In his book, E-Myth, author Michael Gerber warns that most entrepreneurs get caught up in working in the business, rather than working on the business.
There’s nothing wrong with working the 40-80 hours per week – so long as you’re working on building marketing channels, hiring and developing and mentoring your team, innovating and coming up with new products or services, or seeking additional working capital to grow. All of these activities qualify as working on your business.
But the sad reality is that most business owners work in their businesses and become a cog in the wheel, basically creating their own self-made prison.
Hopefully you became a business owner because you valued freedom. If you’re the company’s top salesperson, or the only one capable of fixing this or that, then in those moments you’re no longer an entrepreneur/business owner working on the business as an independent object. You’ve become a technician or a manager working in the business.
As you prepare to sell your business, you’ll want to be sure that you’re building the business, working on the business, and not just in it. Sure there will be times when you need to roll up your sleeves, set an example, and scrub the toilets. But the systems and the people working within those systems, need to be built and developed by you.