It’s very easy to get so caught up in the daily routine of running your business that you quickly fail to see the wood for the trees.
Which neatly reminds me of the story of the woodcutter who didn’t have time to sharpen his axe… because he had too much wood to cut!
What do you suppose happened?
Working constantly ‘in’ your business rather than taking time to work ‘on’ your business is a BIG MISTAKE that’s as easy to make as it is to avoid.
If you’re too busy ‘cutting wood’ to spend time ‘sharpening your axe’, it will be very difficult for you to ever be as productive and profitable as you could be.
How do you spend your time?
OK, so you’re constantly handling new enquiries, answering emails and going to meetings. Oh, and doing the work that your clients are paying you for. However, if you don’t allow yourself time to step back, conquer the daily chaos, and sharpen up your act… you run the risk of forever remaining on the hamster wheel of business ownership.
Working ‘on’ your business may not seem that important when you’ve got plenty of active clients, and it certainly won’t appear to be a priority when you have five meetings or events to plan. However, it’s a vital task if you plan to survive and grow your business in the future.
Working ‘in’ your business means tackling the daily tasks that always need to be taken care of: your marketing, your invoicing, and delivering the actual service that you provide etc.
Working ‘on’ your business, however, is all about stepping back and seeing how your business can improve, where you want your business to go, and planning the short, medium and long-term steps that you’ll need to take to get you there.
Reach for your diary… NOW!
Let’s be clear about this… you should aim to work on your business for a few hours every week. And daily is best.
Block these sessions out in your diary and remove yourself from your regular work environment so you won’t be disturbed. This is the time when you’ll do the really important and non-urgent stuff for your business.
Working ON your business – where to focus your attention:
- Planning and preparation
- Research and investigation
- Thinking and creating
- Developing systems and processes
- Anticipating and preventing problems
- Identifying need for change and new direction
- Developing strategy
Think of it like climbing into a helicopter, flying to 10,000 feet and getting a broad, horizon-spanning view of your business.
When you see things differently, you can think differently. And when you start thinking differently, magic can happen!
To your success!
Dave Sharpe | Editor-In-Chief | Business Success Magazine