Becoming a 20 Hour Founder

Unlock Your 5 Secret Weapons To Achieve More By Doing Less

Can your business operate without you 80% of the time?

If your answer is no: you don’t have a business, you have a job.

Whoaaa… tad bit too harsh this morning? 😛

There’s frustration I feel when I see founders who start businesses to create more freedom and fulfillment in their life by solving problems for others…

But end up building a prison they trap themselves within.

Your role as the founder or CEO is to build a machine that continues to solve problems or provide results to clients while creating more leverage and freedom for you to focus on your vision.

Your role is not to be doing everything or to be the single person holding everything together.

The opportunity here is to shift from “doing” to “being” the CEO.

Today, I’m going to share with you the 5 Secret Weapons you can leverage to achieve more by doing less.

The 5 Secret Weapons of a 20 Hour Founder

Going from “doing” business to “being” a business owner is less about strategy and tactics and more about mindset shifts and behavioral changes.

There are 5 secret weapons that you can leverage as the founder to reclaim your time and remove yourself as the bottleneck of your business.

The result:

  • You create time and energy to focus on what really matters

  • Your business can operate without you always being involved

  • You experience more freedom and deeper fulfillment in life

Here are the 5 secret weapons and the shifts required to fully leverage them:

Secret Weapon #1: Your Future Self

Mindset shift: your greatest asset is your energy.

Regardless of what stage your business is at, your greatest asset will always be your energy.

Understand how your energy works for you, create leverage to protect it, create alignment to elevate it, and you’ll be unstoppable.

Behavior shift: use your Future Self as the compass to make decisions

The biggest energy drain comes from operating and making decisions from a state of reactivity, your Current Self.

This is draining because you’ll always be out of alignment with your greatest self, the Future You, who has already achieved your goal.

  • Create your Future Self Codex

  • Tap into your Future Self every morning

  • Make decisions and operate from this state of being

Realign to your Future Self and the decisions you make will feel more energizing.

Secret Weapon #2: Your EA

Mindset shift: know how your attachment patterns get in your way

After helping many of my clients deal with team issues and conflicts, I’ve realized the root of 90% of the issues is an attachment pattern issue.

If you have an avoidant attachment pattern, you may be avoiding hard conversations with your team around expectations on performance and ownership.

This leads to a low-performing team because they aren’t clear on what you expect of them.

If you have an anxious attachment pattern, you might be struggling with micro-managing your team. Control is a form of anxiety.

This leads to a lack of trust and, furthermore, a lack of ownership.

Understand your attachment patterns and transform your relationships with your team.

Behavioral shift: unlock the fullest potential of your EA

I’ve found that a good EA is hands down the most effective hire a founder or CEO can make.

A rockstar EA can:

  • Take low-value and energy-draining tasks off your plate

  • Get things done and keep you focused on your priorities

  • Make low-impact decisions for you

  • Help organize your life around your energy cycle

The trick to unlocking the fullest potential of your EA:

  • Hire and screen for the right fit for you (the right agency can make this easy)

  • Put in the work to effectively onboard your EA (start with an Energy Audit, then delegate)

  • Train your EA by having them shadow you so they can learn how you think, communicate, and make decisions

  • Have your EA document everything so there’s a knowledge base on how to best work with you

Pro tip: when hiring and screening an EA, assign them a test project of creating a 30 day plan to onboard themselves. This does 2 things:

  • Evaluates their ability to think proactively like an EA

  • Highlights gaps you’ll need to train them on

Unlocking your EA’s potential can easily buy you back 10-20 hours a week.

Secret Weapon #3: AI

Mindset shift: productivity is not about getting more done, it’s about getting the right things done while enjoying your time working towards your goals

Working harder and working more rarely leads to more results.

Even if it did, it would only create 2X results at most.

Working on the right things and managing your energy is what creates 10X results.

Behavior shift: leverage AI to speed up implementation and shorten the timeline to results

Create time leverage for yourself by training your EA to take things off your plate.

Then teach your EA (and team) to create time leverage for themselves by using AI to speed up execution, processes, and the timeline to results.

This buys back time for your team to focus on their zone of genius, creating a high-performing and highly fulfilled team.

I helped a client free up 8 hours a week by training her EA to use a simple AI tool.

It used to take her 30+ hours a month to write 8 blog posts. Now it takes her 2 hours a month to review and edit 8 already SEO-optimized blog posts that took her EA 2 hours to research, write, add backlinks, plagiarism check and SEO optimize.

All with just a powerful AI tool and training the EA to do some simple keyword research.

Btw - if you want this process, send me a message. I’ll be teaching all the AI strategies I’ve tested myself or with my clients, in a course I’m currently building.

If you’re not already leveraging the power of AI, you’re not truly valuing your and your team’s time and energy.

Secret Weapon #4: HR

No, not Human Resources. Hire & Replace!

Mindset shift: thinking Who, not How

When we want something done, we've been conditioned to ask ourselves: "how can I do this?"

There is a better question to ask that unlocks more leverage with ease: "who can do this for me?”

An even better question: “who can do this better than me and would enjoy doing this?”

Behavior shift: replacing yourself in marketing, sales, delivery, and business operations

As the founder and CEO, your role is to build a machine that can operate the business without you.

So you can stay focused on driving the vision forward.

Once you’ve delegated or automated most of the implementation, the next step is to replace yourself as the decision maker and thinker in each area of the business.

This requires hiring and training higher-level thinkers who can remove you as the decision making bottleneck.

Dan Martell talks about 5 levels you need to progressively replace yourself and transfer ownership:

  1. Administration (transfer: inbox & calendar)

  2. Delivery (transfer: client onboarding & support)

  3. Marketing (transfer: campaign & traffic)

  4. Sales (transfer: calls & conversion)

  5. Leadership (transfer: strategy & outcomes)

Replacement here doesn’t mean just delegating the work. It requires a transfer of ownership of decisions and outcomes.

Replacing yourself is the secret to truly removing yourself as the bottleneck of your business.

Secret Weapon #5: Business OS

Mindset shift: think systems and models

The thought exercise here is to ask yourself: “Is my business sellable?”

Even if you don’t plan to sell or exit your business, this question gets you thinking like an elite-class business owner.

Are your business operations systematized enough to withstand and adapt to any season of change?

Do you have a product ecosystem or a library of products?

Do you have a knowledge base that would allow anyone to come in and run your business with ease?

Behavior shift: systematize your business to reduce operational friction in decision-making and execution

If you’re getting great client results, have an amazing team, and are achieving great profit margins… but you’re still the one holding it all together.

You don’t have a business, you have a job.

Build a Business OS to streamline operations and management. Your OS should have:

  • A Centralized Source of Truth

  • A system for making decisions

  • A knowledge base of processes

  • A system for managing execution

Eliminate operational friction and you’ll free yourself while increasing your team’s performance.

There it is, the 5 Secret Weapons of a 20 Hour Founder.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found it helpful!

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Your Pal,

Colin

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