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Tag: Time

How much time do you spend on the Bridge of your business? and how much time in the engine room

What Does It Mean to Work ON Your Business, Not IN It, and Why Does It Matter?

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business. After all, there are endless tasks that need to be done, from managing employees to coordinating with vendors to ensuring that customer orders are fulfilled on time. However, if you want your business to truly thrive and grow, it’s important to shift your focus from working IN your business to working ON your business.

What does it mean to work ON your business? Essentially, it means focusing your time and attention on the strategic initiatives and developments that will drive growth and success in the long run. This includes things like identifying new market opportunities, developing new products and services, and creating scalable systems and processes that can support growth.

On the other hand, working IN your business involves focusing on the day-to-day operations and activities that keep things running smoothly. This might include managing employees, handling customer inquiries, and ensuring that products are delivered on time and on budget.

Of course, both types of work are essential for a successful business. However, if you’re spending too much time working IN your business, you may find that you’re not able to devote enough time and energy to working ON your business. This can ultimately limit your ability to grow and scale your business over time.

So how do you make the shift from working IN your business to working ON your business? One approach is to conduct an ON vs IN audit, which involves creating a spreadsheet to track your time and attention across different business functions and activities.

For example, you might create columns for input functions, activities you perform, minimum time required per activity, frequency per month, and time allocation per month. This can help you to identify areas where you’re spending too much time on day-to-day operations and not enough time on strategic initiatives and growth-oriented activities.

What Does It Mean to Work ON Your Business, Not IN It, and Why Does It Matter?
What Does It Mean to Work ON Your Business, Not IN It, and Why Does It Matter?

Ideally, you should aim to spend at least 70% of your time working ON your business and at most 30% of your time working IN your business. This balance can help ensure that you’re dedicating enough time and energy to growth-oriented activities, while still ensuring that your day-to-day operations are running smoothly.

To make the shift from working IN to working ON your business, you may also need to focus on simplifying, systematizing, and delegating your business operations. This might involve streamlining your processes, automating routine tasks, and delegating responsibilities to trusted team members.

Ultimately, the key to working ON your business is to build a scalable platform for growth, then focus on driving growth through strategic initiatives and developments. By taking the time to step back from day-to-day operations and focus on the big picture, you can position your business for long-term success and create a lasting legacy for yourself and your team.

invest your time

How you spend your time forecasts your future

To soothsay your future, look at how and where you spend your time today.

Listen to Pavlo Phitidis discuss the impact that the way we spend our time has on the future of our business in this podcast from The Money Show:



We have a choice on how we spend our time. Maybe the best way to highlight this is to use an athlete.

Think of a Mixed Martial Arts, tennis or football pro. They know that their peak income generating lifecycle is around 10 years. Smart athletes ensure that they spend their time maximising their earnings over that period. They focus all their time on maximising their performance during gameplay. They adjust their lifestyles to maximise that time and spend none on anything that they can outsource or have offered to them at a level of expertise greater than theirs. So, they hire a nutritionist and a cook to maximise their fuel intake to perform at peak. Without their help, they’d spend time understanding nutrition, shopping for food and preparing meals. Over 10 years this might well consume 16,400 to 17,300 hours. Time that could be spent improving gameplay, performance, and earnings.

This week, we had a session with a business owner growing fast. It was so refreshing to hear his concerns about how he spends his time to ensure the best application of it to maintain his growth rates. A brief analysis suggested that there were better options, most of which he was not even aware of.

All businesses traverse a development lifecycle. How you spend your time over that lifecycle matters and it must change.

  1. In start-up – spend it chasing deals and cash flow

  2. In early stage – confirming your vision and identity

  3. In build stage – creating a system of delivery

  4. In empowering stage – securing a team

  5. This gets you to a place where you can enjoy organic growth. Changing from doing to leading is now imperative.

  6. In grow stage – finding that next level

  7. In value stage – migrating your business to exit

The problem we all face is that habits develop, conventions entrench and perspective wanes. An inability to see the wood for the trees compounded by not recognising that time runs out carries a regrettable cost that can never be recovered.

covid zombie

What’s holding back business? Covid Zombies, supply chain disruption & engine room entrepreneurship

Pavlo Phitidis identified 4 issue plaguing business owners and spoke to The Money Show about what to do about them. Listen to the podcast or read on

Rail to Road

On a recent journey along South Africa’s roads, particularly in the Eastern Cape, between Craddock and Port Elizabeth, Pavlo was struck by the incredible number of trucks trundling along, many transporting manganese, from north of Kimberly!

The roads are being destroyed, as they lie parallel to a railway line that is almost entirely empty.


Broken Supply Chains

Commodoties are booming right now, mining is booming, and the extensive net of industrial service businesses that supply and support these mines are struggling – to find steel, a key raw material to support mining activity.

Pavlo spoke of a large fencing business owner who he spoke to, who was desperately trying to find steel, to preserve his business.

This business owner had a strong sales team visiting customers, leaving them with R80 – 90million of business that they couldn’t service! And he was terrified that his clients would find someone else who could find steel somehow.

Pavlo’s advise to him was to put the customer at the centre of the decision. This business owner insisted that he needed the raw material to manufacture the fencing in South Africa, because to import the completed fencing material eroded all his profit on the deal.

Pavlo’s point is that at times like these, when you risk losing customers, and demand for you service could dry up, rather take the hit and do whatever it takes to fulfil the promise that you made to your customers.

When steel does become available again, at least you will have a customer base to work with, to build up your profits again.

Rather make no profits for the next 6 months, and hold on to your customers. It will also keep your sales team busy and motivated.


COVID Zombies

In the first 6 months of lockdown, staff went home and all of a sudden found themselves incompetent.

They had moved out of a workplace environment where staff would interact with their colleagues, bouncing ideas and problem solving together. When they were out of their context, they couldn’t do it.

For managers it showed up that they had been measuring performance on activity – being on site, attending meetings etc, rather than output.

Many companies needed to digitize their HR – communications and productivity software, which created great apprehension among many staff who weren’t sure whether they were being spied on, or micro-managed, or misunderstood why they were being monitored in a new way.


Engine Room Entrepreneurship

The shock of the lockdown brought leadership from the ‘bridge’ down to the ‘engine room’ where they were back into day-to-day matters, putting out fires and managing their apprehensive staff far more directly.

The crisis here is that new opportunities – and there are many that have come with the changes that Covid brought – are hard to see from below the decks.