Let's face it: a small business owner's work schedule can be taxing--and, worse yet, unpredictable. Have you tried giving yourself "comp time"? Admittedly, that's no solution if the demands of your business are causing you to miss special events like birthdays, anniversaries, and school plays. However, business owners can sometimes compensate for things like missed meals. Iris Harrell, owner of Harrell Remodeling, in Menlo Park, Calif., does just that.

Harrell has promised her mate that she'll be home routinely for breakfast and dinner and on weekends--or make up the time. When her busy $3 million design and construction business requires her to miss a meal or a Sunday afternoon at home, she makes up the time with her partner during a slower period in the workweek. "Why does the person you love the most so often get the least of your attention?" asks Harrell. "You need to treat that as a serious commitment."