A Summary of the ON IN Principle

Bobby Albert

Bobby Albert

Life-long Entrepreneur, Regular contributor on Fox News Radio, Keynote Speaker and Author

Every day for two to three hours, I read numerous articles and books, watch videos and TV programs, and listen to podcasts and many other sources for my personal growth. On one recent day, I came across what was said to be a true story by Joy Garrison Wasson, an English teacher in Muncie, Indiana. She taught English for 30 years, and she died in 2005 at the age of only 62:

"A group of students was asked to list what they thought were the present 'Seven Wonders of the World.' Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids

2. Taj Mahal

3. Grand Canyon

4. Panama Canal

5. Empire State Building

6. St. Peter's Basilica

7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So, she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, 'Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there are so many.'

The teacher said, 'Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.'

The girl hesitated, then read, 'I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. To see

2. To hear

3. To touch

4. To taste

5. To feel

6. To laugh

7. And to love.'

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous!"

I remember it well, a time when I overlooked the simple and ordinary. For a period of time, I took for granted the truly 'wondrous' opportunity to work ON, not just in IN, my business.

When my dad died, and I was thrust into being the leader of our small business of five employees with a huge amount of debt and very little income.

I would get to the end of a busy workweek, only to realize that the next workweek had already started! Some days I felt like a gerbil in a spinning wheel - lots of activity, but very little real progress.

Then I discovered the wisdom of the ON/IN principle

Simply stated, the ON/IN principle encourages us to


Work ON the business while we work IN the business.

- Bobby Albert[/panel_gray]

So, what is working ON, not just IN, the business?

It is taking time to ask, "What work should I be doing?"

It is focusing your time and energy not just on doing your work, but also working on how your work could be done more effectively and efficiently.

It is making intentional, pro-active plans to improve revenues, control costs, increase productivity, and enhance the nature and extent of the value rendered to your customers. It employs a three-part strategy:

  • Grow yourself
  • Grow your people
  • Grow your business

The following is a summary of the articles that I've written about the ON/IN principle:

The Problem

Life Was Good and Then Everything Changed

Have you ever been in a season of your life were everything was going well, and then suddenly, your world collapsed? After tragedy struck, I was working tirelessly to keep my family business afloat. Read this post about my road to learning how to work smarter, not harder.

An Uncomfortable Conversation for Any Leader

Read this blog post about how I navigated a season of troubled waters as a young, new business owner and learn how working ON the business is just as important as working IN the business.

What is the ON/IN principle?

I Had to Hitch a Ride from My Own Employee - For 2 Years

Do you feel like you are constantly in crisis mode at work, reacting to all of the problems and issues as they arise each day? Maybe you're drowning in anxiety and worry like an alligator trying to pull you under. Learn how my proactive approach to our business helped me "drain the swamp," increase revenue over 200% and allowed for recording breaking profit.

Why is the ON/IN principle important?

The Greatest Leadership Gap

The greatest leadership gap in the world is understanding the difference between what you want and what you need. Read on for tips and ideas to help you understand what you need so you can achieve all that you want.

What's Your Leadership Roadmap

Do you have a roadmap? And by that, I mean, have you taken the time to reflect, plan, and prepare so you know where your business is headed? It's hard to get to where you're going - if you don't know how to get there! Find out about my Leadership Roadmap and download a free copy of it here.

Every Employee Asks These 5 Questions

A great employee wants to feel involved, understood and appreciated. Keep them engaged instead of dissatisfied and frustrated by answering five key questions that every employee has. This blog post addresses those questions and gives tips to help boost the motivation (and retention) of your employees!

Grow Yourself

Why Some Leaders Can Never Grow Their Business

Your business is the size of whatever you make it. Have you essentially placed a lid on your personal growth potential by not be willing to improve yourself? Read this post to learn about how I "lifted the lid" to my own personal growth and how I'm still practicing those techniques to this day.

Grow Your People

If You Miss This Leadership Opportunity, You'll Regret It Later

Do you know that the choices you make today will impact yourself, your people and your company tomorrow? Your decisions, or lack thereof, may be limiting the growth potential in your business and you don't even realize it. Read about one leadership opportunity that you don't want to miss.

Why Leaders Do Not Grow Themselves and Their People

Are These Personal Growth Myths Limiting Your Leadership

Feeling like you've settled for mediocrity in your organization? Not sure what exactly is limiting your growth potential? You may have given in to one of these three personal growth myths. Read more about them here.

How to Grow You and Your People

The Six-Figure Productivity Technique

There's a technique out there that will increase your organization's productivity, but it'll cost you ..$400,000! Ok, you can keep your money, but you should read this article to find out about the $400K planning technique that could make productivity, and profits, SOAR!

Should Leaders Focus on Training or Development

Usually, you hear and see the words training AND development used together in the business world but there is a very distinct difference between the two. Don't overlook these important implications; they might just be the key to your success. Read more here.

A Sure-Fire Way to Stand Out From Your Competition

Employee development is undervalued but when we focus on results AND people, we wind up with happier people and better results. Read this post to find out how both training and development in your organization can lead to a culture where people thrive and profits soar.

A Simple Way to Measure Your Leadership Effectiveness

Is the way you lead your people effective? Discover an important truth that will multiply your effectiveness as a leader while STILL increasing your results!

Serve First - Lead Second

Chick-Fil-A generates more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain. How are they so successful? They have implemented a key business principle "to serve; not to be served." And it's not just the customer's they're serving. Read more about their chosen growth strategy and how you can serve first, then lead second.

Five Habits of Personal Growth

Personal growth is a process over time and not a single, stand-alone event. Read this to learn about the five habits that, when adopted, will fuel your personal growth.

Grow Your Business

Here's How to Grow Your Business

If you've ever struggled to grow your business this post is for you. Read on to learn about the eight essential questions to ask yourself AND your employees while you all work ON your business not just IN the business.

Purpose, Mission, Super-Objectives

Does your organization have a purpose or a mission statement? What about super-objectives? Or are you confused by what that even means for your business? Read this post to learn how I discovered and implemented the four truths of effective leadership and how that process led to extraordinary results.

Join me and climb off the gerbil wheel today. Embrace the important principle of ON/IN!

Do you work ON your business, while you work IN it? What is one thing mentioned in the article above, that you could implement to help grow your business? Please share your thoughts <here>.

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A Summary of the ON IN Principle
Every day for two to three hours, I read numerous articles and books, watch videos and TV programs, and listen to podcasts and many other sources for my personal growth. On one recent day, I came across what was said to be a true story by Joy Garrison Wasson, an English teacher in Muncie, Indiana. She taught English for 30 years, and she died ...
Read More