ve earned yourself some commission. Build yourself an incentive strategy that includes a sales commission and pays you for every deal you close. Fine tune it as you scale your business even higher to end up with a model that enables the addition of more sales staff members.
## Are You Charging for Time?
One of the fastest ways to ensure there is enough cash in the register to pay yourself is to charge properly for your services. For example, if you offer graphic-design services, you need to account for not only the time you spend on the work, but also the administration time that is typically non-billable, in addition to those dreaded run-on meeting times. While the the best way to handle this is to eliminate billing by the hour and begin billing for value, sometimes finding the right equation for [value-based pricing](https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/pricing-strategy/how-to-price-your-products-or-services-value-based-pricing/) is a challenge on its own.
## Do You Have a Budget?
Every single business needs a budget to run on – an established dollars in, dollars out budget. And this must include the costs of getting the work done. A solid budget eliminates the questions of whether or not you can afford to pay yourself, and as a bonus, it gives you your [profit and loss numbers](https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/business-planning/maximize-profit-and-minimize-loss-5-components-of-a-solid-financial-plan/) to ensure that you do indeed have a viable business in the works. If you don’t have a budget established, work with your accountant to make one.
At the end of the day, you’ve chosen the entrepreneurial path for a reason, and dollars to doughnuts, it isn’t financially driven. That being said, in order to afford to be an entrepreneur, you need to pay yourself well so that it’s worth dealing with all of the stresses that come along with it. One thing you don’t need to stress over is payroll. Did you know you can [pay employees in QuickBooks](https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/oa/add-payroll/)? Add Payroll today.