I meet so many professionals are actively looking for ways to streamline their activities in the name of convenience.

The freelancer with 3 clients who’s looking for a W-2 role. The nanny who works odd hours for 4 families but wishes that one of them would just hire her full time. The Senior Designer who wants the Creative Director paycheck but doesn’t want to give 10 performance reviews a year.

In these cases, “streamline” really means “reduce.” So why would people want to reduce their earning potential?

Because adding more admin to your plate translates to more responsibility. Most people are trying to reduce their responsibilities, not increase them.

And that's OK for most people.

For the rest of us: Expanding your capabilities, taking risks, piling on responsibilities and organizing it all — this is treating your life like a business. And it’s hard. But like many hard things, it’s worth doing.

Done right, over time, more responsibility = more freedom.

Do we ever observe a dog walker cruising through nature with 8 Labradoodles trotting in unison, and think “gee that guy should go work at Petsmart. The stability and florescent lights would do him good.”

Of course not. We think “damn, this guy’s getting paid by 8 people at the same time to enjoy himself. Sign me up!”

So what am I suggesting? Quit your job, raise a round of funding, throw it all on black?

No. Just start treating your own life like a business. This includes how you approach your day job, and the things you do alongside it.

Administration is inevitable, so embrace it. Career advancement requires leadership, so learn to enjoy it. Ask your boss for more responsibility, and connect that to a raise. Grow in your job by learning to manage up.

Stack new skills. Create a valuable point of view by writing about your vocation. Do freelance work on the side, then add more clients and raise your prices. Or, if the “job market” isn’t to your liking, go full time freelance until the right role finds you.

Organize yourself, earn more, then optimize for whatever means most to you:

A new venture. A volunteering gig. A triathlon. Sportscars on the open road. Negronis at the cabin. Whatever.

What overwhelms you at first becomes child’s play as you get better. And the best companies reserve the best roles for people who are the CEOs of their own lives.

“Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.” - Ronnie Coleman