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Business Owners: No time to work on your business?
Here's a solution you haven't heard before

by Kendall SummerHawk

It isn't lack of opportunity that keeps business owners from greater profits; it's lack of time. Overwhelmed with the day-to- day details of running a business and delivering a service, most business owners end up spending little time doing what they do best. The result is not only lost opportunities, but a growing sense of frustration.

The solution isn't to add more hours to your workday, or more workdays to your week. In fact, working more can easily result in diminishing - not greater - return. It isn't another time management system either. The solution is turning your notion of how you spend your time on its' ear. The solution is in understanding and accepting what your role in your business really is.

The Chief Cook and Bottle Washer trap 

For example: if you're juggling marketing, service deliver, support, administration, then you're assigning yourself the role of "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer." You're working in your business, not on it. It's unlikely you're using your unique talent and your business, not to mention your peace of mind, is suffering because of it.

Let's take a quick look at a very different way of perceiving time and your role in your business. As a business owner, at any moment of any day, you are spending time in one of these four areas:

Free Time 

This is your chance to rejuvenate. Free time is spent on anything but work. It doesn't matter whether you're watching a ball game, playing in the park with your kids, volunteering, or just gazing out the window, free time is purely restive, enjoyable, and rejuvenating. Working on weekends or taking few free days robs you of valuable time needed to renew and recharge.

Creative or Thinking Time 

This is where innovation occurs. New ideas pop into your head as if by magic. This is time spent on creating new programs, designing new products, or innovating how you do what you do. Creative time is working on your business, not in it. The renewing effect of free time generates your ability to be creative and think about your business. Sadly, most business owners spend precious little time creating or thinking about their business.

Getting Results 

This is where your service or product delivery takes place. It may be coaching, consulting, selling - whatever it is that your business provides. It can also include marketing, networking, and speaking. Creative or thinking time generates your ability to get results. Getting results means working in your business, not on it. Most business owners find themselves spending the lion share of their workweek getting results. On the surface this makes sense. However, it's really a trap. Get caught in it and at best, you'll have a practice but never a real, thriving business.


This is the mechanics of running your business. Activities like billing, bookkeeping, posting articles, etc. Getting results generates administrative tasks that have to be performed. Once again, most business owners find themselves overwhelmed and stifled trying to keep up with the administrative duties of their business. Administrative tasks are definitely working in your business, not on it. Administrative tasks, properly taken care of, generate the ability to have quality free time, starting the cycle over again.

You Thrive When You Use Your Unique Talent

 Where do you spend most of your time? What area is getting shortchanged as a result? Imagine spending 80% of your time using your unique talent. What you would accomplish would probably astound you!

Here's a coaching request: rate how much time you spend in each of the four areas. Use zero for no time at all, five for some, and ten for a lot. Now fast forward and think about the end of the year. You're celebrating with your loved ones and toasting your success. How much time are you spending in each area then? Write down those numbers next to each time area. The difference is where you have the opportunity to redefine your role in your business and create extraordinary outcomes.

Now it's your turn!

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Kendall SummerHawk 2004 All Rights Reserved.

Are you running your business or is it running you? Kendall SummerHawk, Certified Business Coach, author, speaker Create a champion business and ride into the winner's circle! Innovative "Horse Wise" business makeover coaching program, Marketing Makeover Kit, Website Wisdom package. For FREE business makeover articles, tips, and Weekly Marketing Wisdom ezine, go to

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