Working ON Vs IN Your Business

Alex Nottingham JD MBA discusses the critical difference between working “in” your business versus working “on” your business. The concept, coined by Michael Gerber, highlights that working “in” the business involves daily tasks and immediate issues, while working “on” the business focuses on strategic planning and long-term growth.

Resources:

About Alex Nottingham JD MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript

Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.

00:02

This is Dental All-Stars, where we bring you the best in dentistry on marketing, management, and training. Welcome to Dental All-Stars. I’m Alex Nottingham, founder and CEO of All-Star Dental Academy. We’re talking about working on your business versus in your business. And this concept was coined by Michael Gerber. And I mentioned before, I had the great pleasure of speaking on stage with Michael many years ago. A wonderful guy.

 

00:31

brilliant when it comes to systems, the father of systems and productive business capacities. Let’s differentiate the two. What is working in your business? What is working on your business? So working in your business is going to be day-to-day tasks. So this is your job. This is administrative roles that you’re doing or operating. And that’s day-to-day. This is issues that are important and urgent right now.

 

01:01

It could also be things that are urgent and not important, but it’s what is getting your attention now, day to day stuff. So some challenges when it comes to working in your business is going to be you’re stuck in meetings, you’re stuck in the minutia, you’re putting out fires, you have lots of meetings that are not productive, you have issues with delegation that are going on, and you don’t see the long term.

 

01:28

perspective, you have a limited long-term strategy. Now, when it comes to working on your business, this is where your focus is strategic planning and growth. Whereas working in your business is tactical, day-to-day, maybe quasi-operational, working on your business is strategic, long-term, big picture. And so here, your focus is on your vision, innovation, scalability. That’s…

 

01:57

working on your business. Examples, business development, marketing, planning, specifically strategic planning. This is working on your business. Now, the benefits of working on your business is you are building systems, you are building efficiencies, you have a way to expand more opportunities. And when you are working on the business, you are empowering other people, you are coaching, you are delegating.

 

02:26

that is working on your business. It’s important to find balance when it comes to working on versus in your business. Typically, most people are almost exclusively 100% in the business or 90% in the business, or maybe even if they’re lucky, 80% in the business, 20% on the business. My hope for you is eventually you build yourself where you’re 50-50 or even 20% in the business day to day and…

 

02:54

80% on the business working on improving for the future. It’s important that you get really good at time management. If you are going to move away from in the business and more on the business. So how do I, for example, go from in the business to on the business? So let me give you an example about how I went from more in the business to on the business. So it used to be, I would oversee the accounting and bookkeeping.

 

03:22

I would be editing podcasts, editing the website, and it’s fine. It’s relaxing at some point, but is this the best use of my time? I have to ask myself. I’m in the business. Now I’m almost exclusively on the business. And what is on the business for me as the CEO of All-State Dental Academy? Well, podcasts, doing these videos with you, educating, focusing on big ideas, visionary ideas to help grow and build the company.

 

03:50

We have a mastermind here as well at All-Star Dental Academy. So focusing on the mastermind and supporting mastermind clients, as well as for myself, working in a mastermind as a powerful tool for growth. Talking to clients and supporting clients is a good use of my time. I would say on the business because I don’t have to work with the clients, but I’m cultivating the relationship to support them. Speaking, motivating, praising my team, delegating.

 

04:20

All of that is working on the business for me. I talk about the five steps to an all-star practice or an all-star business, even if you’re not in dentistry. That’s a vision, team, training, coaching, mastermind. Those are all the important steps that have to be done. So I’m making sure that I am focusing on a vision on the business, delegating and empowering my team on the business, training myself and others on the business.

 

04:50

Coaching and being coached on the business, mastermind on the business, those are all on the business strategies that can be done. So how do we overcome the pitfalls to on the business versus in the business? Well, one is you can run into analysis paralysis. I’m sure you’ve heard that before where you plan too much versus taking action. You also may have the fear of delegation. Can you trust and empower your team? And hopefully you can. If you want to make sure, of course, you have the right team to do that.

 

05:19

But the goal is to move towards trust and empowerment. Burnout strategies. If you’re too much in the business, you will burn out. So it’s important to take care of yourself. That’s called self-care. Learn to say no. Learn to say no to certain commitments. Lack of clarity is another issue. I have goals. I have priorities. What are they? And make sure you’re very clear on what you’re doing and what allows and is worthy of your time.

 

05:48

Cultivate a growth mindset, embrace challenges and opportunities for growth and learning. And when something bad happens, you can be a fire lighter versus a firefighter. And a fire lighter, my VP of operations was sharing this with me, she was coaching me on this. She said, Alex, are you going to be a fire lighter or firefighter? That means when something bad happens, are you going to fix it, firefighter, or calm it down, or are you going to be a fire lighter, make it worse?

 

06:17

Your choice. Seeking continuous feedback is another growth strategy. And can I, which is continuous and never ending improvement, that’s a term that Tony Robbins coined, if we want to be doing that, we want to be flexible and adaptable with change, embrace change, overcome and say no to the status quo. We want a culture of innovation and creativity from ourselves and our team. So as you can see, it’s important to balance in

 

06:47

your business. Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, talked about this matrix of time management, which is you want to focus on what’s important and not urgent. To me, that is on your business time. Your vision and empowering your team, those five steps to an all-star business, and be prepared for setbacks and barriers are going to happen with your team, with yourself, and those around you. And clarity. Don’t lose sight of your business.

 

07:17

of your vision of the big picture.

 

07:32

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Dental All-Stars. Visit us online at allstardentalacademy.com

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