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Six Tips to Work on Your Business, Not in it.


It is easy to get caught up in the day in and day out of running a business. Sometimes by the time Wednesday rolls around, I am asking myself “How is it not Friday, yet!?” And its not because I don’t love what I do but because the influx of client information is quite a bit and sometimes it feels like the meetings are endless. 

Over the weekend I contemplated “How have we gotten here?” 

And let me tell you, though a lot of dang work. Sweat, tears, a bit of delirium, some dehydration, more tears, and a lot of questioning oneself.. but also a lot of hope, dedication, hard work, discipline, and google. I looked through the podcasts that I listen to and most of them are about business, my amazon wishlist are business books, my strolls through Barnes and Noble are me reading Forbes or Fortune on a Saturday afternoon. My business has devoured my time, or maybe I have devoured my business. 

Yet one common thread that kept coming up was that I would make time to work on the business, on my mind, rather than do client work 100% of my time. To scale and grow you must be working on your business not simply in it. Here are my 6 tips to shift your mindset to work on your business rather than in it.

One — You are not an employee, do not have an employee attitude. Meaning, do not just think because 5 o’clock hits that you get to clock out. If you want to keep an employee attitude stay working for someone else. 

Two — You do not know everything. You never will know everything. And when you think you have mastered it, it will change on you. Keep learning, keep asking questions, find new ways to learn new things you didn’t need to know. I graduated with a B.A. in French Literature and Culture and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, I knew nothing on running a business or anything that entailed. I read books on books, listened to people’s recommendations, used my resources, found the best podcasts for my commutes, etc. Be ok with not knowing it all and learn to look stuff up. 

Three — Treat your business as a client. I was there… the cobbler with no shoes. Selling websites and branding without having my own website up or even a business card to hand out. #Awkward Make time to create content, to schedule stuff for social media, to explore other facets of your business. You will always put your stuff last when you have client work to do but your stuff is just as important, if not even more so. 

Four — Batch your work. Figuring out what to post to social media the day of is way more time consuming than just sitting down for 3 hours and scheduling the whole month. Whatever you can batch and do all at once, do that. Your brain is already in the flow of doing that task so just ride the flow.

Five — Figure out your best creation time. Is it the early morning before the kids are awake, or late at night once everyone is in bed, or maybe you take a later lunch and crank through most people’s lunch hour? Figure out when you are at your best and use that time to work on your business not on your to-do list.  Your best time is not when you need to be catching up on your emails. Catching up on emails is someone else’s agenda, not yours. Read more tips on navigating your inbox here. 

Six — Outsource. We know you can do it all but it gets to a point where you don’t have to. Find a VA or a part time assistant or somebody to help you get through the to-do list, through the Emails so you can get to expanding and scaling your business or to building those systems or to developing that new course or to expanding your services. You cannot do it all.

In the end you need to figure out what works best for you and your rhythm. As a business owner or side hustler it is crucial to work on your business just as much as it is to work in it, for your business to continue to grow and expand. I know some of these things are scary, like outsourcing, but once you have someone else on your team you can focus on expanding to rise everyone up. 

Do you have another tip to working on your business? If so, drop them in the comments!