From Dread to Freedom

Case Study Stats.

The Story

I operate a ten-year-old marketing agency that helps high-quality contractors thrive. I got into marketing the way most people do, by trying to help people. It’s very rewarding to see my clients’ businesses grow, and know I made an impact. Early on, it went so well that I began to hire one or two people because I couldn’t do everything myself. That’s also when the problems started.

I’d be so stressed out about the business that I’d get migraines. I was trying to do too much myself without really having the proper systems in place to delegate. The stress started bleeding over into every area of my life. Worst of all, I wasn’t able to enjoy my personal life or time with my young family because I was so stressed out about the business. There was just this lingering sense of dread, of knowing there was a mountain of stuff that I could never conquer, and I didn’t have a means or the time to deal with it. It was very discouraging.

My quality of life was suffering across the board and I just realized that the only path out was to be able to delegate. And in order to delegate, I had to be able to give other people clear outcomes, procedures, and paths to follow.

I initially read Work the System three times. I can’t even remember how I came across it, but the “outside and slightly elevated” perspective really resonated. It made so much sense to me, that the world is just a collection of systems, and that you could go one layer deeper to tweak systems to produce better results. When you think about it, it’s a simple cause-andeffect relationship.

The WTS training program went deep, providing the practical information I needed—like the tools and templates to actually make it happen. For example, I created a Procedure for Procedures. After this, I started telling people what we were doing, helping them understand why we were doing it, and then giving them processes to follow—kind of a picture of what success would look like.

This meant instead of having to micromanage everything myself, account managers could step in and do the job as well or even better than me. We’re a marketing agency and we serve a host of clients over the country. But that client work needs to be done methodically instead of just allowing each account manager to do it their own way and hope that they’re doing it right.

Now, I have complete flexibility over my time and schedule. I can be away for a couple of weeks, and nothing falls apart or comes crashing down. Everything just keeps humming along because I’ve got people who make smart decisions whether or not I am there.

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