How To Work ON Your Business, Not Just IN It

Recently, a new advisor told me that people keep encouraging him to work on the business and not always just in the business, but he's got too much to do. There's really a never ending to-do list. And he told me, I don't have the time to spend working on my business and I don't even really know how to do it. I thought you might be feeling the same way, so in this post, I'm going to show you a simple exercise you can use to work on your business at the same time that you're working in it. Maybe that sounds impossible, but just stay with me.

We all know the importance of working on our business, but how can we find time when we're wearing all these different hats and already feel overwhelmed. This simple exercise is a great way to start the practice of working on your business without spending a lot of extra time. We'll also lay the foundation to free up more of your time in the future so that you can spend it doing the things that you love or enjoy.

So here's the exercise and there actually is a time investment––it's 30 seconds.

For one week only, set a reminder on your phone to ping you at the top of the hour. Set the reminder to read simply DND. And when that reminder goes off and you see DND, pull up the Notes app, a Word doc, or a piece of paper, and record what you just did for last hour. Some examples might be:

  • 60 minutes: meeting with a client
  • 30 minutes: sending emails to schedule meetings
  • 30 minutes: plugging in data to eMoney after talking to a prospect
  • 45 minutes: fixing up a NIGO on some forms for a new client
  • 60 minutes: lunch with a prospect

Or, you can be honest and say you spent 15 minutes watching some amazing Streamline My Practice YouTube videos.

When you’re finished writing them all down, either at that moment or at the end of the day, look at the list with the filter of, did I enjoy this activity? If it's a no, then put a DND or Do Not Do next to it. Then, separate all the DND tasks into one group, either on the same sheet or a different note.

If you're really ambitious, filter the list again at the end of the week and ask yourself, could someone else do this task? Was it a valuable task that really moved the needle in my business? The end result of doing this for a week is that you'll have a start to your Do Not Do list. This list is going to turn into a job description for either a new hire or an existing employee.

And you'll also have the list of things that you do enjoy that are the highest value activities that you can be spending your time on. Because when you think about it, would you rather spend your time on $10 per hour tasks or $10,000 per hour tasks?

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