Work on Your Business, Not in Your Business

The title of this article is a million-dollar mantra, if you want to take your business to the next level. Most of us get caught up in doing it ourselves. DIY does not work as well in business as it works in assembling furniture.

One of the primary reasons for doing things ourselves is saving money. Another reason is that we feel we can do it much faster and better than anyone else on the team. But understand: this is not helpful to your business. As an entrepreneur, you are supposed to captain the ship and steer it to new heights. If you start to work on the execution bit yourself, there will be no one to navigate it in the right direction, and it will be doomed to the whims of fate. As a business owner, if you are signing off for anything except marketing and innovation, then there is a problem.

Below is what you should be solely focussed on.


The primary job of a leader is to build more leaders who can take over crucial jobs. The company should be formed in such a way that it doesn’t need you. It should continue executing and growing even if you are gone for a month.

Also, you are not perfect at everything. So if you have a team of leaders who can compliment your weaknesses, you can get much more done. Great leaders do great things. Lay your trust in them and step out of their way. You’ll be amazed at the results.


There are only two key elements to any business: acquiring customers and acquiring talent. If you can autopilot both of them, your company is on “organic growth.” Once you put your company on organic growth, your job shifts to identifying strategic boosters for your organization to make it do big jumps.


Now that you are not executing in your business and your company is on organic growth, you get the bird’s eye view of your business. Identify what your business needs to do to win. Spend time updating yourself and becoming the best in your industry. Use the knowledge you acquire to provide insights into your business. Small insights and trivial course changes over time can have a big impact.


If you extricate yourself from the day-to-day operations of one thing at a time, you will be completely free in a short period of time. Of course, you can always take on new duties, but it should not be anything other than marketing or innovation. Your job is to set processes. Once the initiative becomes process driven or “operational,” you can move out of it, handing it over to the next leader you identify.

As next steps, identify one thing that consumes most of your time in your business. Identify leaders on the team who can take it on. If there are none, look to hire one.

Guest author Jinesh Parekh is the founder, a Ruby on Rails development shop which exclusively works as technical partners with startups and small businesses. Apart from his business, Jinesh proactively mentors students and entrepreneurs in their hero’s journey as time permits, thus giving back to the community in his own little way. You can reach out to Jinesh at jparekh [at] idyllic-software [dot] com.

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