Deserving It

Bill Abbate

If you found a simple concept that changed your life, helping you live in an entirely new way, wouldn’t you want to share it? Most people would, and that is how strongly I feel about what you will read here.

The concept is so simple, it is staring us right in the face, but few discover its treasure until someone opens their eyes.

This simple concept has the potential to cause a true paradigm shift in your thinking, forever changing you.

Read on to learn more!

The birth of the concept

I will never forget learning about this concept while reading a book in the early 90s published by a gentleman named Michael Gerber. His book changed my life and helped me become more successful in business than I could have ever dreamed. But even more importantly, it gave me a whole new way of looking at life.

Gerber’s words resonated with so many people the book remained on the bestseller list for years. This fabulous book is titled The E Myth, and it spawned an entire series of follow-up and specialty books.

Never heard of him? Perhaps you are new to entrepreneurship?

Is Gerber credible? Absolutely!

Gerber was named the “World’s Number One Small Business Guru” by Inc. Magazine. He also won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Bestselling Authors in 2010. He has spoken to many thousands all over the world.

Get ready to have your life rocked!

The concept

The pearl of great wisdom I discovered on the fateful day Gerber’s book fell into my hands is simply:

“Most entrepreneurs fail because they are working IN their business rather than ON their business.” Michael Gerber (1936-present)

While his focus at the time was small businesses, his words contained far broader ramifications than that market segment alone.

At the time, I was in a multibillion-dollar international company, and Gerber’s concept rocked me to the core. Since that time all those years ago, many of us have found his concept applies to far more than small and large businesses. It applies to our individual lives as well.

Making the concept personal

Gerber’s idea of working ON versus working IN the business greatly impacted the companies I ran and my consulting and coaching businesses. As said, while he applied his concept to the business world in his book, it wholly applies to practically every area of life.

To understand how the concept works in your personal life, ask yourself:

“How often do I work ON my life instead of just in it?”

Let’s look at a couple of examples of working ON vs. working in our lives.

Note: Gerber extends the concept much further, which we will not do to keep things clear and simple. I highly recommend you read his book to uncover more of his wisdom.

Example 1

Think about the life you live each day. How often do you stop to ask:

“What do I need to work ON to improve my life?”

Most of us go through each day working in it. As Gerber says, we are doing it, doing it, doing it. Day after day after week, after year, after decade. We get so busy working in our lives that the years fly by with little progress — day after monotonous day. But why?

Because you are only doing the work of a technician in your life, which manifests as working in your life over and over and over again. This is where the entrepreneurial myth comes into play. Many people in business think they are entrepreneurs when they are only technicians, hence the myth. An entrepreneur works ON the business, not just in it.

Similarly, if you only work in your life as a technician and never work ON your life as an entrepreneur, you lose out big time!

Example 2

Let’s look at another application of Gerber’s concept that eventually applies to everyone should they live long enough — retirement.

There is a great deal of information on the internet about how unprepared many people are for retirement. One source claims nearly two-thirds of Americans will retire broke! Could it be that most of these people are so busy working IN their lives that they don’t take time to work ON their lives? This is most likely the case. They are so busy working in their life they do not take the time to work ON it.

Too many of us live on a wing and a prayer with little or no planning. Otherwise, such a large number of people would not be entering retirement broke.

To work on your life involves thinking, planning, and taking actions many people never will. As one of our founding fathers said more than two centuries ago:

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

How much time do you spend working ON your life? Most of us spend little, if any, at all.

What can you do?

Imagine if your life were a business. You will want to have a plan, including a strategy and tactics. As any successful business does, you will continue updating your strategy as you progress through life. See the article Create a Simple Life Plan for a straightforward and concise way to create your plan and strategy.

But how many people do such things as planning to the point they have a sound strategy for living their best life? Not many!

Why not move from being solely the technician or worker in your life, and become the entrepreneur who dreams, thinks about the future, plans, and takes risks?

You say, “But what can I do? My busy life takes up all of my time!” Perhaps that is where your problem is — You take no time to plan. As one well-known author and trainer puts it:

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!” Brian Tracy (1944-present)

How will you ever have time to do anything else if you never plan?

The failure rate is so high for small businesses because the one who starts it winds up being little more than the technician/worker, never working ON their business. Isn’t that true for many of us with our lives?

Final thoughts

How much time should one spend working on their life? It depends. If Brian Tracey is correct, spending an hour planning on the weekend could save you 10 hours of working during the week. That sounds like a fair trade! Even if it saves half that amount, it is worth it!

Unless you work ON your life by planning and developing a strategy, how will you ever know, and how can you ever realize your potential?

The words of the Roman Philosopher Seneca stated millennia ago continue to ring true today:

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca (4BC-65AD)

Don’t you want to be “lucky”?

If you are caught up in doing it, doing it, doing it, STOP! Take time to plan and change the course of your life! Begin working ON your life instead of only in it!

Do not let busyness and working in it rob you of your future.

You deserve the best possible outcome for your life. If you do not take the initiative, who will?

Take time to work ON your life. You and those you love are worth it!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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