Did you know that there’s a major difference between working IN your business vs. working ON your business?

You may think that whenever you sit down at your laptop and take care of a business-related task, you’re working ON your business. 

But the truth is, it isn’t that simple. Not all work you do for your business is equal — a lot of it is actually tedious or annoying at times! This doesn’t mean it isn’t important, but it DOES mean that you need to find a way to balance your time between the day-to-day tasks and the tasks that move the needle forward.

So, let’s take a look at what working IN vs. ON your business looks like.

When you work IN your business, you are focused on the little tasks that make up your everyday operations: think paying bills, packing orders, responding to emails, sending out invoices, running errands, etc. I’d even go so far as to say that you’re working IN your business when you’re taking care of a task you don’t particularly like.

When you work ON your business, you’re innovating. You’re looking at new strategies, planning a new launch, coming up with creative content ideas, setting goals, etc. Everything you do when you work ON your business is with the intention of improving, instead of simply maintaining. You can tell that you’re working ON your business when you feel excited and passionate about the work you’re doing.

Once you know what the difference is, it’s easy to take a look at your own routine as a CEO and figure out where the gaps are. Be honest with yourself: what do you spend the most time on? Do you get stuck on details and the day-to-day tasks, or do you spend more time coming up with ideas and never executing them?

 If you feel like you’re constantly bogged down by tasks IN the business, it may be a sign that it’s time to hire a team member. Bringing on help can make it easier for you to clear up time for working ON the business by delegating these tasks to somebody else. It can also improve your general attitude and happiness — nobody likes having to do work they don’t feel connected to. (You can learn more about why outsourcing is SO important on the blog here.)

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend setting aside four hours in your work week to work ON your business. Schedule it into your week like an appointment — choose a day and time and stick to it week in and week out. Don’t use that time for any other work or appointments. The entire goal of this is to help you prioritise time to make strides in your business and grow.

If you find that you struggle to set aside time to work ON your business, you may find it helpful to bring on a business consultant or coach to guide you. An expert can help you brainstorm, strategise, and implement in a way that’s right for your current business and goals — plus, they can save you from doing work on your business that will cost you time and money in the long run. (You can learn more about the difference between consultants and coaches on the blog here.

As a business and marketing consultant myself, I frequently help clients get in touch with their business vision and help it come to life. (I also offer 15 minute free discovery calls if you ever want to learn more about what it’s like to have me on your team!)

Trust me — once you strike the right balance, you’ll see your productivity and business growth skyrocket.