What is the Difference?
Working In = Short term projects, regular work processes and day to day operations
Spending all your time here can turn you into a full-time employee. While this is necessary in the start-up phase, in order to be most effective in growing your business you need to transition out of these functions to a leadership role.
Working On = Long term planning, overall strategic planning, growth and value initiatives
You are now overseeing the business, hiring staff, creating new products/services, and building a business that can run without you in the day to day operations.
Ray Silverstein on Entrepreneur.com calls it “doing” (working in) vs. “leading” (working on).
Both are very important. You need to know what is going on in your business in case a key person quits (as mentioned in this Success.com article). Not so much that you can then take their role on, but so you can hire appropriately with a proper job description and deliverables.
The goal of a leader is to create a business that runs without you. The employees are motivated and know how to complete their tasks. Your managers have clear directions, goals, and targets to reach. This leaves you to grow the business in new ways, whether that is implementing new strategies, services, products, or helping your team run at higher efficiency.
Manager of Sales & Marketing
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
- Build a Business, Not a Job: Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back by David Finkel & Stephanie Harkness
- Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back by Jeff Hoffman & David Finkel