As 2024 approaches, marking my 20-year anniversary in online marketing, I can’t help but reflect on my journey. Sure, I’ve managed to scrape by, paying the bills and then some. But by my own definition, I never attained what I would consider “success.” Here’s why.
The Illusive Success
I’ve spent years thumbing through seminal business texts. Books like Michael E. Gerber’s “E-Myth” have long championed the importance of systems in entrepreneurial success. I’ve always agreed but, in hindsight, misunderstood. Creating systems is only half the equation. The pitfall I kept falling into was trying to execute these systems myself, which became the Achilles’ heel of my business operations.
Before diving into the epiphanies I’ve had after two decades in this business, let’s clarify what “success” means in this context.
To me, success entails owning a business—not merely having a job—that allows me and my family to live comfortably, achieving a high five-figure monthly income or more.
Such financial stability is virtually impossible if you’re shouldering the burden of executing all your business systems solo, no matter how efficient those systems may be.
It was only in recent years, with the emergence of AI tools, that this became abundantly clear. While artificial intelligence has taken efficiency to a whole new level, echoing Jeremy Rifkin’s “The Zero Marginal Cost Society,” it cannot entirely replace the human element.
This insight paved the way for a significant transformation in my business approach, unlocking gains I’d never before thought possible.
The Key to Any Success
Here it is, boiled down to its simplest form:
Create systems, then delegate them to people. It’s that straightforward. Don’t saddle yourself with executing each component of your system. In fact, aim to execute none of it personally. Delegate every process.
This paradigm shift allows for scalability, simply by adding more human resources to the equation.
This principle might appear simplistic, but it’s actually universally applicable and echoes Tim Ferriss’s “The 4-Hour Workweek” strategy of focusing on your strengths and outsourcing your weaknesses. Whether in business, professional life, or even day-to-day chores, identify the highest value activity you can be paid for and delegate the rest.
The limitations imposed by the 24-hour day mean that if you want to increase your earnings, you must elevate your hourly rate. A job will always cap this, but if you’ve made your business your job, you’re setting a ceiling for yourself. When you delegate, you lift that ceiling. You’re not just maximizing your earning potential—you’re extending it.