Working on the Business
In sports, we hear how valuable a time-out is. It’s that time when coaches and players are given a moment to regroup and come up with a plan for the next phase in the game. We've seen teams win and lose based on what they decide during a time-out. It makes you wonder how many more games a team like the New England Patriots might win in a season if they were given more time-outs.
A wise leader once shared with me… “Working ON the business is just as important as working IN the business.” The concept was to make sure that you carve out time to work on your plan for whatever the business is that you're focused on.
“Working on the business” is like scheduling a half-time or a time-out. It’s a time for you to escape the grind of whatever the work is that you’re doing on a daily basis. It’s a time to pause, think and focus your energy on where you are now, where you want to go and how you might best execute your game plan to get there.
Call a Time-Out
Today, we live in a world where information flows and our lives are impacted at a far greater pace than at any point in the history of the world. We move and make decisions at a pace unlike anything this world has ever experienced before.
As a result, we can find ourselves working IN the business of our lives for long stretches of time.
Vacations are nice. They allow us time to escape the daily routine and to rejuvenate.
Weekends are nice. They allow us time to rest, explore and catch-up.
Carving out specific time to work on yourself is priceless.
“Working on the business” is about giving yourself the time you need to give critical thought to your vision, goals and next steps. It’s a time to look at the obstacles in your way and the fears you’ll need to manage going forward. It’s also a time to look around and see who might be able to help.
Taking a time-out to intentionally work ON the game you are playing (regardless of the game) can make all the difference in regard to how you continue to play your game going forward.
We’re all playing the same game
We’re all born at zero and we might live to be 10, 20, 40, 60, 80 or maybe even 100. Nobody knows for sure.
We’re all playing the game of life and it will throw us surprises, obstacles and opportunities continuously. No two of us are the same and we're not all going to play the game the same way. However, if we're playing the game in a reactive mode, we will miss the subtle opportunities right in front of us as they speed by.
When we pause and start to give critical thought to who we are, where we are, where we want to go, and how we might get there, we're working ON our business. We're positioning ourselves to be the leader in our life and positioning ourselves to play the game of life proactively. As a result, we're able to recognize opportunities when they present themselves.
What’s Your Game Plan?
Could you imagine if Tom Brady entered a game without a plan? Could you imagine if a pilot started up the jet without a plan? Could you imagine building a house without a plan or… climbing a rock cliff without a plan?
Regardless of how each of us defines success for ourselves, we all need a plan. We’re all individually responsible for playing our own game of life.
If your game plan is to be a creative artist and color outside of the borders, create a plan to be the best creative artist that you can be. If your game plan is to be a NFL quarterback, create a plan to be the best that you can be. If your game plan is to be a chef, create a plan to be the best chef that you can be.
Creating a plan for yourself is essential to creating your world.
It’s true, finding uninterupted time for critical thinking and planning can be a challenge.
When you choose to be the leader in your life, you will find the time.
When you do find the time, start with asking yourself:
- Who am I right now?
- Where am I right now?
- Where do I want to go?
- How might I get there?
Need help taking action?
Pick up a copy of this book and enjoy the exercises.