Don't just work yourself, work on yourself
Posted by Claude Warner on Tuesday 9th March 2010 at 16:26:11
Several years ago Michael Gerber published a book called the E-Myth.
The fundamental premise of this book was that an entrepreneur is someone who works on their business, not just in it.
The person who only works in their business, who effectively IS the business, is called a technician.
An entrepreneur’s focus is on developing standardized processes and structures, a business blueprint as it were, to enable the business to be equally effectively whether he runs it himself, or whether he employs someone else to run it.
The business blueprint is a dynamic document, being constantly updated for process improvements, thus enabling the business to operate at its highest potential.
That got me thinking about how we live our lives.
So many of us leave school or university, get a job, and largely allow the events of life to determine the direction and passage of our lives.
We may have some vague notions of what we might want to achieve in life, of what matters to us, what we would be prepared to change, what is irrevocable, and so on.
We never really stop to think about what our goals are, why we have those goals, what steps should be taken the achieve those goals, and so on.
We are even less likely to document them, thus creating a blueprint for our lives, and only a handful of us would actually periodically review our blueprint to update it with fresh perspectives, insights, patterns, goals, vision etc.
So we end up just working ourselves (often virtually to death), instead of working on ourselves.
Now I know you cannot employ someone else to live your life for you, but you can create a blueprint or lifeplan and consciously deploy yourself to “work the plan”.
As you go along you can periodically (preferably at least annually) review your life plan, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your life remains relevant to the new life conditions in which you find yourself.
For example, you may have recorded that family is important for you, yet when you review your plan, you become increasingly aware that you are working 16 hour days, and that your health and family relationships are suffering as a result.
So either the blueprint has to change to accommodate the reality of your lifestyle, or you have to change the way you are running your life.
Having the blueprint in the first place enables you to consciously make this distinction.
By working on yourself, and not just working yourself, you are able to be much more aware and conscious of how your life is being lived, and whether your plan needs to change, or whether you need to change.
Should you leave your life (through death), there should still be a blueprint that will tell others, such as your family, what kind of a life you had wanted to live, thus leaving a legacy which could inspire your children or others to continue with your vision.
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