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Work yourself out of a JOB!

Dec 13, 2022

As a reminder from my article last week, four steps comprise the journey of business ownership:

Step 1 – You are a technician working in your business. You are doing the work of a team member and are trading your time for relatively low financial results. 

Step 2 – You are a manager working in your business. You lead a group of technicians responsible for completing the daily work.

Step 3 – You are a business owner. You only work as a technician or a manager if you choose to. The daily operations and getting the daily work done are not dependent on you. The business has become self-operating. You focus on the business's development (marketing) and efficiency (finance). You begin to systemize the marketing too, so the business becomes self-operating and self-growing. You realize the primary role of the business is to provide cash flow to you, the business owner.

Step 4 – You are an investor. Your business is another one of your investments, requiring very little of your time and resources. It gives you a predictable and reliable return on your investment. 


From working with countless business owners at all different steps of the journey, I have learned there are 3 keys to moving from one step to the next. I have also learned that with each step comes more freedom and enjoyment from the business. There is a transition that happens from step 1 where you are serving the business all the way up to step 4 where the business is serving you. You are generally happier as you make your way from step 1 to step 4, as the business depends on you less with each step of the journey.


Here are the 3 keys to moving through the 4 steps of the business owner journey:

  1. Once you achieve mastery of a task you are doing on a given step, find someone else on the team (or hire someone new) to give the task to. You are basically working yourself out of a job, and that is exactly what you want to do!
  2. Find joy in giving the tasks to other team members, knowing that you are helping them grow and develop. This is probably the most important part of this entire email.
  3. Track what you are doing with your time and the dollar value of the time spent at each step. Use this tracking to always strive to do work that has more value attached to it. For example, you might fill your day on step 1 with $15 per hour tasks. Low-value tasks. But once you get to step 5, perhaps you are doing $150 per hour tasks. And everything in between as you move from one step to the next. Always focus on doing higher-value work.


It is relatively easy to do Key #1 without doing Key #2. But if you find joy in giving away your tasks, you will move through the steps much quicker. And key #3 is something you should focus on your entire professional life. With higher-value work, you are achieving leverage with how you spend your time.

In more detail, to move from Step 1 (technician) to Step 2 (manager), you need to get good at hiring and training technicians by first understanding the work yourself and then quickly giving the work to the technicians.

To get from Step 2 (manager) to Step 3 (business owner), you must find or hire key team members who will develop into pillars of your organization in key team leader roles. You might have someone who leads production, retail, routes, and office/admin work. You empower these team leaders to make decisions without you and celebrate their success.

To get from Step 3 (business owner) to Step 4 (investor), you must fully develop your administrative team. This includes the team handling marketing, finance, client support, team support, and everything else that is required to have the business self-operating and self-growing.

One final note, as we near the end of this year..... life is a lot better, and you will be much happier once you get to Step 3. The business does not depend on you, and you are starting to see the primary role of the business is to provide cash flow to you and your family. Commit to moving one step forward in 2023. Especially if you are at Step 1 or Step 2. It is not always easy to do by yourself. Consider joining a group of peers, like Maverick Drycleaners, to make this dream a reality in 2023.


Have a great week!


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