[FUEL] The importance of working ON your business – 7 steps to making your business soar

By Dawn Shuler

Michael Gerber in The E-Myth Revisited, talks about the importance of working ON your business, as opposed to working IN your business. The working in is the delivering of your business’s services or products: providing the service, fulfilling the product, writing the proposal, giving the class, hiring the vendors, firing the contractors, sending the reports to the CPA, ordering supplies. Working on your business is far different; it’s looking at the big picture, designing the marketing strategy for the next year, creating new products, deciding to expand, defining new roles and descriptions, professional development.

Honestly, most entrepreneurs don’t spend enough time working ON the business. They’re much too caught up on the working IN side. Take a look at your to-do list; what’s on it? I bet it’s a lot of those Working IN tasks.

The problem is that Working ON the biz isn’t an item on your to-do list that you can cross off. (“Oh, thank goodness that working ON the business is done!”) It’s time you need to take away from the day-to-day to focus on the bigger picture and the deeper why of your business.

What you need to do:

  1. Schedule regular Working ON the business time. Call it whatever you want. My favorite is Business Development or Business Dreaming Time.
  2. Block off at least a half day a month. A full day is better.
  3. Don’t mix IN with ON. In other words, you’re not going to efficiently go from ordering supplies, following up with prospective clients, and answering emails to big-picture planning and product development. Keep the activities separate. More concretely, that means when you have scheduled your business development time, do not have any other Working IN to-do’s for that day.
  4. Have lovely blocks of free time in your regular schedule. While this isn’t Working ON your business, per se, it helps replenish your fuel, center and ground you, and let your mind dream. You’re priming the pump for your regularly scheduled business development time (see #1).
  5. Have a way to record all your ideas, dreams, plans, and goals. Put them in one place. My favorite is a Sacred Space for Ideas document. That way, whenever you have a great idea, capture it, and then it’s there for your Business Development time.
  6. Find one (I’m just asking for one) week a year where you don’t have any Working IN the business tasks. No email to return, no client work, no marketing, no phone appointments, no networking, no meetings, no social media. And use some of that week to think REALLY BIG for your business.
  7. Delegate to a team (if you don’t have one, you need one…. no arguments). Get rid of as much of the Working IN your business as you can so that you can bring some of those big dreams to fruition.

Imagine what your business could look like if you nurtured it with love, attention, and the business equivalent of vitamins and minerals.

It would soar.