Successful Entrepreneurs Only Do 5 Percent of the Work
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Time can either be your best friend or your worst enemy.
As I'm sure you know, there's an infinite number of ways you can waste time in your business. When entrepreneurs focus on the small tasks that can be delegated to someone -- like designing their logo or building out their website -- they never complete the things that make them money and scale their business faster.
But, when you use your time wisely, and when you focus only on the tasks that you're good at and that make you the most money, your business grows exponentially. That's not even the ceiling, though -- once you hire others with the same dialed-in mindset, your business runs leaner and crushes deadlines with ease.
If you want to turn your time into money, then you absolutely need to master these productivity hacking strategies.
Work on your 5 percent.
The entrepreneurs who get the most done really only do 5 percent of the work. Yes, I'm serious, 5 percent -- but it all depends on what kind of work makes up that 5 percent.
Imagine Bill Gates scrubbing toilets at the Microsoft headquarters, or Elon Musk on the assembly line piecing together Tesla after Tesla. Of course, that all sounds ridiculous -- it'd be a waste of their time and talents.
You are in the driver's seat for your company. There are high-level sales and marketing tasks that you, and only you, can get done. This is the stuff that makes you the most money and allows you to have the greatest impact on the world. These tasks need to make up all of your 5 percent time.
By focusing on your 5 percent, you win back your freedom, your income and your security. You no longer stress about not finishing your endless to-do list. And yet, your business runs even better than if you were to do all those things yourself.
So, ask yourself: "What's the 5 percent of the work that I need to focus on doing?" Once you nail that down, your next job is to figure out how to work as effectively as possible.
Carve out "magic time."
Has an amazing new idea ever just popped into your head? Now, has that idea ever escaped you because someone interrupted you in the middle of that mental breakthrough?
That's absolutely frustrating, and it's bound to happen in any work environment where people talk and communicate openly. Communication is crucial to the success of your business, but you also have to protect your own time and your brain energy to work on your 5 percent.
That's why I reserve a few hours of "magic time" for myself every single morning. This is your uninterrupted time to get your most meaningful work done, and done well. When you crush your 5 percent, you brainstorm, plan and execute the strategies that make your business the most money.
I let nothing get in the way of my magic time. The night before, I list out the three to five tasks to get done during my magic time. That way, I don't waste my time on something my team could get done for me. I wake up at 4:30 a.m. and down 16 ounces of cold water, a protein shake with oatmeal and hot coffee. After some fetch with my dog, Cookie, I sit down and turn my phone off. Then I get to work.
That routine puts me in the right head space to work my ass off for two hours. I feed my brain and get any distractions out of my system before sitting down and hammering out what needs to get done. I choose to reserve the mornings for my magic time, but you should schedule your magic time for whenever you're most alert during the day.
Build your routine around your magic time. That's how you put time to work for you, rather than letting time work against you.
What about the other 95 percent?
At this point, you've already leveraged your personal time and energy for the success of your business. But, what about the rest of the work that needs to get done? This is where hiring the right people for the right roles comes into play.
In his book The E-Myth Revisited, Michael E. Gerber shares the story of an overwhelmed business owner whose bakery is on the verge of collapse. One of the reasons behind this decline was the owner's inability to hire the right team members. Let's talk about her first employee, an accountant she hired to take care of the bookkeeping.
After he came on board, everything worked out until the business began to grow, at which point Mr. Accountant became Mr. Everything Else. His 5 percent was in accounting, yet he spent most of his time waiting tables and cleaning up the shop. Eventually he became so overwhelmed that he quit. The owner was left to fend for herself.
Just like you set out magic time for yourself, so should your team. And just as you focus on 5 percent of the work, so should they. Ideally, you'll hire awesome team members that specialize in one skill. You'll pay them $12, $14, even $16 an hour to do the work that you don't have the time to do on your own.
Now the one problem most entrepreneurs have with this approach is they find it difficult to delegate tasks. They're control freaks that want their hands on anything and everything. But, here's the thing: It's more profitable to pay someone to do that stuff 80 percent as well as you would than to waste your valuable time on something that can be outsourced. Train up your team members to your standards, then trust them to handle the 95 percent left to be done.
It's that trust that frees up your time and energy, and it's that time and energy that turns innovative ideas into profitable outcomes. That's even easier when you plan your routine around your most productive hours -- your "magic time." Follow those steps, and your business will scale faster than you can keep up with.