5 Reasons to Invest 5 Hours/Week On Your Business

Hard work is admirable and necessary, certainly. But all too often business owners only work hard and rarely work smart. This results in growing your muscles but not growing your business.

To work smart, you’ve got to work ON your business, not just IN it. This short video illustrates the top five reasons why. Watch, get pumped, then pump up your business!

Click to tweet this: 5 hours a week working ON your business for 5 years can earn you 5 decades of freedom.

Think of it like investing time to make time. That’s how you really grow your business.

Spending more time ON improving performance and reducing emergencies means you spend less time battling blazes IN your business.

And that extra, compounded time only adds up down the line…so much so that you can really focus on your harvests, or even spend more time with your loved ones.

So, to those of you one-step ahead of me, I ask, why do you invest time working ON (versus IN) your business? Inspire your fellow entrepreneurs by joining the conversation below!

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26 Archived Responses to “5 Reasons to Invest 5 Hours/Week On Your Business”

  1. Dean says:

    When do you find most people have the best success setting aside these five hours? Is it one hour a day? Or all five hours at once? Is it better in the morning? Or in the afternoon? I realize a lot of that depends on the person and their schedule, but I was curious to know if as you were working with businesses you noticed a trend. Thanks!!

    • Dave Crenshaw says:

      Great question, Dean.

      Yes, the answer is: whatever works best for you and your business.

      You have a unique rhythm of operating, personally speaking. Also, your business has an ebb and flow to how busy it is at certain times of the day and certain days of the week. Here’s an oldie-but-goodie video on the subject: http://davecrenshaw.com/too-busy-improve-your-productivity-rhythm/

      I would schedule work ON your business time at times when you, personally, are at peak productivity, but when your business is at it’s lowest level of neediness. For many entrepreneurs, this combination occurs first thing in the morning.

      Personally I work best in big chunks of time, so I try to schedule at least 3 hour increments to work ON my business. Others work better with an hour here and there, though.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Dave, if I recall correctly, you already have video about how to work on your business.
    But I cannot quickly find it…

    • Dave Crenshaw says:

      Hi Dennis. Could you clarify? Are you complaining about repetition, or are you asking for help in finding a previous video?

      • Repetition of key points helps, so no complaining here.

        It would help if in the video that motivates to start working your your business you add a link to the video explaining how to actually start working on your business.

        • Dave Crenshaw says:

          Ah, got it. Thanks for pointing that out. Mostly I focus on “how”, so I guess I didn’t feel the need with this rare “why” video. 🙂

          I go in depth on the “how” in my Small Business Secrets course on lynda.com: http://bit.ly/CrenshawBiz Every single video in this course show how to work ON your business, not IN it.

          Also, my book The Focused Business is all about the how: http://bit.ly/FocusB

  3. @Dean
    I usually work on a business whenever it feels right.
    I do not even put strong distinction between work in a business and working on a business.
    They are just different tasks with different priorities.
    Sometimes “in a business” task is more important, sometimes “on a business” task is more important.

    Is separating “on a business” and “in a business” tasks into distinct groups have some specific advantage?

    • Dave Crenshaw says:

      Dennis, making a distinction has a huge advantage. Only working ON the business gives you the five benefits I mentioned in the video. Working IN the business does none of those things.

      Working IN=having a job=behaving like an employee
      Working ON=building a business=behaving like a true entrepreneur

      Yet what most small business owners do is simply have a job. Because they get so buried in the moment-to-moment, they build no long-term equity in the business. They stay perpetually in hand-to-mouth mode.

      By drawing the dividing line, business owners become more aware of how they are using their time and start making more of an effort to build a business rather than make a monthly paycheck.

      Here’s some food for thought: the top entrepreneurs in the world, the ones who build the most businesses and make the most money (think the Shark Tank people) rarely if ever, work in a business. They recognize that their Most Valuable Position (MVP) is not to be an employee, but a visionary.

      It’s the difference between writing programming code (IN), and creating a vision, hiring programmers, and building systems for them to follow (ON). One path leads to self-employment, the other path leads to building an sell-able asset.

      Also see Chapter 4 “You vs Jack-of-All-Trades” in my book, The Focused Business: http://bit.ly/FocusB

      • Dave,

        When Steve Jobs gave iPhone presentation himself – was it work “in the business” or “on the business”?

        • Dave Crenshaw says:

          Interesting question. I could see justification either way. Don’t get to hung up on that example, though. It falls into the category of big business lessons that don’t necessarily apply to small business. No one here owns a company the size of Apple. 😉

          The better question is, when a small business owner makes a sales presentation to a prospective customer, something they often do, are they ON or IN? And the answer is: IN.

          If the business owner works on creating a sales presentation system that can be duplicated by others, then the answer is: ON. Or the business owner reviews the sales close rates and works to improve the process so sales close rates improves=ON. Or the business owner records the sales presentation to be used for training=ON.

          ON time is about the SAM Cycle….it’s about building Systems, Accountability and Motivation for your business: http://davecrenshaw.com/small-business/

      • Thanks. That video is a good starting point.

  4. Hi Dave

    Thanks for this video. How do u recommend this 5hr be taken, all on 1 day? or 1hr Mon-Fri? What are the things u think an own should b looking @ during this 5hrs?

    • Dave Crenshaw says:

      Hi Croft!

      Sorry for the painfully slow reply. For some reason this comment got flagged as spam! 🙁

      Please see my reply to Dean (above) and my response to Andrew (below). I believe those answer your questions.

  5. Andrew says:

    Hi Dave, thanks for the video.

    I would love to see a video on the structure one should take during the hourly/five hourly process. I think people, including myself, could have great intentions to work on and improve their business but they waste huge amounts of time as they don’t have a focused approach to addressing it or know how to address it properly.

    Thanks Andrew

    • Dave Crenshaw says:

      Good suggestion, Andrew. Coupled with the question from Dennis, apparently I assumed too much in thinking that entrepreneurs would know what to do with that time. I might make a video that explores the subject. I think, though, I can sum it up this way:


      My coaching clients know exactly what to do with that time, because we’re having in-depth discussions about improving their business, and they’re using that time to complete assignments.

      But, since I limit my coaching to 15 businesses, what about everyone else? The answer is: DO the assignments I give you in my Small Business Secrets course on lynda.com: http://bit.ly/CrenshawBiz

      Often people skim videos but they don’t actually do anything about them. So, a great place to start is to not try to watch all the videos in that course, but instead watch one, maybe two, then stop and TAKE ACTION on what you’ve heard and seen. If I gave a worksheet, complete the worksheet. If I teach you how to write a system, then write a system, or two, or three…

      The repeat that process next week.

      Alternatively, you can use that time to take action on things you’ve learned from a book you’ve read, or a conference you’ve attended, or a video you recently watched. After you’ve listened, implement.

      The shorter the distance between you learning something and taking action on it, the more successful you’ll become.

      I’ve got a note down to consider making a video about this concept in the future. Hopefully my answer helps in the meantime!

  6. I have found that setting this time uninterruptable time aside each wee- it has been a great example to my staff of what my ROLE in the company truly is!
    Thanks Dave!

  7. Tina Hanse says:

    Quick question…what is the best way to START the organizational process…I have created an amazing company…but it truly is running me…17 employees and 2 locations…hmmmm slow down or push harder??? I need to find the “pause” button on my company to “re-group”.

    • Dave Crenshaw says:

      Tina, sorry for this delayed reply. Our system flagged your message as spam. We’re working on stopping that.

      So, to answer your question, if your business is that size, and you’re still needed help with organization, then my answer would be to work with a trusted business coach. If you ARE working with a business coach and are still asking that question, then look for a new business coach. Seriously. 🙂

      If you haven’t completed it yet, do the Chaos Assessment at http://chaosquiz.com. If you did that assessment, and we’re a fit to work with each other, then you and I should meet. My assistant would have reached out to you to set up an appointment in that case.

      Your business should not be running you. it should be moving toward to the point of mastery. As I explain in my book The Focused Business, a business in mastery is both 1) Predictable and b) Automatic.

  8. Dean says:

    I was getting caught up reading through the questions and answers here this morning wondering where to start and what to do as I did. Then I came to your last post Dave (posted Nov 7th at 10:26) and it was perfect. That is some great info and a great place to start. Thanks for all the info. Great conversation here!

  9. Dean says:

    I followed your link and was going to buy your book. Then I looked at all your books… Do you have a suggested order to read them in? Does one go before another to be the most helpful? Thanks.