So what does it really mean to work ON your business not IN your business? Ever since the famous business guru, Michael Gerber wrote his bestselling book, “The E-Myth”, this has been a popular subject. His E-Myth “coaches” provide extensive seminars and workshops on the topic, as do a host of “business coaches”.
After 40 years of being in “the business trenches”, owning, managing, and selling 15 businesses successfully, it seems to me that the subject has been worked over to death. In my view, success in business (each person should identify their own view of success) comes down to the following: The application of common sense, coupled with a thorough understanding and application of correct principles. These are then supported by the appropriate techniques, followed by action. The last ingredient is measurement of every action. This formula has been the cornerstone of my business success.
Now, applying this formula to “Work ON your business not just IN your business, using common sense, the business owner should assess the WHY they are in business. This means determining their direction, not only for the business, but for themselves. When you truly know your WHY, you can move on to what, where, when, and how as your business journey dictates.
The starting point however is your WHY. It is understood that common sense is, in large measure, a result of past experience. We need to always remember that good judgment comes from experience, and most valuable experience comes from making poor judgments. This is one of the ironies of life. Nevertheless, common sense should be the starting place in our business journey.
The principle to then apply is to thoroughly understand your WHY. What exactly do you want to get from your business? If you want to always be “the producer”, that is fine. Maybe then you associate yourself with another person to work ON the business for you. If you want to move from being “the producer” to the “captain” of the business, then you elect to learn the appropriate principles and attendant techniques required for the position.
Once these determinations have been made, the next step is action. Forget about extensive business plans. Develop your own strategic plan and campaign. Take action now, and make the adjustments you will need because you are now also measuring everything.
So, to “work ON not just IN” is not theoretical physics, it is the simple application of the aforementioned formula. Also, forget about “retirement”. That is an illusion postulated on us during the industrial revolution. We are creatures that require a “purpose” to our lives. A better word might be “continuement”. We simply continue and continue in life’s wonderful journey recreating our purpose. So, “continuement” on, and enjoy the journey!