Business hours are when you work in your business. A wise small business owner will also work on their business after everyone else clocks out. Sure you can work 40 hours a week if you want to as an entrepreneur, but that only works successfully when you have employees who work in your business during those hours and you work on your business.
Over the past year did you spend the majority of your resources of time, energy and money working in your business? Or did you spend it working on your business? Did you at least spend a fraction of your time working on your business? If you are not certain you may be able to tell by looking over your business growth. Have you increased your reach, profits, efficiency, credibility in your marketplace, and have you reach or exceeded your goals for the year?
If you worked in your business the answer to some of those questions may be no. You may be financially in the same boat you were last year and the tides might be pulling you backwards. Your business will continue to slip if you do not commit to making a concerted effort to work on your business. Focus on growth, set up systems, make plans, set goals, and spend the extra hours to build your business.
Empires are not built in 40 hour work weeks. They rarely are built in a 50 hour work week. Empire builders work into the wee hours to make their dreams come true. Thinking about what your business could be while you focus all your time and energy working in your business is a perfect formula for stagnation, frustration and stress.
The magic of success comes from the blood, sweat and tears you pour into your business working on your business growth. Remember—anyone can do a job—but not everyone can turn on the power to your business—like you can.
Smart hard working people who recognize that they are the key to their business success and pour themselves into it will succeed a thousand times more than a really hard worker.
A smart hardworking person working on and in their business will far exceed a smart hardworking person solely working in their business.
So what is the difference between working on your business versus in your business? When an employee could just as easily do what you spend the majority of your time doing, then you are working in your business. The things you can only do include: creating the vision, forging the path, putting the right people on the bus and in the right seats, the magic sauce only you add by infusing your personality into your business through social media and marketing, relationship building, and the leadership that can only come from you—focusing on these is working on your business. You can’t hire that—so make sure you are finding a way to work on your business.
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Sharon McLaughlin MD FACS says
Such great advice. I agree, one needs to make time to work on their business.
Claire T says
Thanks for the advice and reminder- I often find myself working “in” not “on”. And I find when life gets busy- it’s the “on” that goes first. I working now on a weekly schedule to help me take care of the “on” and if I miss a day or week- it’s OK because I can get back to it. Whne I focus on the “on” I notice such a difference in my growth and joy.
Mary Humphrey says
I love this advice, Kayla. Entrepreneurs get caught up in the busy “tasks” of their busy and forget about working on it. I think this stems from the thought that we want to make as much money as possible, and we desire to keep our customers and clients happy, but without an end goal…a plan with reachable goals to grow, and without time spent “on” the business instead of “in,” it becomes an action similar to a hamster in a wheel — a lot of hard work with little or no moving forward.
Lori Nova Endres says
This is such an important distinction Kayla. I agree with Claire about when we get busy, the ON is the first thing to go because the IN can so easily consume us. And Mary, I can totally relate to that hamster wheel analogy. My first main challenge as my business grew (and I hired my first employee) was letting go and delegating as much as I could. I did that years ago, but I still struggle with what exactly I should be spending my time on. It’s hard to break the habit of doing everything once you’ve done it. Something to always be mindful of. Thanks for the reminder!