Thursday, June 2, 2016

Work on your business, not in it…

Whether you are an owner, founder, co-founder, or partner in a small business, every business owner needs time to work on their business not in it. Do you ever get the feeling that you can’t get it all done?  The only thing we can’t get back is time.  That’s why as business owners it’s essential that we spend every minute we can serving clients, closing deals and generating leads.  That’s the high payoff work, but what about all those things that get in the way of the profitable work?  Most business owners are working like mad to make their business a success.  And that may be the issue. 

In the beginning all business owners are caught up with the passion of creating their vision and getting their business off the ground.  Over time they become overwhelmed by the day to day stuff that keeps getting in the way of growing their business. They find themselves working on overseeing the operations, answering emails, finding new vendors, firing people and all the stuff that is not helping to advance their business.  If you are truly honest these things are not even in your comfort zone.  Yes, it has to be done, but are you as the business owner the correct person to be working on it?  Most people that start a business are Visionaries.  If you are a Visionary, you are one of only 3% of the population that create two-thirds of the new jobs in our economy.  What is a Visionary you ask?

VISIONARY—vi·sion·ary, noun \ˈvi-zhə-ˌner-ē\,
First Known Use: 1702
: one who has clear ideas about what should happen or be done in the future
: one who has a powerful imagination
: one who sees visions
: one who has unusual foresight
Dreamer, Seer, Creator

Yes, you may be a visionary business owner and that busy work is not your thing according to the definition.  There is obviously no one size fits all, but, every business owner has his/her own personality, style and approach to leading teams. When you work “on” your business, you steer the course of the enterprise – identifying new markets, building a leadership team, developing the culture of your ventures, etc.

It’s easy to understand why this part gets ignored, but it’s essential to guard against it, especially in a tough business environment when a loss of focus can give the competition a foot in the door. Part of the problem is discipline, but that’s not the only thing.  Once business owners lunched their business, Most of my clients are stressed out and overworked. They are discouraged that while they talk about planning. It doesn’t get done.

Want to make a change?  It’s all about making the commitment.

I recommend the following strategies:

Get it on the calendar.  Just as you would schedule a client, make a regular appointment with yourself.  Block off a couple of hours every week.  Close the doors and find an opportunity during the week to work on your business and not in it.

Get focused. Finding time is great, but you also must focus the time.  Be deliberate and disciplined about what you want to accomplish.  You have to work on your plan before you can use it to work on your business.  Even though great leaders work hard, they realize that they need the space to be able to strategize, to think, to create.  Smart leaders also build the culture of creativity through encouraging their employees to take time to reflect.  A lot of your company’s best ideas may come from your team.  Take time to listen to their ideas and encourage them to come up with bigger, better ways to do the business, after all, they are the ones doing the day to day details of your business.

Get some help.  Look for a mentor or coach. Many successful people love sharing their experience.  You may find inspiration and guidance from others facing similar business challenges.  The best leaders have a clear understanding of their own limitations. They know that success is a team sport and there is no such thing as a “self-made” man. They realize that it takes a diverse team to truly innovate.  They search for passionate people in diverse areas of expertise and bring them together. Great leaders listen more than they speak.  Truly amazing leaders empower others to become leaders. Their higher goal is to work themselves out of the job so that if they are not around, the organization functions just as successfully as when they are.

Yes, you are the owner of the business, but, you may need to put your ego aside and you may need to seek some help to get your business to the next level. It may be the only way to stop working in the business and start working on your business and that is truly where your business needs you to focus.

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