• Richard Walsh

Work ON it not IN it.

You ever hear the saying you need to work ON your business not IN your business?  It is actually quite profound when you understand it.

I see too many business owners working IN their business, meaning they are doing all the day to day menial tasks that could easily be sourced out to others.  Think about this: if you’re scrubbing the toilets in your business or sweeping the floors something is wrong.

You probably got into business not only to provide a service or product but create some freedom and prosperity in your life right? People can get a job anywhere but not everybody can run a business. You’re unique in that way. Just that defining quality alone sets you apart from those working for you. You have ‘Owner’ mentality. Everything you do is to move your business forward. Every decision you make is based on how that will affect your business in the long run. An employee just doesn’t think that way.

The first question to ask yourself is what exactly is your time worth? It’s easy to throw out a number for an hourly rate like $150 an hour. That might make you feel good on the surface but I want to go deeper than that. I want to demonstrate that you probably can’t put a dollar amount on what you bring to your business. The value that you personally bring as an owner can be massive.

Someone like Bill Gates founder of Microsoft can be the richest man in the world from a dollar standpoint but the value he brought to the world’s everyday life is immeasurable.

What truly fuels your business? Is it your ability to sweep the floor, do accounts payables or drive a truck? Anyone can do that right? I’d venture to say you’re probably not even good at most of those things. So what is it that YOU actually contribute to your business? You contribute the creativity, the passion, the drive to keep the doors open. You also contribute the desire to grow your business. You have the vision for where you want to see your business go and how to get there. You’re interested in making connections and building your network. Perhaps you want to give back to your community and help others when you have the means.

These are the things only you can do. These are the things that require you working ON your business not IN your business. You can’t focus on the bigger things when you’re mired down in the day to day menial tasks. You have big goals of success and you’re not going to get there doing everything there is to be done for the business by yourself. 

You need to evaluate the needs for your businesses day to day operations and begin to delegate those tasks to others so you are free to work on the things only you can do. Many business owners get stuck in thinking only they can do it the way it needs to be done. They can’t let go of it and give someone else a chance. This is the small thinking that will keep you stuck and never achieving what you know you can achieve in a big way. You must put your focus on the bigger vision. Find a way to build the particular job tasks and training methods for that position then get someone to fill it and move to the next position and repeat the process. 

Soon you’ll have the day to day operations running smoothly and your focus then becomes on those things that only you can do and more than likely the things you love to do. Now the next phase is learning to be disciplined in keeping to that focus of working on the business. 

This is where you set your own personal boundaries to prevent yourself from slipping back into the day to day and getting stuck there. I get that sometimes you need to demonstrate that you’re not afraid to get back in the trenches. You also may want to maintain a connection with the business at all levels. That’s all good but again, just don’t get stuck there. 

When you start having consistent time dealing on only those things you can do you will see growth begin to build on itself and you will start to propel your company to exactly where you want it to go. You’ll never suffer from burnout. Your fire will stay lit with the passion of doing exactly what you love to do.

Now I get maybe you’re not in a place financially just yet to delegate all these tasks but if your goal is not to get to that place you never will.

This needs to be a major priority goal for you and your business. You are the creative engine for your business and an overworked engine will start to slow down and eventually break down. By delegating you will have less menial tasks to complete and you will get people who can bring new life to those tasks and your business.

Your focus should be on growth not toilets. That is what I mean by working ON your business. Give this some serious thought and track your day, detail your duties and activities to see what you can delegate. Remember why you started this business in the first place. I guarantee you it wasn’t to do things you hate!

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