My recent trip to the Redwoods was part of the best vacation I’ve ever had. There’s something about big, ancient trees that inspire awe like nothing else. In one of California’s state parks, you can walk, drive through, or camp in the Redwoods. The average age of the Redwoods there is about 500 years old, but we saw trees that had to be over 2000 years old. Isn’t that amazing?! The attached picture is of one such tree with my husband and I in the foreground for scale. It was about 20 feet wide and we couldn’t really see the top. The Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. It was a spiritual experience walking among them for two days.
Last blog post we talked about working on your business versus working in your business. This post I want to talk to you about not working on your business at all. That’s right, I want to address “time off.”
The one thing we are thrilled to have as a benefit of being an entrepreneur is having flexibility. We can take a vacation whenever we want. We can have lunch with a friend and not worry about the time. We can stop in the middle of a workday to do something fun. Flexibility is a precious part of being your own boss and it’s what everyone who wishes they were self-employed craves.
But having flexibility can also get you in trouble as an entrepreneur. You may not commit to something because you want to be flexible. You may use your flexibility to procrastinate doing business activities you don’t enjoy doing. You may use it unconsciously to self-sabotage.
What’s the solution? How can you walk that fine line of being flexible and being responsible and accountable?
Up until recently, I wasn’t clear on the difference between “working on” my business and “working in” my business. Nor did I understand why that was important, especially for service-based businesses. Knowing what is small business also helped. It’s important to know so you can plan your daily business activities more effectively.
During your business day you need to spend time working ON your business as well as IN your business. Let me explain.
Working ON your business is doing the activities that bring in clients. You have to allot a certain amount of time for marketing and promoting activities. You could even get a company like NGP Integrated Marketing Communications to help you do this. They might include making phone calls, writing a blog or article, preparing your newsletter, sending out emails, attending networking events, content creation, and ongoing training—anything that supports the growth of your business.