Have you ever found yourself at the end of an 80-hour work week wondering what you’re really accomplishing? Have you sacrificed time with your loved ones, time for yourself, time for your hobbies just to see your business stagnate? Do you feel less and less fulfilled the more and more you work?
We’ve been taught that there’s a direct relationship between the number of hours we work and the level of success we can reach. I’m here to tell you not only is that untrue, but that mindset can actually cost us business and personal success. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking we can only grow our business and achieve our goals by working ourselves to death.
Well, today I’m going to challenge you to choose life. A life that includes success and freedom, business growth and personal time, financial well-being and inner joy. You may not believe this yet, but you deserve all those things, and you don’t have to choose between them. And I’m going to tell you how.
A little about me
Ten years ago, I was a lot like you. I was making a ton of money working a ton of hours doing work I hated. Back then, I didn’t think I had a choice any more than you do right now. But something happened that changed my life and made me question everything I’d been taught about how to succeed.
My house caught fire and was destroyed.
That’s right. The nice house with all the nice things I worked so hard for was totally destroyed by fire and water.
But the part that really got me thinking happened before my house was destroyed. I heard a knock, and when I answered the door, a firefighter informed me that my house was on fire. Then he asked me a question that changed my life:
“What do you want us to go retrieve for you in the next five minutes before your house is destroyed by fire and water?”
It turns out what I wanted them to save wasn’t all the expensive things I’d bought working long hours away from my family. I wanted photographs and mementos, all the sentimental things that reminded me of the people and experiences I loved.
That’s when I decided to change how I was living my life and creating success. I still wanted my business to thrive and my bank account to flourish. But I didn’t want to have to give up everything else I loved in order to make that happen. So I started experimenting.
And you know what happened? I ended up working 40% fewer hours doing work I enjoyed and making more money than I ever had. I’m still a 7-figure entrepreneur, but now I am able to run my 3 companies by working an average of 3 days a week.
It isn’t an anomaly. It’s a tried-and-true system that’s worked not only for me, but for many of my high-achieving clients. It’s something I call grow by subtraction.
After my wake-up call, I figured out how to harness the power of hyper-efficiency in order to grow by subtraction automatically and permanently. And I’m going to share with you the tips and tricks it took me years to learn, so you can start changing your life today.
Decide now to create the life you want
Before I tell you how you can put hyper-efficiency to work for you so that you can grow your business and have the freedom you’ve always wanted, there’s a big decision you need to make.
You see, we all think we want freedom. We think we want to have financial prosperity while still having the time to enjoy our life. But many of us have been truly brainwashed into believing that work has to be hard, that we’re only as good as the hours we put into our business, and that it’s normal to be miserable in our jobs. Workaholism isn’t fun, and it isn’t healthy, but it is familiar.
So is putting off the life we really want to live.
How many times have you said, “I’ll do this when___”, “I’ll take this trip after____”, “I’ll spend more time with my family as soon as____”? I call these someday maybes, and they include all of the wonderful experiences we desire but won’t let ourselves have. Most people’s entire lives are filled with someday maybes that never become today.
So, the decision you have to make right now before we go any further is if you really want to change. Are you ready to take those someday maybes and turn them into your now? Are you willing to plan your business around your life instead of planning your life around your business?
Will you make today what you want tomorrow to be? Because if you’re ready, I can show you the life-changing discoveries I made that allow me to choose both success and joy every time.
How to grow by subtraction — automatically and permanently
Now you’ve decided to embrace your freedom. You’ve thrown away that old programing that says you have to work yourself to death to get ahead. You’re no longer letting yourself come up with excuses for putting off your happiness. You’ve realized you can grow your business by working 40% less and having a lot more fun while you do it.
What you don’t know is exactly how.
Like me, I’m sure you’ve tried many growth and efficiency hacks over the years to kickstart your productivity. And some of them probably even worked to some degree. But what I figured out in my journey of discovery is that there are really only a few core concepts that you need to implement in order to really grow your business and give yourself your time back.
I’m going to break this down into 3 easy-to-manage steps that I call the “3 Step Growth Framework”:
- STEP 1: Grow by subtraction.
- STEP 2: Do this in an automatic way.
- STEP 3: Make it permanent.
Are you ready? Let’s do this!
Grow by subtraction:
What if you knew that the work you were doing on any given day would actually make a real difference moving the needle?
The reality is a lot of the work we spend our time on is wasted effort. Imagine if you can knowing exactly what you need to do to actually achieve your goals and grow your business. And then imagine having the wisdom to eliminate about half of all the stuff you used to spend your time on because you know it really isn’t important in the big picture.
There’s a principle called the Pareto principle that states 20% of our efforts produce 80% of our results, and 80% of our efforts only produce 20% of our results. Doesn’t it make sense to spend our time and energy on the 20% that’s going to bring us 80% of our results?
Here’s an example:
You’ve come up with 5 different marketing ideas for your business. Two of them are likely to have a big impact and result in a lot of new clients. The other 3 are only going to bring in a few new accounts, but they’ll take as much time and effort to implement as the first 2 ideas. It doesn’t make any sense to pursue all 5 ideas equally, but that’s what most of us do all the time.
When we apply the Pareto principle and grow by subtraction, we do the opposite. We execute the ideas that give us the biggest payback for the effort involved, and we let go of the rest. In fact, when we grow by subtraction, that’s all we do. We look for those magical 20% efforts that give us 80% results, and we ignore or put a much lower priority on the other stuff that doesn’t produce that level of reward.
It can take some experimenting and refinement to figure out what course of action has the highest reward versus effort ratio, but once we know, we commit to those actions. And then we commit to discovering the next set of high-reward actions.
One thing I don’t want you to do is work for the sake of working. If your efforts aren’t fruitful, stop doing them, and put your effort into finding the course of action that will bring you the level of results you want. Once you’ve figured out what actions to take that give your business that big boost, subtract all the extraneous stuff that isn’t really helping but is costing you time, energy, and money.
In fact, it’s as important to subtract that low-impact, high-effort work as it is to focus on the good stuff. Remember, grinding is not succeeding. Learn to work smarter not harder and to spend your time exclusively on high-results efforts.
Do this in an automatic way
Have you ever noticed that right before you leave town on a vacation you are suddenly able to finish everything you need to do? You’re magically able to figure out exactly what needs to get done and how to do it, and you don’t waste time on anything else.
I call that “The Vacation Effect” and at its core, it’s all about hyper-efficiency.
After the fire when I realized I wanted my time and my freedom back while still continuing to succeed as an entrepreneur, I decided I needed to figure out how to harness this hyper-efficiency. I learned how to work in a way where I was always able to prioritize tasks and accomplish what I needed to do, just like I would if I was about to leave town. One result of that has been that I am able to work only 3 days a week, or about 40% fewer hours than I used to, and still get everything done.
Forced hyper-efficiency is the technique I use to optimize the time I spend working so that I can spend the rest of my time creating the life that I love.
The way I do it is simple: I limit the amount of time I let myself work every week. For me and some of my clients, that means a 3- to 4-day work week, max. If you’re not ready for that yet, you can start smaller by shaving off a few hours every week until you get to the schedule you want. I promise you, once you start getting your time back and seeing how well this works, you’ll realize you only need 3 or 4 days to get done what used to take you 5 or 6.
You see, there’s something called Parkinson’s Law that states that the amount of time you give yourself to complete a project is the amount of time you’ll take to do it. So, if you give yourself a month to do something, you’ll find a way to fill up that whole month (with mostly ineffective actions and procrastination, I might add). If you give yourself a day for that same project, you’ll find a way to get it done in a day.
How? When we know we have less time, we cut out everything that isn’t important to the task at hand. We figure out how to utilize efficiency hacks like delegating, automation, and (of course) the Pareto principle’s 20% rule we talked about earlier. And the crazy part is, not dragging out a project almost always results in a higher-quality outcome.
Most entrepreneurs work best under pressure. When you intentionally reduce your schedule, it forces you to find a way to apply the least effort to produce the greatest results. That means you’re applying the Pareto principle automatically without having to rely on self-discipline.
Look, I know believing in the power of forced hyper-efficiency can be a big leap, especially since we’ve all been taught to overwork in order to achieve results. For some of us, leaving our workaholic tendencies behind can seem impossible. So I suggest you try the same scheduling experiment I did when I first started to embrace the wisdom of forced hyper-efficiency.
For 30 days, I implemented the work schedule that I always wanted. I only allowed myself to work 3 days a week, no cheating. And I’m not going to lie – it was painful at first. So many of my own inefficiencies and time-wasting habits rose up to stare me in the face (they will for you, too). But I kept at it, removing each inefficiency one by one, and implementing new productivity habits that saved me time and effort. I became good at saying “no” and at managing my schedule. And at the end of 30 days, I extended my experiment to 60 days, then 90. Now, it’s a way of life.
I can now skillfully manage my time and my productivity so that I can work an average of 3 days a week and accomplish more. And guess what? The first year I implemented this schedule, I made more money than I ever had up until that point. My businesses continue to thrive, and I continue to enjoy my freedom.
It’s not magic. It’s forced hyper-efficiency, and it’s available to you right now.
Make it permanent
This final step can seem like the easy part, but for those of us who’ve been conditioned to believe our worth is connected to the number of hours we put in, it can be truly challenging.
Many of us use busyness to hide from our trauma and from ourselves. So when we’ve suddenly freed up our time, we don’t know what to do with it. We can even start to feel anxious or guilty. And those feelings can lead us right back into those old workaholic habits before we know it.
So, I urge you not to skip this last step, because it’s the key to making these life changes permanent.
You must start filling your free time with what you love.
Make a list, right now, of all the things you’ve been putting off, all those someday maybes we talked about earlier. Travel? Time with your loved ones? Taking up painting or playing the guitar? Learning a new language? It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it matters to you.
Now here’s the tough part: start doing them.
Every week with the hours and days you’ve freed up, fill your time with experiences that give you joy. Make those moments count so that you start making today what you want tomorrow to be.
Because once you create the life you love with the freedom you’ve cultivated, you’re never going to want to go back to the old way of doing things. That means you’ll continue to develop and implement the habits and behaviors you need to work less and live more.
Not only will you be more productive and more successful, you’ll be something even more important:
You’ll be happy.
Want Us To Create A Free Grow by Subtraction Roadmap For You?
Would you like help implementing my 3-Step Framework? My team and I will build you a custom roadmap – completely free – that shows you exactly how you can work less, grow more, and live a life you love. You can then implement this roadmap on your own, or hire us to help you.