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Working In Your Business vs. On Your Business

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

When was the last time you dedicated time to working “on” rather than just “in” your business? As side-hustlers, fully fledged entrepreneurs and freelancers, working in your company entails serving customers, "doing the work," and wearing all the hats required to run a business and keep the lights on.


But what does it feel like when you work in your business and never on it?

  • Even when "stuff" is getting done, you don't feel as though you're moving closer to something significant or important.

  • Your business's “why” or vision is unclear, and you lack clarity on the broader picture.

  • You're always busy, stressed out, and overwhelmed.


Of course, in order to even have a business, we must put in a lot of time working in it. But if we continue to run the company as if we are full-time, overtime, employees and never assume the position of CEO, we won't get very far.


Working in and on the business is like operating two businesses simultaneously: the business you’re in and the business you’re becoming.


A clearer picture of what working on your business looks like:


1. Regular Assessment of Your Business Productivity:

When we're on the treadmill of busy-ness, we frequently go right on to the next task without giving the previous one a thorough review.


Evaluation entails calculating the figures every week, month, or quarter, based on what is needed for your business model. Here are a few ways to measure the success of your business:

  • Does your business plan support your style of life and provide you with sufficient funds to reinvest in growth?

  • Are you working with clients in a way that inspires and challenges you? Are you spending more time in your "zone" these days?

  • Does your business allow you to travel, benefit your health, enjoy your hobbies, and spend time with your loved ones?

You need to be able to evaluate the success of your business since it should support your lifestyle rather than the other way around.


2. Having a Clear Vision:

You need to know where you're headed as well as why you need to make important strategic decisions as the boss of both your business and yourself. Once your vision is clear, you may define appropriate goals for the journey there.


3. Continue Business Growth:

We're all in the business of developing connections, no matter what industry you're in. Working 'on' your business involves planning ahead, cultivating clients, and creating strong connections with people. Spending 25% of your time working on marketing and business development is a great way to start seeing growth.


4. Investing In You, Your Time & Your Value:

Without you, your company or career cannot grow. Success comes along because you improve, not because your circumstances improve on the outside. You are solely in charge of your professional growth as a business owner and as the boss of your life. Therefore, read books, listen to podcasts, attend events and workshops, talk with a coach, and so much more.


A good investment is one that you make in yourself since it will always pay off.


5. Consider Yourself As Your Best Paying Customer:

You are the heart of your company, the most important client, and the one who drives the entire business. Take your personal and professional responsibilities seriously. Plan important meetings with your top client (you), arrive on time, take notes, and then carry out the agreed-upon measures.


Working "in" your business means spending time running it as it is right now. Spending time “on” your business entails making investments in order to make it better in the future.


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