The Top 3 tips to make sure you continue to work ON your business whilst working IN your business

February 26, 2012

Michael Gerber in his book ‘The E-Myth’ coined the working in, working on phrase.

Working in your business is doing all the stuff that needs to be done to ensure your business generates cash and profits. Working on your business is all the tasks that you don’t necessarily need to do right now but if you do, your business will become better.

Of course, sometimes tasks under your working on task list become so urgent they enter into the working in task list (we call this fire-firefighting!). Many business owners, however, do not even get to their working on list, since they are just churning away in their business day in day out, week in, week out.

So if you are struggling to find time to do some working on your business (clue: there is no time) then here are 3 top tips for you…

1. Schedule in time to work on your business and DO NOT re-arrange this time EVER! Yes, of course something more urgent is going to come up, that’s the point, but don’t let it. Book a meeting with yourself and insist nobody bothers you, you wouldn’t interrupt somebody else’s meeting would you? So don’t interrupt your own, or let anybody else interrupt it.

What? I hear you cry, there is no time even to have a meeting with yourself because you are soooo busy? What do you want me to say? Then remain in your business forever, doing the same things without improving your business. Of course, there’s no time – didn’t you see my clue two paragraphs ago. You work in the day to put bread on the table, you work in the evenings to build your fortune i.e. if you really do not have any time, its long evenings in front of your laptop (or ipad) for you!

2. prioritise. This really is a tough one. You won’t be short on ideas about how to improve your business. You could probably list out everything you need to improve it in about ten minutes. Ideas aren’t the problem, time is (see point 1), so you have got to prioritise and it is difficult. Here’s some pointers: what action will have the biggest impact with the least effort, start with that one. Then, what action will have the biggest impact with the most effort? Do this next. Then go to the first action point i.e. bin all the low impact working on tasks.

It’s great having a water cooler in my office but is it more important than getting more testimonials on my website? Probably not! You will have lots of these trade-offs, choose wisely.

3. Get your team involved and get them to do the working on tasks. This is my favourite because a) it means you don’t have to do it all and b) your team can probably do it better because they will be closer to the problems. Yes its true, you are paying them to directly influence revenue but the working on tasks will affect revenue just further down the track.

If anybody has any more tips on this, feel free to email me at


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