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Are You Working “On” or “In” Your Business?

small_4325390829Do you work on your business or in your business? I recently started re-reading The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber.

The premise is that we cannot grow our business if we spend all our time doing the work in the business; i.e., being the technicians or doers. We have to learn and utilize management and entrepreneurial skills to build the business. Your goal should be to have your business work for you, not you working for it.

So, is all your time spent “doing” the business?

Here are four ways to strive toward working on your business:

  1. Develop a clear vision about the path your company will take. This clarity is critical for you and for any people that you hire, whether full-time or on a project basis.
  2. Take time to work on your business. I have heard from numerous quilters in business – longarm quilters to commission art quilters – that you need to spend two-to three hours marketing your business for every hour you spend fabricating your art. The best approach here is to set aside the time that works for you to do this. It could be three hours every morning or it could be every Monday and Tuesday. And sometimes you need to try working on your business in a different surrounding. I have a friend who goes to the local café each week to work on her business. The goal is set a time consistently to do this.
  3. Look for ways to create systems in your business. This could be anything from a system to contact potential buyers to a system to process orders. Systems make a difference in how much time you don’t spend as a technician or doer.
  4. Work on yourself. In addition to spending time working on your business, you need to work on yourself. The late Jim Rohn said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” And, who you become as a person spills over into your business.


photo credit: NathanaelB via photopin cc

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2 Responses to “Are You Working “On” or “In” Your Business?”

  1. Sue Pelland said:

    Hi Morna, I have also just re-read E-myth! My brother is training to become an E-Myth coach. After years in big business, he is learning to be a consultant for entrepreneurs. We have had many e-myth conversations and I am excited to get started working ON my business. Maybe, finally, I will have time to learn from and apply the lessons from my ICAP membership! I hope we can talk in Pittsburg! Sue

  2. Morna said:

    Sue, love that you’ve got in “in-house” E-Myth coach. I’ve always thought Sarah with her pies was so similar to quilts. Definitely for Pittsburgh. I’m just walking the floor and giving a lecture.

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