Creative Genius Podcast

Season 5 Episode 8

Free Yourself to Unleash Your Business (Mike Michalowicz)

Free Yourself to Unleash Your Business (Mike Michalowicz)

“Take time away from my business? If only I could!!” That’s a typical response from many small business owners when asked about taking a vacation. But it’s not a good one—not for you nor for your business. Having a fuller, freer life benefits your mind, body and soul. And when you step away from your business for a while, you strengthen your team and your business will thrive.

In this podcast, Gail talks with Mike Michalowicz, entrepreneur, speaker and author of several bestselling books to help other entrepreneurs and their businesses thrive. He recently published a revised and expanded version of his popular book, Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself. His other titles include Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan, Surge, and Fix This Next.

Mike explained that as a budding entrepreneur he was seeking independence and an opportunity to gain the money he felt he deserved. What he experienced was the opposite; what has he come to call “entrepreneurial poverty.” This consists of a lack of time to do other things than work on the business, daily anxiety about revenues and cash flows, and the loss of a sense of meaningful achievement.

Determined to find a better way, Mike made it his motto to “eradicate entrepreneurial poverty.” Each of his books focuses on some area of entrepreneurial poverty he has learned to overcome. Clockwork, for instance, is about achieving time freedom. To do that, you need to groom your team to be able to run the business without you. Then, when they’re ready, take an extended vacation—four weeks or more—and see how they do. You’ll not only discover you can be away more often than you think, but you’ll also discover areas in the business that need shoring up that you might not have noticed if you’d been involved in the business day after day.

Business owners have trouble letting go because their ego is invested in believing the business can’t run well without them, but also because they’re focused on the wrong role. “Business owners should not think of themselves as superheroes who can solve every problem,” said Mike, “but as super-visionaries who have a vision of the future of the business and who choreographs all the resources around that.”

“The number one job an entrepreneur has is to be a creator of jobs,” Mike said. The more jobs the owner can get rid of for themselves, the more they are empowering the other members of their team. You need to develop a delegation mindset.

In a jam-packed conversation, Mike touched on a number of other important topics, including knowing the difference between growing and scaling a business, focusing on improving organizational efficiency instead of increasing productivity, and why fear is a major motivator for change.

If you’d like to know how to avoid the survival trap, what’s involved in conducting a “crush or cringe” analysis of your clients, and the “4D Mix” every CEO should seek to achieve, listen to the entire podcast.

If you’re listening on your favorite podcast platform, view the full show notes on our website:

Mentioned in This Podcast

For more information about Mike and his books, visit his website at

Mike’s most recent book, Clockwork, Revised and Expanded: Design Your Business to Run Itself, will be released August 23, 2022 and will be available in hardcover and e-book formats.  You can pre-order a copy now.

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