What if I told you that as a founder or entrepreneur you could create a one-day workweek and still have a well-functioning, profitable business?
You’re probably thinking it sounds too good to be true. A few months ago, I thought the same thing: It’s a nice concept but it’s not realistic, and I’m far too busy for it to ever work for me.
Then I met Tom Lambotte. In a series of conversations with Lambotte, I learned about his concept of the One-Day Workweek and his belief that it’s possible for every business owner to work less and have more freedom, allowing them to expand their true zone of genius and enjoy the people who matter most in their lives.
Lambotte’s One-Day Workweek is similar to Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek; it teaches a mindset and tools that create more value in your business so it can run without you. Plus, when it’s time to sell, a self-managing company is valued at massively bigger multiples. The big lesson here is that very few founders ever realize and truly understand that they are a disruptive force and a hindrance in their own organization.
The difference with Lambotte’s One-Day Workweek is that it’s a step-by-step process with implementation tools and SOPs (standard operating procedures) for real businesses. In fact, he’s developed a week-long workshop to implement an entire system that normally takes months or even years to complete.
What makes this more than just a nice idea is proof. Lambotte walks his talk. In 2022, while running two companies and launching One-Day Workweek, he took 150 days off to spend with his family. When his wife got very sick, he vanished overnight from his companies for 30 days to help care for her and their four children.
“The processes and the systems were already in place to enable the businesses to run without me,” he says.
Lambotte sees the pain almost every founder has — they’re too busy working in, not on, their business and they have no freedom from business — and it’s what compelled him to create his six-step formula. Almost any business owner can use his system to create a company that provides income, freedom, and joy for employers and employees.
Are you in need of a mindset shift and new tools for your business? Ask yourself these questions.
Do you have a clearly designed vision for a better future, or do you make it up as you go along?
Running a business without a clear vision is like packing for a trip without knowing where you’re going. The first step to creating a self-running business is to take the time to stop and reflect and clearly define your long-term goals, your values, and your company culture. Most importantly, communicate them to everyone.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day details, or are you all Zen all the time?
The story Tony Robbins tells about a man rescuing someone drowning in a river is a perfect metaphor for step two. As soon as the man saved the drowning person from the river, another was coming downstream, and then another and another. It got to the point where the man spent all of his time in crisis mode rescuing people from the river instead of heading upstream to figure out why so many people were falling in. The second step is to diagnose your company’s biggest problems and track its successes. When you stop putting out fires and intentionally identify what’s working and what’s not, you can make the necessary changes.
Are you confident in your team running your business, or are you a glorified babysitter?
Getting the right team in place is the essential step three. When you have a team of A-players, including a COO and executive assistant, all united around the same well-defined values and goals, you are free to work on your business not in it. The right team starts by hiring for both skill and values. If your company values and goals are clear, it is easier to attract the right fits and weed out the wrong ones.
This step also requires hiring a great implementer who is systems-minded and values compatible. This person understands that their objective is to create freedom for the founder so the founder can continue being a visionary, ambassador and innovator.
Does your business run on efficient, documented systems or are your processes a hot mess?
In many businesses, about 10 to 20 percent of the processes create 80 to 90 percent of the results. In step four you identify the core processes your company runs on. You figure out the best applications, services and automations that can do the work for you and establish built-in feedback loops so that your processes are continually improving. In this step you also learn how to run effective meetings and teach your team members how to effectively plan their weeks. Again, you clearly document everything.
Do you seek out efficiencies and leverage the full power of your technology or do you limp along at half power?
The fifth step, the technology ROI multiplier, can help you accomplish more without hiring more people and free up time for everyone. Most of us don’t tap into anywhere near the full capabilities of our technology, from our TVs to our phones to our business software. Fully realizing your technology’s capabilities can free up small increments of time per employee per day, which adds up over a year. If you save one employee 10 minutes a day, that’s 40 hours a year. If everyone on the team is seeking efficiencies, hundreds of hours a year are saved, which can mean raises and benefits for everyone. According to Lambotte, some of the top productivity enhancing tools to consider are Notion, Airtable, 15Five, Sweetprocess, CloudApp, Text Expander and Zapier. His team of 12 invested 33 hours in enhanced productivity tools to save the company 33 hours per week in perpetuity, the value of almost a full-time employee.
Do you make every decision and have your hand in every pot or does no one even notice when you’re gone?
When you get the five steps above in place, the velocity engine takes over. With well-documented goals and values, clearly documented processes, cooperative and efficient team members and the power of technology, your business runs like a well-oiled machine. You can go on vacation or sabbatical without your phone or computer and spend your time innovating and creating.
Lambotte’s One-Day Workweek is the fastest way to get the greatest results on the path to a lifestyle-compatible business with self-managing teams. It works best for founders and cofounders of B2B businesses worth $2 to $50 million that have more clients than they can handle and need systems and strategies so that they don’t become overwhelmed and fall out of love with their business.
MyOneDayWorkweek.com offers a free diagnostic quiz, a velocity engine video walkthrough, productivity-enhancing books, a consultation for qualified business owners, information on workshops, and more. Working with Lambotte personally is a boutique-style advisory and consulting experience that can achieve results in days, not months.
Whether you’re seeking to sell your company for multiples or just want more freedom in your work and personal life — OK, who doesn’t want both? — the principles of MyOneDayWorkweek are rocket fuel for change. Listen to the interview with Tom on my podcast here: www.MikeKoenigs.com/CA