Systems Are Not The Solution: A Clear-Headed You Is! - Clear and Open

Systems Ain’t The Secret

The following isn’t a secret, but might as well be because it’s rarely understood.

I was very fortunate to begin my coaching career at EMyth in 2002. The E-Myth Revisited remains to be one of the top best-selling business books of all time (over ten million copies last I heard). I’ve spoken to hundreds, perhaps thousands of its readers and asked them what they got from it, and they always say one word:


And yes, systems are in the book. But it also covers org charts, visions, marketing plans, management strategy, personal development, and more.

So why is it people are so single-mindedly drawn to the idea of systems? It took me years to figure it out, but I did. It was one of the most important discoveries of my career. The answer is fascinating, tragic, and the critical foundation to solving all business problems.

When you think of a business system, you think of a consistent way of doing things that leaves no room for error. You get the same result every time. You think of how easy it would be to train nearly anyone to do it. Then you imagine an operations manual full of them, and locations around the world. Everyone is just following the systems, producing and selling the widgets, bringing in piles of money without any of the owner’s effort.

Seductive isn’t it?

It sounds kind of like a weight-loss pill. We’re all drawn to quick-fixes. But why? Why do we feel we don’t have the time for the long-fixes (that actually work)?

Why do business people get hooked by the promise of instant order?

This was the question I strived to answer, and now it seems so obvious:

It’s because they mostly live in the opposite: long-term disorder–what I now call chronic overwhelm.

When I oversaw marketing and sales at EMyth our research showed that small and medium-size business leaders don’t identify as overwhelmed. Their top frustrations were things like “not enough sales” and “can’t find good people” but it was easy to observe the overwhelm between the lines.

So this is the most important part of this article. I’ll say it again:

Business leaders are chronically overwhelmed, but don’t realize they are, so they attempt to solve other problems that are virtually impossible to do while overwhelmed.

In other words, this could be you!

I would drop the mic now, if I didn’t need to give you the solution. It’s like leaders are trying to towel off while neck deep in water.

It. Will. Not. Happen.

Systems Will Not Save You, You Will

So the craving for outer-order (systems) is because of the amount of internal disorder (overwhelm). And please hear me, I’m not saying systems aren’t important, they’re just only one part of the solution, and a small one at that.

The more important part is the foundation: getting out of overwhelm. When your mind is clear, you discover you mostly already have your own answers. The system is not the solution–you are. But when you’re overwhelmed, you’re not home. This is why I created Clear Workspace, Open Mind.

It’s a real fix, and it does work. Sign up for a free trial today.

It will not instantly transform your business, but if you’re willing to put in the work, over time, it can.

Want a free seat in the course? Email me your top three biggest frustrations. “Not enough systems” doesn’t count. I’ll give away three seats to the most compelling and thoughtful answers.

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