Working on Your Business, Not in it

As small business owners, and often the only employee in the business, it’s easy to get distracted by daily business tasks. We’re all SO busy these days. Who has time to think? Who has time to write without worrying about SEOs or Google Analytics results? Why would those things matter anyway?

Owning and operating a successful business means finding the perfect amount of tension, of balance between working in your business and working on your business and both are vital to grow. Working in your business means answering emails, doing client work, working on your website, and meeting with potential new clients or business partners. Working in your business means checking off your daily list of business tasks and really getting into the details, like posting on Instagram or invoicing clients.

Working on your business means taking a step out of the business itself and looking at the business as a whole. Seeing the forest vs. the trees, if you will. The task of stepping out of your business to work on it is just as important as any task within your business would be, almost more so because in order to plan, to have a vision, and to make sure you’re working towards your goals, you need to be able to see the big picture, even if you don’t have all of the answers yet. Stepping out of your business and getting quiet time, alone (from phone/emails/coworkers) means time to create, time to breathe and time to brainstorm.

Marketing is a tricky beast because it involves both your analytical and creative brains to pull off. You need time to work ON your marketingĀ  – to get creative and brainstorm new ideas – AND you need time to work IN your marketing – to execute your social media posts, analyze your paid social media ads and to create new content for your blog/video/podcast.

If you’re the only person in your business, you’re responsible for invoicing AND for new ideas, so how do you make time for both? You schedule it, just as you would anything else, and then you show up for it and HOLD YOURSELF TO IT. If you’re heading into a no phone work zone for an hour or two, just be sure to let the important people (think: your spouse/kids) know and then get down to business.

Our mind has a funny way of playing tricks on us when we’re heading into new territory, or an uncomfortable position, so making sure you’re aware of and move past distractions will allow you to get into a deep work flow and who knows what will come of it.

Every time your phone beeps or your email notifications pop-up on your computer screen, you’re pulled out of your creative zone and have to work to get back to where you were, so try your best to eliminate distractions ahead of time if you can.

How will you work ON your business this week?


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