As a professional the demands on your time and attention are intense. Unfortunately, the commitments you make to yourself likely get put aside more often than you intend.
Of course, it is your level of commitments to others, your willingness to go above and beyond, and drive to deliver with excellence that sets you apart.
Yet are you investing the time, energy, and mind-share in your own growth and development that will take your performance to the next level?
In the E-Myth Michael Gerber offers a potent distinction whether you are an entrepreneur or a professional working for someone else. He explains the difference between working “IN” your business vs. working “ON” your business.
When you work “IN” your business you are focused on delivering on your promises to your clients. You are the expert doing what you do best.
When you work “ON” your business you are focused on learning and inventing the way to realize a vision. That vision could be about reaching a higher level of performance for your business, with your team or in your career or profession.
Anyone who has achieved a high level of competence will naturally want to leverage what they know and already know how to do well. Yet the next level of performance requires that you step beyond what you know and do best now. It requires that you explore what you don’t yet know and perhaps haven’t even considered that you might need to learn.
“The people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know, but rather because of their insatiable need to know more.” Michael Gerber, The E-Myth Revisted
Here are 3 simple steps you can take to ensure you make the investment to work ON you and/or your business:
1. Write Down What the Next Level is for You/Your Team/Your Business
A bold possibility for your future is the fuel. Clarity is the spark that will move you into strategic action. This is why it is so important to write down in simple, clear terms what the next level of performance looks like and why it matters.
2. Put Time In Your Calendar Weekly to Work ON You/Your Business
Start with 1-2 hours per week and do whatever you need to do to keep that time sacred. You must treat you and your time set aside to work ON you or your business as though you are your most important customer and it is the most important thing you need to be doing. This is perhaps akin to the message from the flight attendants to “put your own mask on first”. The reality, however, is that holding that time sacred can be hard to do which leads to step 3.
3. Enroll Others to Participate With You
Consider enrolling team members or a mentor, or perhaps even hiring a coach.
Without the engagement of others with you, it is likely that the time set aside on your calendar to work ON you or your business will become readily available time to conduct business as usual.
The key is to make a commitment to someone and schedule time on their calendars out into the future (at least 3 months). Do this and you will be less likely to allow this time to be usurped by the inevitable call of the need to do work IN your business. In other words, committing to others provides the support required for you to be accountable to you.
What are you ready to go to work ON to realize your next level of high performance?
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