Thought I would share another great lesson I learned from the E-Myth Revisited and Michael Gerber, one of the all-time classics.

When many of us start in business, we have to work in it. We have to do tactical work almost constantly. We don’t have enough critical mass, or customers, or employees, or revenue to get out of doing the day-to-day, which is totally fine and to be expected.

But then one day, if we do enough of the right things, we gain that critical mass, and those customers, and those resources to get out of day-to-day.

But many of us don’t.


Often it is because we have gotten into the rhythm of the day-to-day—it is our comfort zone. It is what we know. So we continue being tactical while the business suffers from lack of strategy.

Other times, we lack trust. We don’t trust that anyone can be as good as we are, which is very often true! But, and this is a big BUT… you are now the constraint until you realize that five people 90% as good as you will outperform you alone in magnitudes.

Sometimes we don’t know how to delegate, so we don’t.

Or even worse, and this happens so often, we finally try to “delegate,” but in our exhaustion and haste we instead “abdicate.” We throw stuff over the fence to others with no guidance, instruction, coaching, or framework for success. Then we get frustrated when it fails and claim “delegation doesn’t work, I will just do it myself”and the cycle continues… and often gets worse.

Ok great, so what? And what do I do about it?

The “so what” is, by being tactical all the time, you are holding your company back because you don’t have time to be strategic. 

You will grow to your level of capability and energy, and then get stuck.

Oh, and your people hate it. They want to grow and flourish and now you are holding them back. You are also going to burn out and possibly damage your health, if you care about those things!

Now, what to do about this…

First is to be aware that this may be you. Recognize that you may be too tactical, and that is okay, but plan to improve it.

If you cannot get out of the tactical day-to-day immediately, that’s fine. But every minute you spend doing tactical work you need to be working “on” the role at the same time:

  • Designing the training program to teach it to someone else.
  • Working on the metrics and goals to know if you are winning or losing in the job.
  • Building systems and processes and documenting them. “This is how we do it here.” “Here is the manual that shows you how we do it here.” 
  • If you are doing tactical work, you should be obsessed with how to find someone else to do it.
  • Finally, if you really do think you are the only one, and you are impossible to replace, you don’t really have a business… you have a job—a complicated, stressful, and often really low paying job.

And as Michael Gerber famously said, “You may be working for a lunatic!!”

It won’t happen overnight, but the greatest gift of entrepreneurship is working on your business, not in your business.

Build an asset that is totally separate from yourself, and if you have to work in it right now, at least work on it at the same time.

And read the E-Myth while you’re at it


Founder of the align5 Companies,  CEO of Scaling Up Coaches, and Serial Entrepreneur

Did you enjoy this content??  Click below to subscribe to John’s Bog and receive new content as he writes it!

Subscribe to John’s Blog