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Working On Your Business, Not In Your Business

October 4, 2016
by
LAURYN

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Well hello.

A little nude moment going on here.

You should know there’s nothing better than a nude dress, especially one that holds you in all the right places. This one is sexy but kind of professional at the same time.

Speaking of professional, let’s get professional & talk about business. My business, your business, any business.

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve discussed the subject & as promised from yesterday’s post, I told you we were sticking with the whole strategic future by design.

Like I’ve said, my friend Steve is a coach for CEOs.

Yes, that’s a thing & man, um HELLO – what a cool job right? Basically, he helps CEOs gain serious control over their calendars, time, & business. Steve has recently been REALLY helping me create a strategic business future by design.

& we’ve been discussing a very interesting topic that I wanted to share with YOU!…

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The subject is one Michael has discussed on the exclusive section of TSC App, but I wanted to go deeper, & of course, hear all of your opinions.

So: what’s the difference between working ON your business and working IN your business?

For me, I had to learn this the hard way. This wasn’t something I learned in school. I’ve learned it through experience as a business owner.

The difference is simple: working ON your business is building a game plan, creating a strategic future, & focusing energy towards main priorities.

Working IN your business is getting caught up in the day the day. The e-mails, the pointless conference calls, the things that can be delegated: tasks that are not essential to the growth of the business.

As Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook ( no big deal? ) says: “I spend more of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better, but a lot of that time isn’t in our office or meeting with people or doing what you’d call real work. I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself. If you count the time I’m in the office, it’s probably no more than 50 to 60 hours a week. But if you count all the time I’m focused on our mission, that’s basically my whole life.”

BINGO.

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For the last year, this is how I’ve worked. I work when I’m reading, I work in yoga class, I work on the treadmill, I work on a walk with a green juice. Half of my work is strategizing and thinking of creative ways to build The Skinny Confidential & its community.

Work does not always mean you’re behind a desk answering a million e-mails.

Of course e-mails are a HUGE part of my job, HOWEVER I’ve learned to time-block & answer them for only an hour & a half each day. If I sat behind the computer all day, there would be no time to create or move or travel or strategize.

For 3 years I did every job in my company. From e-mails to contracts to creating to photography to newsletters to writing a book, etc. AND then for a year I micro-managed everyone around me. Now I am slowly learning to let go, unless of course it has to do with building the business or writing & creating content. I mean, there’s no reason that I should be picking up food for a recipe post when I could be writing a blog post or making plans for the next step in the brand.

Time is your currency, use it wisely.

This article states: “As the leader of your business, you are responsible for spotting problems and delegating solutions. You are responsible for setting goals and thinking about the future. The only person in your company who will be genuinely motivated to grow your company is you. Every minute that you spend working on tasks that can be delegated is a minute that you are not planning, strategizing and building the best business possible.”

Could not be more accurate, in my opinion.

Growth happens when you create a strategic plan of attack.

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I feel like there’s another post coming after this because a large part of growth happens in day-to-day habits AKA your calendar. My calendar is very gnarly & color-coded – down to driving time ( like from appointment to appointment ), winding down time, & even when I eat. Really, I plan it out every night like a psycho…oh, & by the way, if I didn’t do this, I’d be a disaster. Literally, a full-blown nightmare. I’d be so distracted all day long; a real mess. Late, off track, & overall a big NO. Strict calendaring keeps my ass in line.

Alright – as always, just sharing what’s worked for me, everyone is different!

Are you working ON your business or IN your business? Weigh in!

Talk soon, lauryn x

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  1. Monique

    Great post! I love how you include posts that spark thinking in all of us, like a bf keeping you on track! A lot of times I think we all forget that working IN the business is taking time away from bigger and better things. Even if you can’t delegate these tasks to anyone, you can surely set time restrictions for these tasks! Thank you for sharing such wonderful, helpful tips. I feel like you give such an open approach to your business life, so we can all take a peak. Most bloggers don’t do this, and I think it’s a big mistake.

    Reply
  2. Sarah Teehee

    That title alone is so right.
    My partner and I are managers in different fields. I believe in working on and not in the business whereas he is the absolute opposite.
    We disagree when talking about work so often, we definitely couldn’t work together!!

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Ah maybe you should share this article with him and see what he thinks?! Thanks so much for the support Sarah <3 xx

  3. Holly @ Healthy Living Holly

    Love this post. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day of the business – even if you are a 9-5er like myself who is trying to grind after work hours on my own personal blog, trying to build that up day by day. One thing that helps me is working out EARLY in the morning, that way when I come home from my day job I have another 4+ hours to do my own thing and work on what inspires me, whether this is actually writing content, reading, researching, etc. You only have so much time in the day so it’s important to spend it wisely!

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Time is so precious couldn’t agree more! Prioritizing is so important. Have any early morning tips Holly? xx

  4. Annika

    Thanks for this, I think you covered a lot of really great points! I think it also ties into Tim Ferriss’ “Four hour work week”. I guess in his situation its for a different reason, but his points on getting real with email and meetings etc are the same and makes you realize that so much time is wasted! It is your choice as to what you do with that time (get strategic for your business or go scuba diving). People waste so much time getting in the weeds! I am going to put some of this into practice and get real with my calendar <3 xoxo

    http://www.fernwehsociety.com

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Oh man that’s a post for another day isn’t it?! Emails and meetings that just drag on and on! Calendar organization has been game-changing. Thanks for all of the support Annika! xx

  5. Olivia

    YES this is exactly what I needed to read today! It’s so easy to become caught up in the day to day, like you said, and I think this ends up not only hurting your business but hurting how you feel about yourself within the business. Loved the post & can’t wait for more business posts! Also obsessed with that dress ah. PS Have you listened to the Ready. Aim. Empire. podcast by Lise Kuecker? I think you’d love it!! xx

    Reply
  6. Brittany

    LOVED THIS POST. I am definitely IN my business more so than I am ON my business and in fact I wrote a post similar to this on the train this morning, (coincidence?) but I use every ounce of my time just like an OCD freak would – I write my blog posts on my morning commute, Snapchat my “blog tip of the day” on my walk to or from the office and when that’s done, I’m thinking, strategizing and growing. But I’m also doing those mundane tasks that could be delegated to a VA like checking email, doing social media, editing, etc.

    What I struggle with or am trying to get better at is investing more money in my business instead of on things. I can’t wait to be in a place where I can just send my videos and pictures off for someone else to edit. Ugh, have to keep reminding myself it’s a marathon not a sprint. Thanks for sharing love. You’re the best.

    xx Brittany from notanotherblonde.com

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      It can be so hard, especially when you’re starting! But exactly. Success doesn’t happen overnight you just need to keep chipping away at it. Thanks for the support Brittany and keep hustling!! xx

  7. Tara creel

    My struggle is just trying to create AND be effectively productive trying to build a business with a family. I don’t let it be an excuse but I’d be lying if I said Ive never thought it would be easier without family responsibilities haha

    Reply
  8. Cassie Nugent

    Hi Lauren! I love website. You are super inspiring and give so much advice about getting out there and getting after it! I fully believe that too. I work full time as a teacher, but I have also recently started a blog. I love writing and honestly feel like my fiancé and I live a fun, interesting life (we both hunt together). If you or anyone wants to check it out it’s thehuntbundle.wordpress.com . We’d also love ANY feedback!

    Reply
  9. ColbyMarieZ

    YES, girl! So spot on. I appreciate you giving me some language around the concept. I sometimes find it hard to articulate to other peeps and sometimes feel the need to “justify” how I spend my time to others who don’t work for themselves or aren’t in a creative business. Others might find it “lazy” or “unproductive” that I go to yoga or chat with folks at a cowering space or grab drinks with a colleague but those are ALL things I do to spark my creative, strategic juices! ALWAYS WORKING :)

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      SO true! There’s so much that people don’t see or know about. Appreciate the support Colby! xx

  10. Jessie Miller

    This article could not have come at a better time. You inspired me to start the tedious process of training my assistant to write contracts and purchase orders – scary! But it’s my least favorite and most time consuming part of my business. Wish us luck!

    Reply
  11. kelsey

    I’m so glad you brought this up! Working full-time and maintaining a side hustle can be SO demanding…it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of handling it all. Being able to delegate whilst still remaining in full control is uber important & I love your POV on this.

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      I used to get lost in the chaos of it all the time. Still working on it LOL. Thanks so much for reading Kelsey! xx

  12. Star

    Ugg so hard to do! I really needed this post. I would love to hear tips on how you find good help that you can trust to handle the tasks that you delegate to them. I run an internet retailer and seriously have the hardest time finding good help. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      That is definitely hard. I think it’s important to take your time to find the right person. Start them off small and slowly build up their responsibilities. xx

  13. Liz Stephenson

    I love these posts! So informative, and force me to get my ass in gear.
    Also reassuring, because half the time when I’m working on my brand I doubt that it’s a “real job”. Love the TSC community and finding like minded individuals <3

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Aw this makes me so happy. You babes make this community what it is! Thanks for all of the support Liz <3 xx

  14. Annie

    YES – SO MUCH YES! I feel like as your brand is evolving, I am totally with you in my own way. I started my own business earlier this year and have SLOWLY been starting to delegate to others. This past week I found myself feeling frustrated that I was on so many conference calls.. I felt very unaccomplished, so today I spend the better half of the afternoon finalizing my strategy and the steps I need to take to get there. So on the same wavelength. Love that quote by MZ and love you for writing this! xo Annie

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Congrats Annie on building your own business! I feel you especially with long conference calls. People need to get to the point! xx

  15. Jordan @ The Balanced Blonde

    SO obsessed with this!!!! Could not agree more with everything you said… and that Mark Zuckerberg quote is life. I think I need to hang it over my bed for real. LOVE. <3 Oh and I need to delegate more… my biggest challenge!!

    Reply
    1. Marissa

      Thank you so much for this post. I own a small lighting design business and am looking to grow. However, I feel stuck and don;t know how to make it to the next stage. I think hiring an employee would help but it is hard to take that initial risk of offering someone a full-time salary ($60K?!0 and still fed yourself. The breakdown of working on vs. in my business just may be the tips I need. Any other ideas about this topic (how to move you bisques from solo owner to staff) would be amazing!

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  20. Rachel Walker

    This is exactly what I needed to read at this exact moment! I feel like even though I know what steps to take and what I need to delegate, I’m still hesitant because I’m afraid its not going to work out. How do you get over that fear of delegation? Just do it? I’m going to time-block and see how that helps. Just a good hour of complete micromanagement and then LET IT GO. Ok, end rant! Lauryn, you rock!

    Reply
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