I hear small business owners ask all the time, “How do I get to the point where I can work more on my business, and not in the business?” It will be a struggle, but I’ll show you how to stop working in your business.
Small Consistent Changes
I think the first thing to note is what we’re talking about here is not a flip of the switch. It’s more like turning a dial. It’s a process to make the changes necessary to keep your business running without you doing all the daily tasks that have kept you busy for so many years.
No matter where you’re at, the goal is to figure out how to free up more of your time so you can work more on the business. But like I said, do it in increments so you can get started right away. Don’t wait until you somehow have magically been able to replace yourself from all the day-to-day working in the business stuff. Focus on a little bit at a time, step by step, right?
Free Up More Time
Now that being said, there’s not a wrong or right answer here. It really does depend on your situation. Let me give you two examples.
In the E-Myth Revisited, for example, which I think is a great book, it highlights the importance of systems. The focus is to create a system where someone else can duplicate your process without making mistakes so that you’re delivering the same type of product or service, and it’s repeatable.
On the other hand, you have companies like Netflix, who have what they call a freedom and responsibility culture. That’s where a company has really talented team members, gives them freedom to do their job and lets them own the responsibility and consequences. Now, if you’re not a good team member, you will be let go very quickly in that type of environment. So, while some may feel it’s supportive, there’s also an element of a cutthroat mentality there.
Whether it’s systems or giving people autonomy and freedom, ultimately the goal in both those examples, is the result of the owner having freed up more time because somebody else, or some A.I., some software, something else, or somebody else, is doing something they were doing.
That’s the goal, so now instead of doing that thing, you freed up that time, which you should use to work on your business. Working on important things a business owner should be focused on, like strategizing and improving processes and systems.
Use Your Time Wisely
When you free up more time, you have to make sure you’re using that freed up time to work on your business and not just take a vacation. Look, I’m a big proponent of not stressing ourselves out. The hustle and grind mentality, I don’t love it. But there’s a time and place for breaks and vacation. And when your business needs more attention, it’s not that time.
Leverage Your Profits
Now, the best way to free up more time for yourself is to make sure you have profitability.
If you’re wanting software that you currently don’t have to do something you need, that costs money. If you need to hire someone, whether a full-time person, part-time, outsourced, that is going to cost money.
You’re now leveraging your money to free up your time, which is what businesses do. But in order to do that, you have to have the cash available to leverage.
The best way to have more cash available to leverage is through profitability. We love the Profit First methodology. You pay attention to revenue coming in, but also give equal focus to expenses to make sure every expense is necessary. Ask yourself if the expense is productive, is it helping you retain clients or add on new clients? Then get rid of all the other expenses that you don’t need.
In a nutshell, that’s how to stop working in your business. Make small, consistent changes and leverage your cash to free up more of your time to spend working on your business, not in it.
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