Are You Working ON Your Business or IN Your Business?

What's in the bag? Business of Software 2010

What’s in the bag? Business of Software 2010 (Photo credit: betsyweber)

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. 

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. These activities will differ depending on what type of business you have. Working on your business is integral to the success of your company in the industry that you’re in. You have to allot a certain amount of time for marketing and promoting activities.  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.

You should be scheduling at least one or two days a week for these kinds of activities, and when you’re just starting out this is where you will spend most of your time. This is the time to plan your week/month/year, meet with your team, and do your energy management activities, such as journaling, brainstorming, writing out intentions, goals, ideas, or shifting your mood/beliefs, etc.

Working IN your business involves the time you spend actually delivering your service, such as client appointments, enrollment conversations, webinars, teleclasses, workshops, or group programs. This is the time to be doing customer care, having conversation with potential clients, following-up with potential clients, or conducting Mastermind meetings.

If your business is a product, working IN your business would be the time involved in making the product, such as baking the bread, crafting the jewelry, performing the art, painting the painting, or creating the website.

The time you spend working ON your business is to fill up the time working IN your business. This is important to know because you need to schedule your time so you have time for BOTH.

Some coaches schedule their clients’ appointments whenever the client wants an appointment and then try to fit the marketing activities around client appointments. That’s not the best way to run your coaching business or to schedule your time.

Successful coaches block out their time for the marketing activities and time for the clients, classes, etc. separately. Then the clients can choose an appointment time that fits the coach’s schedule as well as their own. By using this method of scheduling, you put yourself in control of your time, rather than letting your clients control your time.

It’s also helpful to schedule chunks of time for the same activity. For example, creating a block of time, or a day for client appointments and another block or day for enrollment conversations, keeps your energy flowing and avoids having to shift gears.

When you are in control of your time, you are more efficient AND you can schedule the time necessary for marketing your business, which is the activity that will produce revenue. Successful coaches schedule that time first and foremost because their income depends on it. Marketing activities, or the things you do that bring in revenue, are the priorities in your workday.

Try using this way of scheduling your time and see if your business revenue increases while keeping you out of overwhelm and generating more peace and joy in your business.


  1. Like the postings

    • Teresa Monastero on March 29, 2017 at 1:15 PM
    • Reply

    This is great advice. I can really see how this would bring great results.

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