March 17, 2022

The Hourly Systems Dilemma

As a business owner, you need to find time to work ON your business not IN your business if you want to meaningfully increase your income over time.

But what exactly does this old adage mean?

Let’s break it down:

Working IN your business

For folks like us, working IN your business mostly means doing client work.

Stuff like:

In other words, undertaking activities on behalf of your clients (aka “service delivery”).

Working IN the business also includes all of the administrative tasks you need to do to keep your business running, like:

Working ON your business

Working ON your business means creating systems that allow you to get better results with less effort.

When people talk about “creating leverage”, this is what they mean.

Leverage allows you to spend less time working IN your business, without sacrificing profits.

Here’s the thing...

If you bill by the hour, you might be scratching your head right now.

Sure, creating systems to handle your administrative tasks probably sounds like a good idea...

Outsourcing your bookkeeping, automating your sales funnels, using scheduling software for booking sales calls, and so forth might cost a little bit of money or effort to set up, but the time you get back in the long run is worth much more.

On the other hand, creating systems to handle your service delivery does not compute because if you deliver faster you make less money.

Why invest the time and money to create systems that would allow you to do your client work faster when doing so would decrease your income?

This is why Step 1 to working ON your business is to get off the hourly treadmill.

Until you do, it makes no sense to create systems for delivering client work faster and better.

And delivering client work is probably how you spend most of your time.