Four Ideas to Work ON Your Business

This post is from The Coach’s Corner which is part of the February issue my monthly eMagazine, The Leading Edge, for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

As owners and leaders, we often can get sidetracked with seemingly urgent yet unimportant tasks in our businesses. We get hung up on the things that distract us from the important job of working ON our business. Urgent is not always important. We need to focus on important questions and making them urgent to further our business and career goals.

Last month you were asked 6 questions to help you get started on your most important resolution for 2016. The first question asked you to look ahead to the end of this year and figure out what is the most important thing that you want to achieve?

This, then, becomes the lens through which you focus your actions and strategies. It provides the impetus to spend time working ON your business or career, not just IN it.

Keep your important goal prominently displayed for you to see each and every day. Whether it is a one-page business plan incorporating actions and strategies to accomplish your goal, or a statement of your vision, it is important to keep it at the forefront of your mind in whatever way works best for you.
Make it a habit to write down your weekly intentions. What do you want to accomplish this week? How do those intentions fit into your grand scheme of things? How are they related to your goal? At the end of the week take time to reflect on them by asking what were the barriers to fulfilling your intentions? And how can you avoid those barriers next week?
Drill down some more by being intentional about everything you do in your day. When you are about to embark on a task -emails, phone calls, meetings, etc.-ask yourself how each contributes to your desired outcome. Does this need to be done? Can someone else take it on? Are you the person to do it? Consciously thinking about how an action, activity or proposal ties into your strategic goal helps you make decisions.

“We don’t do anything without an intention. Sometimes our intention is just to have some fun. But there definitely is some soul-searching done on every decision we make.” Sheri Salata, Co-president of the Oprah Winfrey Network in The Leadership Issue of Fast Company (January 2016).
Stop Micromanaging! Be clear on your expectations and ensure your employees or colleagues understand them. Have a check-in process in place and then let them do the work, let them take on the responsibility, and let them have ownership for their work. This really comes down to having them work IN the business while you focus ON the business.
The important thing is to get into the routine of working ON your business (or career) every day, or at least once or twice a week. Setting aside uninterrupted time demonstrates to your colleagues and your staff that this is a priority for you.