I’ll never sleep with you!

To be brutally honest I never really had the guts to ask many women outright to sleep with me, so I was never really faced with this ‘put-you-down’.

Nevertheless, there were plenty of others… (put-you-downs, that is)

Like the girl who worked with me in Fine Fare when I was sixteen, oh, at least ten years ago (ha ha) now.  It only took me about twelve weeks but I finally plucked up the courage to ask her out.  She gave me a withering look and calmly told me that she was going out with her sister.

I was devastated.

I knew she didn’t have a sister!

Anyway, I don’t particularly want to open old wounds… but I do want to talk about the word ‘never’.

You see, it’s such an absolute and, as such, probably not really realistic.

This current train of thought started when I was sitting in on a course for small businesses and the trainer said: ‘If you want to grow your business, you must never work in it… you must always work on it’.

Okay, I thought, fair enough… but then I started thinking about it.

Assuming that the trainer lived and died by the principles she was teaching (as I’m sure all trainers do), then she was breaking rule number 1… after all, standing up in front of a group to deliver training is working in her business.  If she was working on it then she would have someone else doing it for her, whilst she helped develop them, or indeed, she’d be in the office trying to find more customers.

I think it’s impossible to never work in your business, because there are times when you have to dive in… for example, when the team is under pressure, there’s something only you can deal with or the unexpected happens.

The trick is, I think, to recognise that you’re getting sucked in to ‘doing’ and always be planning the point when you can stop doing the work and get back to business development.

And it was at that point in my thought process that the light bulb came on.  The essential question is actually:  what is working on the business and what is working in the business?

Here’s my definition:

Working on the business is doing things that will help your business move towards your ultimate goal.

Working in the business is doing things that do not help your business move towards your ultimate goal.

Once you know what each of your activities is achieving, you can then work out what proportion of time you are spending on each… always remembering that NEVER is a very big word.

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