iD8 Strategies


Wash On. Wash Off. (Karate Kid)….Work On. Work In. (Michael Gerber)

Is Michael Gerber correct? 

I say yes as do tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across the globe.

Working ON your business is about taking the time to discuss, debate, have productive conflict on what your vision is, how you will get there as well as developing the processes and systems that work! The movie Founder is a wonderful story about McDonalds (I love the tennis court scene) where the McDonald brothers work intensively on the workflow of how a fast-food kitchen can work most efficiently. 

Delivering a WOW customer (and employee) experience will not just happen, I have certainly never seen it in my decades of experience as an entrepreneur.

Time should be invested on the people / team piece, the strategies you are going to pursue (this could include products and pricing), how you will make it happen (execution) as well as inspecting not expecting, and of course, how everything impact cash flow and your financials.

Foreshadowing Failure

How hard are you questioning your own answers? Confirmation bias is a real thing.

Our business plan is awesome, best one we ever developed. How much time did you spend on it? 

How much time did you spend on why the plans WILL NOT WORK OUT? Probably not much if any at all.

Productive conflict can be an important thing, if you have too many YES people surrounding you, team dynamics might need to hit the refresh button.

Working ON your business is just not about the happy, fun stuff. 

Questions to Ponder:

  • How effectively are we planning our time?
  • Is our meeting rhythm effective?
  • What business plans or projects have been sitting on the shelves that need to be dusted off?
  • Where are the best and biggest opportunities that lie in front of us?
  • Is our pricing, right? Have we mystery-shopped our competition, have we experienced their products/services?
  • What would that competition NOT want us to do?
  • Do we understand our market and share of business we are or could be getting?
  • Is your business model right or is a pivot in order?
  • How are we doing as becoming more of a learning organization?
  • How many of our current employees would we enthusiastically rehire?
  • What assumptions are you now questioning?
  • What are the most important areas of your business that you’ve been neglecting or need to work on?
  • Has bringing on new talent been an issue? 
  • Are strategic acquisitions on your radar screen?
  • Do you have the needed cash to fuel growth? 
  • Is your business in a position for a capital raise?
  • How good are our financials and KPI’s?
  • Are we looking at enough leading indicators?
  • If we have a “Moneyball Stat”, have we identified it?

Michael Gerber spoke about WORKING ON your business not in it. Getting office space away from the “shop,” being more strategic vs tactical. 

Jim Collins speaks about “Getting the Right People on the Bus” and letting them do their jobs.

Ponder these questions as you block out time to invest more time working ON your business.