Clockwork isn’t about working less as much as it is about living as you intend. When your business runs itself, you have the freedom to do what brings you joy and fulfillment. And to do it without worrying about your business being compromised. (Location 187)

One day, doing more of the same for “just one more day” may be the costliest mistake of your life. The grind stops now. The hustle is over. It’s time to make your business run itself. Your company needs it. You need it. And the people in your life are starving for it. Perhaps more than you might ever know. (Location 163)

No one starts a business with the goal of being trapped by it. Your business should be as you always intended, a platform for your freedom. Freedom to do what you want and, in Jason’s case, freedom to spend precious time with his friends. (Location 181)

Because working your system gave me what I thought was just a cool four-day vacation, but it turned out that I was able to spend the last days of a great friend’s life with him.” (Location 185)

Clockwork isn’t about working less as much as it is about living as you intend. (Location 187)

When your business runs itself, you have the freedom to do what brings you joy and fulfillment. And to do it without worrying about your business being compromised. (Location 187)

If you love aspects of your work, you will have the freedom to lean into that without the need to do the work you aren’t good at or don’t enjoy. (Location 189)

For years, I’d been encouraging entrepreneurs to take vacations from their business—for sanity, but also to create the systems needed so they can take a vacation from their business—and I’d seen a lot of vacation photos. (Location 192)

According to research out of Babson University, about 14 percent of the adult population in the US become entrepreneurs and business owners.[1] Which means that if your kindergarten class had thirty students in it, four of your friends went on to become entrepreneurs. But the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only around one third of entrepreneurs are still around at the ten-year mark.[2] (Location 198)

Business owners suffer from an “I must do the work myself” problem. We do the work ourselves to save money. We do the work ourselves because we think no one can do it as well as we do. We do the work ourselves because it’s “just easier” than handing it off to someone we think is too green, too inexperienced, or too incapable of acting like an owner. (Location 205)

What has become of my dream? Does that question ring true for you? It did for me when I read her email. We work and work and work, and before we know it, the business idea we once proudly shared with our friends, the plan we outlined on a whiteboard, the vision we shared with our first employees seems like a dim memory of an unobtainable goal. (Location 223)

Celeste wasn’t holding her business back. It was her system—and those systems can be fixed. (Location 228)

Most entrepreneurs I know do everything. Even when we bring on help, we spend just as much time, if not more, telling the team how to do all the things that we are supposed to no longer worry about. We put out fires. (Location 231)

Here’s the irony: even when things are going well with our business, we are still exhausted. We have to work even harder when things are good because “who knows how long this will last?” (Location 235)

“Work harder” is the mantra of both the growing and the collapsing business. “Work harder” is the mantra of every entrepreneur, every business owner, every leader, every five-star employee, and every person just struggling to keep up. (Location 239)

Your business needs a vacation from you so it doesn’t depend on you. (Location 265)

You need to stop doing everything. You need to streamline your business so it can run itself. I’m talking about your business running like a well-oiled machine. An organization of coordinated systems run by a highly efficient team aligned with your objectives and values. A business that runs like clockwork. (Slick, right?) (Location 266)

There is strength in independence. You see, the vacation is nice for you, but it’s critical for your business. It may go against everything you think and believe about your role in your business, but when you get out of the way, that is the moment your business can truly grow. (Location 270)

Life is about impact, not hours. On my deathbed, I will be asking myself if I fulfilled my life’s purpose, if I grew as an individual, if I truly served you and others, and if I deeply and actively loved my family, my friends, and humanity. If I may be so bold, I think you will be asking the same. (Location 288)

When I was not focused on completing a project, or in a meeting, I tried to sneak “a few minutes” to check emails. When I did make it outside to join everyone, I was so distracted by thoughts of work that I wasn’t really there. This caused me stress and annoyed the heck out of my family. (Location 314)

First the cram: I would get all my work done in advance so that “this time” I could finally enjoy my vacation and be fully present with my family. Then the scramble: When I returned from my “relaxing” vacation I thought I could easily get back up to speed with a little extra hustle. But my plan never worked out. Often, it was just the opposite of what I expected. (Location 317)

But as I looked closer, I saw person after person sitting on their decks frantically plugging away on their laptops. I even saw people on the beach with laptops perched precariously on their knees, trying to shield their screens from the glare of the sun. The people I assumed had it all together weren’t any different from me. We were all working on vacation. What the F? (Location 332)

Sounds like I was living the dream, right? You would think that I had retired my workaholic badge for good. But stressing out about work on yet another vacation proved I hadn’t. I wasn’t even close. (Location 337)

As is true for many business owners I’ve known, I thought the cure for my workaholism was better productivity. (Location 340)

An entire industry is built around the desire to do more, faster. Podcasts, articles, and books; mastermind groups and coaches; productivity challenges, calendars, journals, and software. (Location 353)

In Profit First, I applied Parkinson’s Law—“our consumption of a resource expands to meet its supply”—to profit. (Location 357)

The fix to this behavior is ridonkulously simple: limit the resource and you limit your utilization of it. (Location 361)

When you don’t readily have access to all the cash flowing through your business, you are forced to find ways to run your business with less. (Location 363)

Yes, productivity is important; we all need to make the best use of our time. To be unproductive is like sinning against the business gods. But in time, I came to understand that the real holy grail is organizational efficiency. Productivity gets you in the ballpark. Organizational efficiency gets you hitting home runs. (Location 368)

Productivity is about doing more to increase output. Efficiency is about doing less to increase output. (Location 374)

Growing a company is different from scaling it. Most businesses grow. Very few scale. You grow a business by doing more to get more. You scale a business by doing less to get more. (Location 378)

The growth approach is easy: do more of what you are already doing. More brings more. But inherent to this approach is the limitation of resources. You only have so much time. You can only hire so many people. You only have so much money. Doing more has a ceiling. (Location 380)

As you shift to scaling, your refrains will shift, too. “Who will do this?” (Instead of “How will I do this?”) “Let’s do fewer things, better.” (Instead of “Let’s do more things, faster.”) “How do we halve our efforts to double the output?” (Instead of “How do we double our efforts so we can double the output?”) “Master yourself.” (Instead of “Push harder.”) “Work smarter.” (Instead of “Work even harder.”) “Design.” (Not “Hustle.”) “Scale.” (And surely not “Grind.”) (Location 393)

That last one, “scale,” is the most noble approach of all. If you own a business, your number-one job is to create jobs, not to do them. Scale and your business will grow right. (Location 399)

Scaling a business is not about less work. It is about different work. You must put less effort into those outcomes, but more thought. The hard work is the thinking. (Location 412)

This is not a flippant comment. Thinking, as in deep, calculated thoughtfulness, is the hardest work of all. And that is why we avoid it. (Location 413)

Your job is to scale your business. Your challenge is to think accordingly. Thoughtful, calculated design work is the hardest and most important work of all. Right now. Stop growing. Start scaling. (Location 417)

We had a discussion around The E-Myth. If you haven’t read the book, the core message is to work on the business, not in the business. We all wondered, why did so many entrepreneurs appreciate the message of his book and so few act on it? (Location 423)

We think our freedom from doing the work happens magically, like a switch that suddenly flips. We think if we only work in the business long enough and hard enough, one day we will find ourselves working on the business. (Location 426)