Working in vs on Your Business

“It is easy as an owner to say, ‘I can do it all by myself.’ But you can’t do it by yourself. You will burn out if you do.”

Choosing whether to work IN or ON your business is one of the important decisions you have to make as a business owner. When you are starting a business, you have to think about where you are going to position yourself: Is it IN the business? Getting involved with every aspect of your business up to the smallest details? Or is it ON the business? Overseeing and managing your employees and thinking of the bigger picture?


Roger: Welcome to Local Seo Today I’m Roger Murphy

John: And I’m John Vuong.

Roger: We want to welcome all of our listeners to the podcast today, we’re talking about as a business owner, as an entrepreneur about what it means, what’s the difference between working in your business and working on your business with one word difference John, how much of a how huge a difference is that what we’re talking about.

John: It’s a huge magnitude of you know growing, scaling, living a good lifestyle because i’ll be honest when I first started and now i’m in my eighth year of business the first two or three years I was in the business where I was focused on taking care of every aspect of running a business and as the years progressed and I started 

Roger: Hiring a team 

John: Focusing on the bigger picture and it allowed me to enjoy my life a lot more but it was hard right to accept the fact that I no longer had control but allowing a different skill set of minds like a leadership role to then focus on harvesting the best and getting the best of the people so that they can do their job and task better so that you can focus on the bigger picture.

Roger: Exactly and I think it’s probably fair to say starting a new business and running a business you got to walk the walk so you learned you had to do that John in terms of taking yourself to the edge of burning out but in terms of early days you just and most businesses are not capitalized in such a way that they can hire staff to do all these different things when you’re running, bootstrapping as you’ve called it we’ve called it before in the early days this is what this is what you have to do but you have to transform you have to mature and that’s what you did in local seo and I’ve done other businesses where in the early days yes it’s on you but as time goes you’ve gotta then you start to hire specialists that are good at what they do, great at what they do and it can take job off so you can then focus on the business

John: Yeah so when early days and i’ll be you know giving you some examples but first two three years of my business at local seo search,  my background was always sales and Marketing so I enjoyed dealing with customers, going out there building strong relationships, getting them to sign the deal close the deal, my studies so I did a university degree in business finance so I was pretty strong with numbers so I understood revenue, cost, profitability and everything in between. So the biggest time for me was really just understanding the whole aspect of SEO because i’ve never had any technical background so for me to learn all that that was very time constrained where I was reading, I was learning a lot from blogs, audio, video, reading a ton of articles, learning all these small little nuances where if you were trained in computer science or engineer or understanding a little bit about digital marketing and the whole seo landscape it would be a lot easier but my background has always been sales, relationship building, collecting money and making sure that I delivered the service so that was my biggest challenge at the beginning I was learning and that’s why I hired some people in the back end to help me and I made a lot of mistakes along the way and I got better over the years but at the beginning also when I was in the business, I took care of all the books, I took care of collections I took care of you know updating the website, I was doing a lot of the blog content, customer service, the seo, the you know everything to do to ensure that I knew what I was doing and talking about when I was selling the product and service I was selling right and then as I matured and as I understood what I enjoyed doing more of and I gravitated towards doing that and hired people that filled the gap and I had a margin to play with and as much as I don’t make as much as i did when i first started it’s okay because I live a better lifestyle and these are choices that you have to make as a business owner where you want to run yourself to work 16 18 hour days but you’re in the business all day long stress doing things that you may like or not like doing but you’re forced to do it because you don’t have people to support you along this journey of yours right in your business so and I would say two years in three years in I started hiring more people to support me not just on the back end but also the front end to allow me to look at more of the bigger picture, the strategy behind it all.

Roger: Yep the idea of working on your business and it’s true you mentioned that word gap and that’s a very important thing that people need as business owners, entrepreneurs watching us today and listening to us know your gaps or uncover what your gaps are but you can’t do it all and I know and I came from a small business my parents had a small business when I was growing up, small restaurant and retail store and I know that it is very easy as the owner to say i’ll do it myself you cannot do it all yourself you will burn out if you try and do it all yourself.

John: And there’s a lot of people once you start getting good at hiring a team or staff or people or software or you know apps or things to make it more efficient in your business once you learn what as a business owner you’re going to make mistakes, like hiring the wrong people, training them wrong, holding them more accountable, putting more stress on yourself by trying to find someone perfectly molded to your business it’s hard right so when you start understanding that when you’re in business and you’re learning to delegate properly to really ensure that it’s the bigger picture that you’re looking for, getting sure that there’s value props and you know hiring people based on personality understanding their bigger picture right do they ingrain the same habits, the same traits, that you possess as a business do they have skill sets that you’re lacking, do they have you know a lot of hard and soft skills that are things that you cannot practice and teach but they possess based on their work experience prior, you’ll learn as a leader how you can develop them, harvest them, train them, get them up to speed to the level that you think would be great for your business and for you to know those gaps you have to start reading, you have to start learning to be a better business person, be a better entrepreneur and this is hard if you’re doing it by yourself in your business so you know three years in the business I started hiring more people to take on the sales role, to take on customer service, to take on social media engagement, to take on all these pillars within our SEO agency from content managers, to operation manager, HR, to you know link builders to SEO strategies everyone has tiers and levels and for you to learn all that yourself and do it all it’s hard to run a business that can scale at whatever level you want and enjoy it so that you can enjoy doing things that you love, to live a lifestyle that you want to live.

Roger: I met a gentleman a number of years ago John that was had multiple music stores all over southern Ontario from sort of one end of you know eastern gta to southwestern Ontario and his secret was hiring great people but he also what he did was he just turned them all the store managers into business partners, gave them something a piece of the action of the business because what it meant was they were now invested it allowed him to ability managers partners at all these different locations and he was able to sit back and look at the big picture as a mindset to look how do we grow and scale this business further and further. 

John:  Exactly so when you start looking in the bigger picture and you start looking at strategy and gaps and opportunities and competitive analysis and where you fit in the mode of the bigger picture and where you can grow, add more service offerings, look for better vendors, look for more efficient productive software or tools or things that can improve it allows you to get better and add more value to your customers and improve because this is a evolution that we’re living in as a business owner from a solepreneur or working in your business to on your business takes a lot of different skill sets all together and it might not be for everyone as well like if you’re in the business and you enjoy doing it maybe it’s best to just work under someone or you’re that independent soul contractor or one person solepreneur and that’s okay but if you plan on growing or if you have other obligations like a family and you want to travel enjoy a better lifestyle or whatever contribute more in the community doing things that you love like maybe you want to evolve and get better in terms of leadership, grow in that sense and that’s okay too there’s it all depends on what you want as a business.

Roger: Yep and success is you know it does come down to you know profit and loss or you know profit and sales etc but the idea of of having one not taking a hundred percent of what a small business you run on your own in it every day doing everything, versus a bigger you know staff or a bigger organization that you’ve hired great staff that can do things you’re getting at the end of the day more smaller piece of of let’s call the final you know profit of the business but it’s so much larger than what you were able to do on your own you leveraged the talents of your staff and good employees to grow the business beyond what you can do, by yourself sticking going at it 18 hours a day by yourself 

John: And that’s the difference between like doing something you love because people are loving that social interaction, they love that community and if they can resonate with your business and they love working there you’re doing something right, if you’re delegating properly you become more of a leader , you’re able to spot their gaps evolve them to be better humans not just at that skill set right get them to have their own personal goal in endeavors, help them evolve as humans and it allows you to become a better human yourself right because you’re helping and assisting and giving value by growing a team, growing a good culture having core values that resonates across not just your clients and your staff but you as a person it’s very fulfilling and success is not just endgame profitability, there’s so many dimensions to success and you know here at Local SEO Search I’ve gone from being in the business solepreneur to now growing and you know having a fairly large team that I feel very proud to say they’re a part of a family, a community of our own right and it’s great feeling that people enjoy and want to wake up doing the same thing or being a part of this ride with you. 

Roger: Sounds great 

John: Yeah and also I know we we didn’t really dive into like goal setting and stuff but success and goals are very much in alignment like you need to ensure that your success, it could be your your own goals, like what do you define as success is it a lifestyle choice, is it money, is it freedom, is it choice, is it making the impact, there’s so many other things that defines the success and you just have to be willing to understand and acknowledge what success means to you and your business, your brand and enjoy the entire process along the way because it’s fun, it’s a journey take hold of it hold yourself accountable, hold your team accountable, learn evolve make mistakes you know this is an incredible luxury that you live the freedom of running your business, making any evolution of changes, pivots along the way but it is a long journey so don’t cut short on trying to do everything yourself it’s more fun to have a team.

Roger: Yep love it, I think that was great John.

John: Yeah if there’s anything..

Roger: Thank you for today 

John: Yeah there’s 

Roger: Well yeah just in terms of it, It’s all again working the idea of taking time to work on the business and that I’ve know we’ve mentioned this before some of it is maybe not even working on the business but working on your own personal self and your personal growth because truly success is going to come from your business but also having a community, working in the community and family those are the three pillars that  that make everything successful, business by itself is not success or success for the sake of that is not the big picture living a lifestyle and employing good people and having a family around you and also giving back to your community that rounds things out and that’s the mindset I think that you need to have as well

John:  Awesome well thanks a lot Roger that was great 

Roger: John thank you for your time and thank you for watching today and listening today and we’ll see you again at Local SEO Today.

John: Thank you