The

Operations Manifesto

by the Team @ TALOS

Introduction

Our mission is to help you build a business that works without you.

If you started a business to do the one thing you love, odds are you quickly got stuck doing ten other things you hate and/or aren't good at. At this point, your entrepreneurial dream turns into a nightmare.

There's a better way; a way that leads to a freer and fuller life where you get to stay in flow doing only the things you love. TALOS shows you the way in The Operations Manifesto. Here, you'll find copious notes on seven books that embody our mission and vision as a company.

Please enjoy and do not hesitate to reach out to Team@BuiltByTALOS.com with any questions.

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

  • This book details the mindset needed to start, run, and succeed at business and do so in a way where you are not enslaved by your business.
  • The Entrepreneurial Myth
  • ~“E-myth” refers to the small businesses that are started by entrepreneurs risking capital to make a profit.
  • “The Entrepreneurial Seizure” is the moment when an employee decides to become his/her own boss and start their own business.
  • The Fatal Assumption - “If you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work.”
  • ~Just because you know how to do the technical work doesn’t mean you know how to effectively run a business that does say technical work.
  • Don’t let your entrepreneurial dream turn into a nightmare where you’re enslaved by your business, doing one job you’re good at and ten others you aren’t good at and/or don’t like doing.


  • The Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician
  • ~“The problem is that everybody who goes into business is actually three-people-in-one: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and the Technician.” - Michael Gerber
  • ~The Entrepreneur - focuses on closing the gaps between where the business is today and where they want it to go in the future. This personality craves control.
  • ~The Manager - cleans up the mess that the entrepreneur creates. Focuses on achieving results. Focusing on the present and strategizing for the future. This personality craves order.
  • ~The Technician - the “doer.” Focuses on doing the work.
  • ~Ideally, the 3 personalities should be balanced. However, the typical business owner is composed of one personality that dominates and manipulates the others.


  • Three Phases of Business Growth:
  • Infancy: The Technician’s Phase
  • ~“Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs.” - Michael Gerber
  • ~Infancy is the start-up phase of the business.
  • ~You act as the Technician, doing all the work by yourself.
  • ~Business = Owner is when the entity (the business) and the owners are one and the same.
  • ~“If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business - you have a job.” - Michael Gerber
  • ~This stage will only end when the owner realizes and understands that they can’t run the business this way forever.
  • ~The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can provide and create fulfilling and purposeful jobs for other people whilst creating a freer and fuller life for yourself.


  • Adolescence: Getting Some Help
  • ~The owner must be willing to change to reach the second phase of business growth.
  • ~Adolescence is the growth phase and will only begin when you get help from others with experience or skills that you don’t have and/or don’t want to do.
  • ~This phase is where the business owner stops doing the wrong work.
  • ~“Management by abdication” - It is a common condition where business owners disengage from the business and delegate tasks to employees who end up getting the job done, but as the owner realizes over time, not quite as not as the owner would like them to get done. Therefore, at a certain point, the owner reinserts him/herself as the technician once again.
  • ~Technician-oriented owners must engage with other personalities (Manager and Entrepreneur)
  • ~Beyond the Comfort Zone
  • ~~In the Adolescence stage, owners are pushed to the limits of their comfort zone.
  • ~~“The Comfort Zone” is the boundary in which the owner feels secure in his/her abilities.
  • ~~Technician - how much he can do for him/herself.
  • ~~Manager - how many technicians he/she can supervise efficiently.
  • ~~Entrepreneur - how many managers he/she can engage in the pursuit of his/her vision.
  • ~Three Potential Outcomes of a Business’s Adolescent Phase:
  • ~~Return to Infancy - when the owner goes back to being the Technician.
  • ~~Go for Broke - when the business self-destructs from its own momentum.
  • ~~Adolescence Survival - when the business owner(s) adapt and change to meet the growing needs of the entity.
  • ~“Any plan is better than no plan.” - Michael Gerber


  • Maturity and the Entrepreneurial Perspective
  • ~“A Mature business knows how it got to be where it is, and what it must do to get where it wants to go.” - Michael Gerber
  • ~Entrepreneurial Perspective
  • ~~Clearly defined vision and direction
  • ~~“To the Entrepreneur, the business is the product. To the Technician, the product is what he delivers to the customer.” - Michael Gerber
  • ~The Turnkey Revolution
  • ~~Business Format Franchise - provides franchisees with an entire system of doing business. Anyone can run this system.
  • ~~Understand that the true product of the business is the business itself.
  • ~~Create a systems-dependent business that works without the presence of the owner, not a people-dependent business.
  • ~~The systems run the business. The people run the systems.
  • ~The Franchise Prototype - Results from the success of the Business Format Franchise
  • ~~Allows the owner to provide the customer with what he/she wants and maintain control of the business.
  • ~~Allows the 3 Personalities to work harmoniously.
  • ~~Differentiates every extraordinary business from every one of its competitors.
  • ~Working On Your Business, Not In It
  • ~~“Your business is not your life. Your business and your life are two totally separate things.” - Michael Gerber
  • ~~“The purpose of your life is not to serve your business… the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life.” - Michael Gerber
  • ~~Get free of your business to live a fuller life.
  • ~The Business Development Process
  • ~~Three Significant Activities: (1) Innovation - simplifies your business to its critical essentials; (2) Quantification - determine if innovation is working or failing; and (3) Orchestration - elimination of discretion, or choice, at the operating level of your business.
  • ~Your Business Development Program
  • ~The 7-Step Process to Turn your Business into a Franchise Prototype:
  • ~~Your Primary Aim - this is what brings your business to life and your life to the business.
  • ~~Your Strategic Objective - your business should align with your life plan. Set appropriate standards to help your people be more productive.
  • ~~Your Organizational Strategy - make an Organizational Chart. You should avoid organizing around personalities and organize by responsibilities. Get together with your business partner, list all the positions, develop a position contract for each position, and have each business partner claim their unique roles and sign off on them. That way, it becomes clear as to who owns what. If everyone does everything, then nobody is responsible for anything. And in that case, things start to fall by the wayside because everyone just looks at each other confused.
  • ~~Your Management Strategy - composed of (1) Management System - a system designed to produce results; and (2) Management Development - create an operations manual as you/your team execute the work.
  • ~~Your People Strategy - create an environment where the idea behind the work is more important than the work itself. Find people willing to work within your system, not people who believe they have a better one.
  • ~~Your Marketing Strategy - “When it comes to marketing, what you want is unimportant. It’s what your customer wants that matters.” - Michael Gerber
  • ~~Determine the Demographics (who your customer is) and Psychographics (why your customer buys) because you can’t run a successful business if you don’t understand your customers (see the first principle of Lean Thinking for more).
  • ~~Your Systems Strategy - Three Types of Business Systems: (1) Hard Systems which are physical and non-living things; (2) Soft Systems are those living things or ideas; and (3) Information Systems is when there is an interaction between Hard and Soft Systems. “A system is a set of things, actions, ideas, and information that interact with each other, and in so doing, alter other systems.” - Michael Gerber.


  • Key Takeaways
  • ~Don’t let your entrepreneurial dream turn into a nightmare where you’re enslaved by your business, doing one job you’re good at and ten others you aren’t.
  • ~Stop doing the wrong work.
  • ~If you are disorganized, your business will be disorganized.
  • ~The systems run the business. The people run the systems.
  • ~Build a business that works without you.
  • ~Get free of your business to live a fuller life.
  • ~More emphasis on knowing numbers. The health of your business. Get a pulse on your business in an instant. If it doesn’t get measured, it doesn’t get managed. Be like a doctor for your business. Know the pulse, blood pressure, etc.
  • ~Create more life for everyone who comes in contact with the business. But most importantly, for you.


  • “The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is living fully and just existing.” - Michael Gerber

Do Better Work by Max Yoder

  • Be Vulnerable
  • ~“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” - Criss Jami
  • ~~Vulnerability is actually a demonstration of strength.
  • ~~Don’t hesitate to ask for help, seek guidance, and acknowledge emotions.
  • ~~Set a standard that it is great and OK for people to be open about ideas and challenges.
  • ~~Create a safe and honest environment.
  • ~~Let people be more communicative.
  • ~~Good leaders ask questions instead of pretending like they know all the answers.


  • Share before You’re Ready
  • ~“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” - Booker T. Washington
  • ~~Share your first draft without hesitation.
  • ~~If you don’t share early and often, how will you know that what you’re making will be well-received? You won’t know. You’ll just be guessing, assuming. As Oscar Wilde said, “when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” Don’t assume. Get feedback early and often so that your creations are well-received.
  • ~~Identify the people who are vocal but respectful with their feedback. Go to them for feedback whenever possible.
  • ~~Give great feedback: Ask questions that were running through your head, while also providing any other feedback you have.
  • ~~Don’t be afraid of trial and error.
  • ~~Great leaders don’t know the answer, they learn the answer.


  • Look for Opportunity
  • ~“Challenges are inevitable, but the way we respond to them is a choice.” - Max Yoder
  • ~~Threat Mindset vs. Opportunity Mindset - everything is either a threat or a potential opportunity.
  • ~~When all else fails, when nothing seems to be going your way, look for the potential opportunity, as impossible as that may seem.
  • ~~Verify that your goals still matter to you.
  • ~~Give yourself time to think creatively for the next steps.
  • ~~Turn your breakdowns into breakthroughs, setbacks into setups.


  • Ask Clarifying Questions
  • ~The Curse of Knowledge
  • ~~All of us are afflicted by a cognitive bias wherein we assume other people know what we know. This is referred to as The Curse of Knowledge.
  • ~~Not all people know what you know.
  • ~~By extension, not everyone is thinking what you’re thinking. Not everyone is on the same page.
  • ~~Instead of respectfully nodding in agreement, assuming what the other person means, practice asking clarifying questions to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • ~~Too often, we assume we know what others mean when we really don’t. Why not just ask to make sure?
  • ~~Uncover the assumptions.
  • ~~Be informed. And of course, make sure your team is informed.


  • Highlight What’s Working!
  • ~“What’s going well around here and how do we do more of it?” - Max Yoder
  • ~~Problem-Solving = Appreciative inquiry
  • ~~Provide concrete examples of what doing a job well-done looks like
  • ~~Be specific when it comes to feedback. Don’t be vague. Provide action items.
  • ~~Don’t just be a negative Nancy that only pipes up when something is wrong or isn’t working. Instead, make a practice of highlighting the good, what’s right, and what’s working well.


  • Have Difficult Conversations
  • ~“To observe without evaluation is the highest order of human intelligence.” - J. Krishnamurti
  • ~~We are responsible for how we feel.
  • ~~Feelings are different from thoughts.
  • ~~Stop thinking something is wrong with other people when, in reality, their behavior simply is not fulfilling a certain need of ours and all we need to do is have a difficult conversation about that with them. They probably have no idea that your XYZ need is not being fulfilled.
  • ~~Don’t be accusatory, saying “you did this” or “you didn’t do that.” Instead, state the need within you that is not being fulfilled, open and honestly and without accusation. Then, tell the other person what they can do from now on to help you meet that need.
  • ~~Reduce defensiveness, increase clarity, and find resolutions.
  • ~~For more information, read Nonviolent Communication.


  • Get More Agreements
  • ~“Toss unspoken expectations out the window, and make time to agree on the behaviors you want to see.” - Max Yoder
  • ~~Expectations vs. Agreements
  • ~~“It takes two to Tango”
  • ~~When you fail, own it and figure out the next step. When someone else fails, own the process of getting it back on the track.
  • ~~Camaraderie is 🔑


  • Bring Brightness to the Room
  • ~“Showing up to a meeting or event is important, but how you show up matters more.” - Max Yoder
  • ~~Spread cheer whenever you can.
  • ~~Be open with your team.
  • ~~Earn their trust.
  • ~~Be aware of how you interact with others as it affects and influences their behavior.

Lean Thinking by James P. Womack

  • Lean is a way of thinking about creating more value with fewer resources and less waste.
  • Lean is a practice of continuous experimentation.
  • Lean is the antidote to muda (“waste” in Japanese).
  • There are 7 types of muda commonly identified in lean manufacturing:
  • ~Overproduction
  • ~Waiting
  • ~Transportation
  • ~Overprocessing
  • ~Movement
  • ~Inventory
  • ~Making Defective Parts
  • A lean way of thinking allows companies to “specify the value, line up value-creating actions in the best sequence, conduct these activities without interruption whenever someone requests them, and perform them more and more effectively.”


  • Five Principles of Lean:
  • ~Define Value
  • ~~Uncover what customers want, how they want the product or service to be delivered, and the price that they afford.
  • ~Map the Value Stream
  • ~~Use the above as a reference point and identify all the activities that contribute to what the customer values.
  • ~~It is useful to categorize activities as: (i) Value-Added - create value; (ii) Type One Muda - no value but unavoidable; and (iii) Type Two Muda - no value and avoidable.
  • ~~By reducing and eliminating unnecessary processes or steps, you can ensure that customers are getting exactly what they want while at the same time reducing the cost of producing that product or service.
  • ~Create Flow
  • ~~After removing the wastes from the value stream, the following action is to ensure that the flow of the remaining steps runs smoothly without interruptions or delays. Some strategies for ensuring that value-adding activities flow smoothly include: breaking down steps, reconfiguring the production steps, leveling out the workload, creating cross-functional departments, and training employees to be multi-skilled and adaptive.
  • ~Establish Pull
  • ~~Only products which are ordered by a customer are produced.
  • ~~Minimizes overproduction and inventory, one of the biggest forms of waste.
  • ~Pursue Perfection
  • ~~The flow of value is improved continuously.
  • ~~Lean thinking and continuous process improvement are embedded into the culture of the organization. 
  • ~~Each member of the organization, in their own way, strive to be a little bit better and a little more efficient every day.


  • Transforming the Organization
  • ~Map your Value Streams per product family to visualize wastes.
  • ~~Use the Value Steam Map (VSM) to map processes in detail, based on both the flow of material as well as information.
  • ~Start with the Low Hanging Fruit
  • ~~Perhaps improve a department or process where results can be shown quickly.
  • ~~This relatively quick win will serve as motivation to the organization to improve the other departments or processes within the business.
  • ~Reorganize the Shop Floor to Product Families
  • ~~To visualize the flow of products.
  • ~Get rid of people who work against you
  • ~~It can cause a negative influence on the other team workers.
  • ~When something has improved, improve it again
  • ~~Continuous improvement means constant and never-ending improvement, something Tony Robbins calls CANI.
  • ~Stagnation is unacceptable.
  • ~Adjust Lean tools to your own situation
  • ~~Create your own methods as different businesses have different approaches in specific situations.
  • ~Train employees
  • ~~Make sure that everybody knows to look for and eliminate waste.


  • “How can performance be improved? Sweat and longer hours are not the answer but will be employed if no one knows how to work smarter.” - James P. Womack

Traction by Gino Wickman

  • This book helps entrepreneurs implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to gain momentum and grow their companies.
  • Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) - a tool that synchronizes how people in the organization engage within the business.


  • Frustrations that Entrepreneurs experience without EOS
  • ~Lack of Control - instead of controlling the business, the business is controlling you.
  • ~People - you’re not on the same page with your team members and/or business partners. Hence, you are frustrated with them.
  • ~Profit - you are not making enough money.
  • ~The Ceiling - your growth stopped and you are unsure of what to do next.
  • ~Nothing’s Working - tried everything but failed.


  • You are not your business. Your business is an entity by itself.


  • The Entrepreneurial Operating System: Six Key Components
  • ~Vision - getting everyone in the organization on the same page as it pertains to where you’re going and how you’ll get there. Fill out the VTO with your leadership team if you haven’t already done so.
  • ~People - putting the right people in the right seats.
  • ~Data - giving everyone metrics on where things are, and when they are off track.
  • ~Issues - strengthening your organizations’ ability to identify and solve problems.
  • ~Process - systemizing your business.
  • ~Traction - executing well and knowing how to bring focus, accountability, and discipline to the organization.
  • ~~Conduct an Organizational Checkup to measure the strength of the business in the Six Key Components.


  • Letting Go of the Vine
  • ~A change from believing that you are your company to letting it become its own entity.
  • ~Embrace the Four Fundamental Benefits
  • ~~Establish a healthy leadership team - build a team of people that define the company’s vision with you and remain open and honest about all issues and be willing to fight for what is best for the company as a whole.
  • ~~Reach an inevitable ceiling - growth is the only option. Choose a leadership team that has the Five Core Leadership Abilities which are: (i) Simplify - reduce everything to essential; (ii) Delegate and Elevate - elevate yourself to do what you do best and let the team do the same; (iii) Predict - Projecting the needs of the business in a defined period (90 days, for example) and focusing on a certain number of Rocks for this window of time allows a business to be more streamlined and proactive; (iv) Systemize - document and get everyone to follow the company’s core processes; and (v) Structure - organize and re-organize the structure of your organization until the right people are in the right seats.
  • ~~Run your business on one operating system - use the EOS
  • ~~Take risks to grow - you should be open-minded, growth-oriented, and vulnerable.


  • The Vision Component
  • ~“Clarify your vision, and you will make better decisions about people, processes, finances, strategies, and customers.” - Gino Wickman
  • ~Create a strong vision by answering the Eight Important Questions via the Vision Traction Organizer (VTO).
  • ~~What are your core values? - A small set of vital and timeless guiding principles for your company.
  • ~~What is your core focus? - Mission and Vision Statement.
  • ~~What is your 10-year target? - Long-term goals.
  • ~~What is your marketing strategy? - Composed of Four Elements: (i) Your Three Uniques (what makes you different, what makes you stand out and what you’re competing with); (ii) Your Guarantee (reliability to deliver your product or service to the customer); (iii) Your Proven Process (the consistent way you deliver your products or services to your customers); and (iv) Your Target Market/”The List” (identifying your ideal customer).
  • ~~What is your 3-year focus?
  • ~~What is your 1-year plan? - Bringing your long-range vision down to the ground and making it real.
  • ~~What are your quarterly rocks? - Narrow your vision all the way down to what really matters in the next 90 days.
  • ~~What are your issues? - The list of problems that will prevent you from reaching your goals.
  • ~Shared by All
  • ~~Once you have created the Vision/Traction Organizer, share it with the rest of the team to get feedback and further refine it through Company Kickoff Meeting, Quarterly State-of-the-Company Meeting, or Quarterly Departmental Meetings.


  • The People Component
  • ~Getting the right people in the right seat.
  • ~~Right People = who share your company’s core values.
  • ~~Right Seats = each of your employees is operating within his or her area of greatest skill and passion inside your organization, using his/her Unique Ability.
  • ~~Unique Ability is an employee’s characteristics, values, and strongest skills that maximize their effectiveness and worth to the company.
  • ~After establishing your core values using the VTO, use the People Analyzer tool to determine whether you have the right person in place or not.
  • ~~Core Values + People Analyzer = Right People
  • ~To break through the ceiling, you must make sure you have the right structure in place to get to the next level.
  • ~Use the Accountability Chart to structure your organization the right way, define roles and responsibilities and identify all of the seats in the organization.
  • ~~Unique Ability + Accountability Chart = Right Seats
  • ~With your vision clear and shared by all and with the right people in the right seats, the next step is measuring your progress and having a pulse on your business.


  • The Data Component
  • ~“Using a handful of numbers that give everyone an exact pulse on where things are, and when they are off track.” - Gino Wickman
  • ~~Allow you to monitor your business on a weekly basis, quickly showing which activities are aligned or not.
  • ~You will no longer be managing assumptions, subjective opinions, emotions and egos.
  • ~There needs to be an emphasis on knowing your numbers. This is the health of your business. Be like a doctor for your business. Know the pulse, the blood pressure, etc. all in an instant.
  • ~Scorecard
  • ~~“What gets measure, gets managed.” - Peter Drucker
  • ~~The scorecard is a handful of numbers that can tell you at a glance how your business is doing.
  • ~~The scorecard contains the metrics or data to indicate performance, identify and solve problems, and remove subjectivity from communication.
  • ~~Who - person responsible for each of the metrics.
  • ~~Measurables - everyone in the company should have something they do to contribute value to the organization through (i) Removing subjectivity in communication; (ii) Creating accountability; (iii) Creating clarity and commitment; (iv) Creating healthy competition; (v) Producing results; (vi) Creating teamwork; (vii) Solving problems faster.
  • ~~Goal - the target number that must be reached every week.
  • ~~Date - the week that you are reporting on.
  • ~Any obstacles that stand in the way of achieving your vision will be apparent. Your job now is to remove those barriers and solve the issues holding you back. 


  • The Issues Component
  • ~“Your ability to succeed is in direct proportion to your ability to solve your problems. The better you are at solving problems, the more successful you become.” - Gino Wickman
  • ~Strengthens your organization’s ability to identify issues, address them, and make them go away forever
  • ~The Issue List
  • ~~A list to keep your problems organized in one grouping
  • ~~Promote transparency and solve the problems by (i) VTO Issue List - issues that can be shelved beyond 90 days; (ii) Weekly Leadership Team Issues List - issues have to be dealt with more immediately and can be resolved during weekly leadership meetings; and (iii) Departmental Issues List - includes all the relevant departmental issues for the week that must be tackled during the weekly departmental meetings.
  • ~The Issues Solving Track (IDS)
  • ~~The process your team uses to Identify the three most important issues and prioritize them, Discuss the potential solutions and create a plan of action to resolve the issues, and Solve the issues using the plan of action and assign someone to be responsible for each item on an ongoing basis.
  • ~~The 10 Commandments of Solving Issues: (1) Do Not Rule by Consensus; (2) Have a Strong Will and Resolve; (3) Be Decisive; (4) Do Not Rely on Secondhand Information; (5) Fight for the Greater Good; (6) Solve Issues in Order of Priority; (7) Resolving in Three Ways; (8) Choose Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain; (9) Take on the Most Fearful Issue; and (10) Don’t Wait. Propose a Solution.
  • ~~Lack of transparency can stem from individuals not getting along, so it may be helpful to have issues solving sessions.


  • The Process Component
  • ~“When everyone follows their process, it’s much easier for managers to manage, troubleshoot, identify and solve issues, and therefore grow the business. The clear lines of process enable you to let go and gain more control.” - Gino Wickman
  • ~Process - a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular end.
  • ~~Systemizing your business by identifying and documenting the core processes that define the way to run your business.
  • ~~Documenting Your Core Processes by (i) Identifying your core processes such as HR, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Accounting, and Customer-retention; (ii) Documenting each core process by using Pareto’s 80/20 Rule in The Four Hour Workweek and when capturing the process, look to simplify, remove redundancy, eliminate confusion, and add checklists (sounds a lot like Lean Thinking); and (iii) Packaging it through making or creating a handbook, which can be used for reference and training.
  • ~~Followed by All - when everyone in the company follows the core processes, managers can manage their people, resolve issues, and grow the business. Therefore, the business becomes less complicated and more manageable to scale to handle more customers, revenue, and employees.


  • The Traction Component
  • ~The ability for business leaders to execute well and know how to bring focus, accountability, and discipline to their organization.
  • ~Action is the process of doing.
  • ~Making your vision a reality.
  • ~Rocks
  • ~~At least 3 - 7 most important priorities for the company.
  • ~~Must be done in the next 90 days.
  • ~~SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely).
  • ~Meeting Pulse
  • ~~Your organization’s heartbeat.
  • ~~The action of holding meetings that are consistent and effective to increase traction, communication, and accountability e.g. Quarterly Meetings or Annual Meetings (The 90-Day World) and Level 10 Meetings or The Weekly Meeting Pulse.


  • Putting It All Together
  • ~You will be able to manage and strengthen your business to establish a healthy, well-run business.
  • ~The combination of strengthening the Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process and Traction Components are what makes the real magic occur.


  • “Vision without traction is merely a hallucination.” - Gino Wickman
  • Stay focused.

Built to Sell by John Warrilow

  • “The number one mistake entrepreneurs make is to build a business that relies too heavily on them.” - John Warrilow
  • ~Business owners create a rather obvious problem when it comes time to sell their business and go do something else.
  • ~Their business is not worth much without their ongoing input.
  • ~Entrepreneurs become trapped in an unsellable business because the company is reliant on its owner’s input.


  • Business builders must create a business that can thrive and grow without them.
  • Your business will become a valuable asset that you can sell if you create a business that can thrive without you.
  • Change your language from “clients” to “customers” and “firm” to “business.” Anywhere, internally and externally, the words “clients” and “firm” appears, change it immediately.


  • Think big and create a long term business plan.
  • ~Run your business as if it will last forever.


  • The 8 Steps to Build a Sellable Business:
  • Don’t generalize; specialize.
  • ~You will stand out among your competitors when you hire specialists in a particular area who can provide quality output.
  • ~Relying too heavily (financially) on one big fish client is risky and will turn off potential buyers.
  • ~Owning a process makes it easier to pitch and puts you in control (i.e. Our 5-Step Logo Design Process).
  • ~~Be clear about what you’re selling and potential customers will buy your product.
  • ~Don’t become synonymous with your company.
  • ~~If your customers think that your business can’t run without you, they won’t make their best offer.


  • Create a positive cash flow cycle.
  • ~Figure out how many prospects will likely lead to sales.
  • ~Ignore your profit and loss statement as long as your cash flows remain consistent and strong.


  • Hire people who are good at selling products, not services.
  • ~Meet the customers’ needs rather than the customers’ wants
  • ~Two sales representatives are better than one. It creates healthy competition.
  • ~If you hire someone who is used to selling services, they’ll likely bend to customers’ demands, making every project a custom job. This will make your business unsellable. Fulfillment should be just about the same every time. This is why people who are used to selling products are better salespeople for your business.


  • Don’t be afraid to say no to projects.
  • ~Remember your specialization and turn down work that is not within that specialization.


  • Build a management team and offer them long-term incentives and bonuses in return for their personal performance and loyalty.


  • When it comes time to sell, find an adviser that knows your industry.
  • ~Avoid an adviser who offers to broker a discussion with only a single potential buyer. The adviser is likely just doing them a favor at your expense.


  • Confide to your key managers that you are considering selling your business.
  • ~Don’t issue stock options to retain key employees after an acquisition. This makes the transaction messy.
  • ~~It is recommended that you use a cash reward as a bonus.


  • Convert offer(s) to a deal.
  • ~Get through the due diligence process and convert non-binding offers into a firm deal you can accept.

The Four Hour Workweek

  • Work until you Retire or Run a Business That Works Without You and “Retire” Now?
  • ~Generally, people work until retirement. The Four Hour Workweek aims to give you more time and mobility freedom by proposing another option in which you have the freedom to do the things you were planning to save for retirement now.


  • “People don’t want to be millionaires; they only want to experience what they think only millionaires can buy.” - Tim Ferris
  • It’s not about how to save, or about finding your dream job; It’s about how to free up most of your time and automate your income.
  • See and seize opportunities that others do not.
  • Become a member of the “New Rich.”


  • DEAL:
  • D is for Definition
  • ~Deferrer vs. New Rich
  • ~~“Deferrers” are people whose goal is to save up all their money for retirement
  • ~~“New Rich” are the ones who abandoned the deferred-life plan to live the life of their dreams now.
  • ~Money is multiplied in practical value according to:
  • ~~What you do
  • ~~When you do it
  • ~~Where you do it
  • ~~Whom you do it with.
  • ~10 Rules that are Fundamentals to Success:
  • ~~Retirement is the worst-case-scenario insurance
  • ~~Interest and energy are cyclical
  • ~~Less is not laziness 
  • ~~The timing is never right
  • ~~Ask for forgiveness, not permission
  • ~~Emphasize strengths
  • ~~When things are done to excess, they often take on the characteristics of their opposites
  • ~~Money alone is not the solution
  • ~~Relative income is more important than absolute income
  • ~~Distress is bad, eustress is good. 
  • ~Conquering Fear = Defining Fear
  • ~~“What we fear most is usually what we most need to do. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear. A person's success in life can be measured by the uncomfortable conversations she is willing to have.” - Tim Ferriss
  • ~System Reset = Unrealistic > Realistic
  • ~~99% of people believe that they are incapable of achieving greatness, and will settle for a mediocre life.
  • ~~The level of competition is fierce amongst those battling to achieve “realistic” goals. Hence, there is much less competition for bigger goals.
  • ~Happiness vs. Excitement
  • ~~Generally, we make goals because we believe achieving those goals will make us happier (contentment and fulfillment).
  • ~~It is the excitement that we should strive to chase (looking forward to more).
  • ~Comfort Challenges
  • ~~Change who you are to get where you want to be and don’t expect to be the same and get different outcomes.


  • E is for Elimination
  • ~“Just a few words on time management: Forget all about it.” - Tim Ferriss
  • ~What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it.
  • ~Effectiveness vs. Efficiency
  • ~~Effectiveness is about doing the right task, completing activities, and achieving goals.
  • ~~Efficiency is about doing things in an optimal way.
  • ~~While efficiency is essential, it’s redundant unless applied to the right things.
  • ~Pareto’s 80/20 Principle
  • ~~80% of the output comes from the 20% input
  • ~~Being busy is a form of laziness as it prevents you from thinking
  • ~~Be selective and do less - this is the path of being productive
  • ~~Limit the tasks to the important to shorten work time. 
  • ~The 9-5 Illusion and Parkinson’s Law
  • ~~This states that the perceived importance of a task will increase in correlation with how much time has been allotted for its completion.
  • ~~Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important.
  • ~~If you could only work 1-2 hours per day, what would you do? Do those things first, and if you need to keep working, then keep working, but you may not need to…
  • ~Pareto’s 80/20 and Parkinson’s Law Combination
  • ~~Identify the few critical tasks/customers that generate 80% of your income (80/20)
  • ~~Focus only on the tasks, the customers that produce 80% of your income. Drop the other 20%. Your life will be much better.
  • ~Ignore all information that is irrelevant, unimportant, or unactionable as most information is time-consuming and redundant.
  • ~Check email, at most, once per day. And permit yourself to do so only after you’ve tackled your most important priorities for the day.


  • A is for Automation
  • ~Learn how to communicate and manage remotely.
  • ~Hiring Virtual Assistants is one of the best options.
  • ~Replace yourself within a system.
  • ~Automating your life
  • ~~Hire an assistant (whether you need it or not)
  • ~~Start small but think big
  • ~~Identify your time-consuming, non-work tasks, and personal tasks you could assign
  • ~~Keep in sync by using schedules and calendars.
  • ~How to work 4 Hours a Week
  • ~~“Our goal isn’t to create a business that is as large as possible, but rather a business that bothers us a little as possible.” - Tim Ferriss 
  • ~~The key isn’t to run a business.
  • ~~Own a business and spend no time on it - Outsourcing.
  • ~~Product is key.
  • ~~Identifying a potential business model by (i) Picking an affordable niche market -  creating demand is hard, but filling it is easier, defining your consumers and make a product for them and if everyone is your customer, then no one is your consumer; (ii) Brainstorming products - fewer units, better customers, fewer questions; (iii) Distribution - resell, license, or create products; (iv) Micro-testing your products - assess the competition and create a more engaging offer than thema and testing the offer using short advertising campaigns before deciding which of your potential product ideas to back; (v) Automate it - contact outsourcing companies and/or hire virtual assistants; and (vi) Assess the value of each customer - identify those customers who spend the least and yet ask for the most and cut them out (always remember the 80/20 rule) and treat consumers you keep well.


  • L is for Liberation
  • ~Employees get stuck on Liberation because they fear taking control; Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, fear giving up control.
  • ~Just because you are embarrassed to admit that you’re still living the consequences of decisions made years ago, shouldn’t stop you from making good decisions now.
  • ~Swallow your pride.
  • ~“The mini-retirement is defined as recurring - it is a lifestyle.” - Tim Ferriss
  • ~~Unshackle yourself from the materialism and comparative mindset.
  • ~~Declutter your life from all its unnecessary belongings. Less is more.
  • ~~The more goal-orientated you are, the more challenging the transition is going to be.


  • Once you discover that life is not a problem to be solved and a game to be won, more opportunities will come your way.
  • By mindlessly chasing success, you miss out on all the fun during the process.
  • You can never go back and re-make the years of doing something you dislike. Life is too short to do something you hate.
  • You must know that the biggest mistake and risk in life isn’t making mistakes, but regret.
  • Soon, you will realize that there are no more excuses or holds back from living the exciting and fulfilling life you previously could only ever have dreamed of.

Who Not How by Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan

  • The main idea is about Delegation
  • Find Who’s to figure out the How’s
  • Procrastinating on a particular task? That means you need to find a Who to do it.
  • ~Shift from a How-mentality to a Who-mentality
  • ~Avoid burnout by enlisting Who’s to take care of the How’s that (a) you are procrastinating on, and (b) you don’t like doing.
  • If something is killing your joy and passion, find a Who to do it who loves doing it and does it better than you ever could. This way, you can stay in your zone where you maintain your flow and passion
  • ~Follow your flow
  • “How can I do X?” -> “Who can help me do X?”
  • Free your mind. Sharpen your focus. Hire a house cleaner, take Uber. Don’t limit the tasks you outsource solely to business tasks.
  • Decrease the number of decisions you need to make so that you can be more effective. Have Who’s make the decisions for you.
  • Avoid decision fatigue. As you make more and more decisions, you are less and less effective.
  • Don’t use your time doing what they can do better
  • Use your Freedom
  • ~Time
  • ~~If you’re not doing something you free up your time to do other things.
  • ~~You'll have more time to spend on what you're good at, and less time to spend on what you're not.
  • ~Money
  • ~~Finding someone else to do tasks you’re not good at might cost you money but you’re entering a different value exchange.
  • ~~You'll have more time to apply to what you're good at, which makes you money.
  • ~~Enlisting a Who is a “Win-Win” situation
  • ~Relationships
  • ~~In the world, there are buyers and there are sellers. Buyers do the rejecting. Buyers make the decisions on who to work with and who not to work with. If a relationship doesn’t add to your life, then reject them. This is freedom of relationship.
  • ~~Be the one who can end the game.
  • ~~People who are sellers put up with an amazing amount of abuse from other people.
  • ~~You need freedom of time and money to be able to decide which relationships work and which don’t.
  • ~~You'll often find mentors to work with who will help you get to the next level.
  • ~~Be more confident because you know that you're working with more capable people and You allow them to operate at their best.
  • ~Purpose
  • ~~Allows you to do the bigger things you might want to do in life
  • ~~Have more confidence and a bigger vision
  • “People who spend most of their time putting out fires are usually also the arsonists.” - Dan Sullivan
  • “In elementary school, you were taught getting help from others is cheating. You were not taught to enlist the help and capabilities of your peers. Yet in the world of business and life, collaboration is the name of the game.” - Dr. Benjamin Hardy

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We hope you've enjoyed The Operations Manifesto. By following the above principles, you can enjoy the life of your dreams.