“What? Working on vs. in my business? I’ve never thought of it that way before.” This is the response I typically get when I ask the question. The fact is, too many people don’t ask themselves the question so they end up working in the business.
Here’s a thought; the more you work ON your business, the less you will need to work IN your business.

Signs you are working IN your business:

• You spend your day fire fighting
• You only can manage today’s problems
• Every day you are working on the immediate issues
• Your staff always comes to you with challenges
• All decisions run through you
• You are reactive to surprises
• You only replace people as they leave

Signs you are working ON your business:

• You build systems for fire prevention
• You lead your team into thinking about tomorrow’s problems
• Every day you are working on the important issues
• Your staff brings you their proposed solution to challenges
• Your business can run independently of you
• You prepare for surprises
• You spend time looking for talent

OK, it should be fairly clear from these lists, working on your business is better than working in your business. So how can you make this happen when you’re already working harder than you have time for? Start working smarter.
Working smarter rather harder

Here are the secret steps:

• Goals: set simple targets that you have to reach. Then reward yourself when you reach them.
• Prioritize: focus on the most important goals/challenge/opportunity 1st; then the 2nd most important, etc. What you don’t get to was not that critical.
• Delegate it to someone else. The more you delegate the more time you’ll have to start being strategic. No one to delegate to? Outsource, hire or eliminate the task.
• Schedule: a part of everyday to make changes to the business to reduce its dependence on you.
• Coach: The most successful athletes & business leaders each employ a coach. Why wouldn’t you? A good coach/consultant can help you define your strategy and refine your business model for the most efficient operation around.

Perhaps you need to step back and look at whether you are running your business or if it is running you. If it is the latter, talk to someone who can help you make the necessary changes. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in your business and your life.
Tell me what you are thinking about these tips at Build It Backwards(SM)

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