Greater Than Business Podcast – Episode 004

 

This is episode four of the Greater Than Business podcast. I am so happy that you are here today because I am going to be sharing with you one of my biggest business resources and basically just kind of my business go-to now, which is a book called Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz. If you have not read this book yet, I highly suggest doing it. You can go to greaterthanbusiness.com/004, and you can get a direct link to buy it, and a link to Mike's resources, and all of the things that you need in order to be able to follow along after you're done listening to this episode.

Firstly, what I want to do is explain that I have been a reader, or a reader. I have been following all of Mike Michalowicz's books for a while. He is the writer of The Pumpkin Plan, as well as The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, and also my personal favorite Profit First. Each of these books I have read and implemented them in my business. I only use Profit First now for managing my business finances and cashflow and sorting of all of that fun stuff. I also have read The Pumpkin Plan, which I absolutely adore because it basically sums up everything that I want to accomplish in my business.

Then, he came out with this new book called Clockwork. As of recording this episode, the book's been out for I want to say well over a year, possibly maybe only a year. But, it's not new. This isn't some brand new shiny promotional podcast. He's not going to be on the show. This is just me talking about his book. This isn't part of the book tour or anything like that. This is just me explaining how and why I have used this book to better my business.

Basically, I wanted to share with you guys why this book is so good. What the whole premise of the book is is basically setting up your business so that it can run without you so it can run like clockwork and not have to worry about everything falling apart if you were to go on a month-long vacation or take a month off for various other reasons. It doesn't necessarily need to be a vacation per se. But, basically, it shows you exactly how you can set up your business to run while you're not there, allow your team members to take over, allow automation to take over.

Funny story, when I was actually coming up with the name for my business, Flow Automation, I wanted to use something like clockwork as a title because … And this is long before the book was ever released. It was kind of funny because I was explaining the message that I wanted my business name to portray, and I wanted it to be like, “You could run your business like a well oiled machine,” or, “Run your business like clockwork,” or something like that. It was kind of funny that then when this book came out it totally resonated with me because I'm like, “Ah, that's exactly what I was trying to capture with Flow Automation.” But, I ended up going with flow because flow to me was a much nicer, easier word, so everything just flows. I was able to build all of my courses and things off of that flow title. It ended up working out better. The automation part of it I had to use for basically legal reasons, but I had to … I couldn't just copyright the word flow and create that as a business. It was already taken and there was a whole bunch of other stuff. So Flow Automation, that's how it came to be. A little side note for you there, but let's get back on task.

Basically, Clockwork is a book that will walk you through exactly how you need to set up your business. It focuses on the 4D Mix. Which if you haven't read the book yet, this might seem a little daunting, so I want you to listen to this episode, and then I want you to go get the book. You can find the book link in the show notes, but you definitely will want to read the book because some of this might be a little bit too overwhelming for just a podcast. But, I want you to definitely get the book, and read it, and follow through, and do the steps, and do the work. But, I also want you to finish listening to this podcast so that you can see why I want you to do all this. Don't just blindly trust me. You want to finish listening to the rest of this episode.

As I was saying, the company 4D Mix is your doing, deciding, delegating, or designing. Those are the four stages, I guess, of your business. Doing is tasks that you have to do in your business. Deciding is making the actionable calls in your business, whether it be someone coming to you and asking you to make a decision or you having to make a decision for yourself. It's all of that deciding time. Then, delegating is when you physically hand over a task to someone else and basically wipe it off of your plate completely and you've given it over to that person and that person on your team now owns that task. That shouldn't come back to you too much in the grand scheme of things. It should just be given away and you should only have to make minimal decisions after delegating that task away. Then, the final one is designing, which designing is sitting down, planning, looking at your big picture, doing all of those fun exercises of where do you want to be in five years, where do you want the company to go next month, planning out your launch cycles, planning out new courses, products, you name it. That is designing.

Ideally, what you want to do is aim for doing, and doing is across your whole company for these percentages, but doing should be 80%. Of all the people working in your business, there should be 80% doing happening as far as the time breakdown goes. Then, we have deciding which is 2%. Deciding should be a quick thing. You don't want to spend a lot of time deciding. Because if you're spending too much time deciding, then you're not doing, or designing, or delegating, and that's not what you want to do. You don't want to spend all of your time deciding on what to do. You just want to do it.

Then there is delegating. Now, delegating should be 8%. That means that you should be delegating away basically 8% of your company. So if you can take that off of your plate, imagine how much more time you will have. Then, designing is 10%. Designing, as I said, is like the big picture items. You want to spend at least 10% of your time thinking about where you want to take your business, why you want to take it there, and how you're going to get there, and what's new, what's upcoming, all of that fun stuff. Designing is kind of where you want to get so that if you could honestly delegate away the majority of the doing then you as the business owner can just spend all of your time designing. And wouldn't that be fantastic?

So the doing, deciding, delegating, and designing is not something where you just do all of it at once. So, you don't need to … As a company, that should be the breakdown. But individually, you're each going to have, each person on your team is going to have their own 4D Mix. For someone that is the business owner, their 4D Mix might have way different percentages. You might be designing 50% of the time and then the rest of your time might be doing, and then you might have like 10% delegating or deciding. It varies by each person on your team and the way that your business is structured. The company 4D Mix is the ideal mix that makes sense for across most businesses. But then, each individual person on your team is going to have their own 4D Mix, and that's where it can get a little tricky where it basically depends on what the person's role is in the business and how it works.

Then, there's key things that you want to do after you've looked at doing, deciding, delegating, and designing. Then you want to worry about the three Ts. The three Ts are trimming, transferring, and trashing. Every task in your business needs to be run through this series of steps. If you can trim down a task, so something like emails, if you could set up canned responses, then that's going to trim the amount of time that you're spending on emails. So first you want to trim. And then if you can't trim it any more, then you want to transfer. That is something were, using the same example as emails, you can then get rid of emails. You could get your VA to look after all of your incoming emails and only send to you the ones that are super, super important, but the rest of them can be answered by canned responses from your VA. Then, the last thing is trash. So anything that is not serving your business and pushing you forward should be trashed.

Going back to episode three of the podcast where I talked about Marie Kondoing my business, that would be something that is no longer bringing you joy, that you can just trash, something that you don't need to be doing. Obviously, emails, they need to be answered, but you could set up … Make sure that you have delegated email addresses for specific things. Don't have your personal email coming into your business account. That's a part of emails that could be trashed. Send all your personal emails to your personal account where they belong, like a normal human being would do, and then just have them on your phone and then you can just delete those on your personal time. You shouldn't have those interfering in your business work hour time because that's not going to push anything forward in your business.

You want to go through and think about how each of these tasks in your business, like which category do they fall into? I want you to start time tracking. On the website on the show notes, I will direct you to where you can download a time-tracking example. From there, once you've read the book, then you'll be able to see what I mean by time tracking and how I want you to do it or actually how Mike wants you to do it. But, you get what I mean. We're on the same team here.

There's various aspects that he talks about in the book itself where he goes through and tries to explain why delegating has failed in the past for people. Usually, people won't own a task if you've delegated it to them because they haven't been given three main things. They haven't been given the proper permissions, they haven't been given the proper information, and they haven't been given the confidence. If you've ever been assigned a task and you're kind of left like, “Ugh, I don't know if I should be doing this,” and then you kind of just don't do it, don't own the task, then likely you haven't been given enough information or confidence in order to be able to complete that.

As a business owner, you need to be making sure that you are giving anyone that you're delegating, you need to own the task first, figure out the process, figure out the system, figure out the, basically the SOP for that task. Write it all down, and then hand it off. Make sure that when you're doing that you've given them the permission to make decisions based upon that task within reason, and you can set the parameters for that. Then, you want to make sure that you've given them all the information in order to be able to complete that task, so passwords that they need. Basically, anything that relates to that task should all be in your SOPs. That is enough information to be able to complete the task.

Then, the next thing is the confidence. You have to trust whoever it is that you're delegating this task to. You have to trust that they are able to do it. If they do do something wrong, you can't belittle them or ruin their confidence in any sort of way because you need them to have the confidence to be able to do it again, and again, and again. So even if they do something wrong, you have to make sure that you approach it very nicely. Because chances are if they've done something wrong, then it's actually comes back on you. You have failed to give them the proper information that they needed to be able to do the task.

Various things like that are all covered in the book, but it's amazing to see just how much you can actually remove yourself from the business just by simply handing off tasks to other people and then making sure that you batch you're doing is a big thing. Then, you always focus on a thing called the queen bee role. The QBR is the driving force of your business. It is what makes your business run, what your main focus is.

I have a few clients where their queen bee role is sales calls. Anyone on the team, if they're in a sales role, can take a sales call. However, every single thing that is done in the business is all with the understanding by the entire team that it benefits the queen bee role, which is sales calls. Any blog posts that is written is written with the idea of getting someone on a call. Any email that's sent out is getting people on a call. That is the only call to action in their business. Then from there, once they're on a sales call, then they sell them into the appropriate program for that person. But, that's up to the sales team to decide that. Basically, the only call to action that they have in their business is get them on the phone.

That is their QBR, which is really, really neat to see because it just simplifies the business. So you don't need to worry about like, “Oh my gosh, we haven't produced this. We haven't done this. We haven't done that.” It's just one singular focus. And if you've ever heard me talk outside of this podcast, singular focus is probably the one thing that I say over, and over, and over again to all of my clients. You have to have a singular focus. Focus on one thing, one task. Let's nail it down, get it done, and then move on to the next thing. But, you have to have a singular focus with your business, and this takes it to the next level. It's not only just a day-to-day singular focus or like a launch-to-launch singular focus. This is like your whole business as a whole concept has a singular focus, and I absolutely love that.

For me in my business, it took a while to figure out what the QBR is. Then once we figured it out, you're able to get all of your team members on board and then you can easily take your business to the next level once everybody knows what that main thing is. Now, the QBR doesn't have to be something that is served by the business owner. It can be served by anybody on the team as long as they know that that is their role and that they are responsible for fulfilling the QBR. Some people's businesses, the QBR is customer service. They know as long as they serve their customers, their business will survive and thrive. It's just a matter of making sure that you know who is serving the role at the time.

The role of QBR is a role. It's not a person. The person can change, but the role does not. So if Sally is really good at sales calls and your QBR is sales calls, then obviously you want Sally to be doing the majority of the sales calls. But as Sally's calendar fills up, then you're going to have to bring in other people that can help with the QBR. There's various other ways that you can do this. But basically, you have to know that it's the role itself that does not change, but the people fulfilling that role can change. Once you kind of wrap your head around that, you will understand so much more.

That's kind of basically the really quick summed down version of Clockwork. But, I wanted to just kind of give you a couple of things to consider in this episode. I wanted you to make sure that you obviously focus your business and your business growth around your QBR. I also want to make sure that you, at least for the next little bit, start time tracking because from there you'll actually see where you're wasting time in your business and where you're doing things that aren't necessarily pushing the needle in your business. And if you're doing, deciding, delegating, or designing things in your business that don't directly relate to the QBR, then maybe it's time to release some of those tasks so you can … Basically, you're kind of doing like a business audit.

After you read Clockwork, sit down. Or even as you go through clockwork, sit down and start kind of thinking of various ways that you can complete all of these tasks and if they are actually serving the greater purpose of your business. Then, remember, also, that this podcast isn't about just your business, it's also about your life.

The reason why I love this book so much is that it focuses the business owner, who's often times working above and beyond what they need to be doing, it really focuses them to hone back in on their goals for their life, not just their business. It really gives you that ability to step back and go, “Okay, I'm trying to set up this business so that I can do XYZ, but I need to keep in mind that my family comes first and that vacations come first.” Basically, it sets up your entire business so that you can take a month off. It's actually really clever how Mike has set up the book, but he makes you set a date, I think it's 18 months in the future, and that is when you are going to … Every action step that you take throughout this book is going to build you towards that date 18 months in the future, and that is when you're going to take four weeks off of your business.

He calls it the four-week vacation, but you don't necessarily even have to go on vacation. You could just take four weeks off. You could stay at home. You could go on various vacations. It doesn't need to be a month-long gone. I know for myself I can't take a full month off because my kids are in sports. My kids are in school. My husband has a job. We can't just take off for four weeks. But, the thought of having four weeks of me being able to rip apart my house and reorganize it without needing to worry about work is so peaceful-sounding. So I don't even necessarily … My driving force isn't to go on vacation, it's just to have four weeks off. That is an amazing concept for me.

As I mentioned, if you haven't already, go read the book. I highly recommend it. Then, if you wanna take your clockworking, basically your clockworking to the next level, what I want you to do is then go to … I'll link it on in the show notes, but I want you to go to Run Like Clockwork, which is kind of a business that was built on the side in companionship with the book. It's run by Adrienne Dorison and her husband, Tyler Brannon. They both basically have created a program that teaches you exactly how to implement the book.

I actually went away for three days down to Tampa, Florida to go to an in-person event with them in order to learn everything that needed to be absorbed for this book. I went down there. It was a long, long day. I think we were there from 9:00 to 5:00 with just lunch breaks and stuff, so it was a full day of just doing and planning, and it was phenomenal. I highly recommend it. I don't know if they're still doing the in-person events, but I know that they have switched to Clockwork Core, which is an online program. I will link in the show notes to this program. I'm not an affiliate in any way, but I just wanted to let you know how much this course helped me to essentially help you.

Long before I ever joined this program, this is what I was trying to do in my business. But, I was doing it by myself. I didn't know how to remove myself from the business. I didn't know how to remember to prioritize, and make sure that I was setting correct boundaries, and all of that stuff, and this book is what finally pushed me over the edge. So I had the right idea, I just didn't have that cheerleader in my corner and the instruction manual to tell me how to do it, and that is what Clockwork is.

Obviously, throughout the rest of the podcast episodes that are coming up, I'm not going to be teaching you exactly everything from the book, but it's such a strong foundation for what I'm trying to accomplish with this podcast that I definitely think it is worth the read. I cannot recommend it more highly. If you haven't read it, stop listening now and go read.

That's it for today. That is all I am going to share from the book. I don't want to share too much because I want you to read the book, and I also don't want to hijack poor Mike's book and platform. But, I do want to say if you haven't read it, go read it now. And if you haven't applied these concepts into your business, then that is what you definitely need to be doing moving forward.

So with that said, I'm done for the day. I hope that you've enjoyed this episode. Do not forget to go to greaterthanbusiness.com/004 to get access to everything that I mentioned during this podcast. I also would encourage you to listen to episode 003 if you have not done so where I kind of explain a little bit more as to why I started this podcast. I think that it's really going to be beneficial, if you haven't already, to listen to that one.

Just so you know, coming up over the next couple episodes, I am going to be giving you a really vulnerable look at basically my rock bottom in my business. It's not going to be the happiest and most chipper episode ever, but it's definitely something that you need to hear. So stay tuned for that, and I hope that you are having a fantastic day and that it continues into the rest of your week. Talk soon.

Greater Than Business Podcast – Episode 004

For the full podcast and show notes, please go to www.GreaterThanBuisness.com/004

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