Clockwork Book Summary - Clockwork Book explained in key points
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Clockwork summary

Mike Michalowicz

Design Your Business to Run Itself

4.7 (162 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz is a business book that helps entrepreneurs achieve business efficiency and freedom. Through a step-by-step process, readers will learn how to create a business that can run itself, giving them more time to pursue their passions and enjoy life.

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    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Don’t fall into the productivity trap.

    Are you absolutely crucial to the success of your business? If the answer is a resounding yes, then your business might have a problem.

    Here’s why: Your enterprise needs to be able to thrive without you. If you are the secret to its success, then you’re probably overworked, overstressed, and permanently logged on. Now, you might think that the solution to these problems is productivity. All you have to do is squeeze more work into less time. But working more isn’t a solution. It’s a trap.

    The key message in this blink is: Don’t fall into the productivity trap.

    Parkinson’s law states that our consumption of a resource expands to meet its supply. Set aside endless time to work, and you’ll use it. Sure, you can optimize that time through productivity. But what do you do with the time that productivity hacks free up? Bingo! You find more work to fill the extra time – and, just like that, you’ve fallen into the productivity trap.

    You don’t want to be more productive. You want to achieve organizational efficiency, where your resources work in harmony, maximizing yield, and where you’re leveraging your team’s talents, and pinpointing and fulfilling key tasks instead of rushing through a to-do list at random.

    In short, you should be aiming for targeted efficiency, not blanket productivity.

    But you might encounter a significant roadblock: you. You’re human, after all, and humans are comforted by the familiar. Even if the hamster wheel of productivity is making you sick, the workaholic grind is familiar. It makes you feel like you’re doing your best.

    But your workaholic habits are giving you tunnel vision. If you can’t take a break, you can easily find yourself in a cycle where you respond to what’s urgent instead of addressing what’s important: correcting small mistakes instead of meeting big-picture goals. Soon enough, your workday is spent putting out one fire after another, but none of these reactionary decisions are steering your business in the right direction.

    You might feel comfortable stuck in overdrive. You might even feel it demonstrates your commitment to your business. But the truth is, it's holding you back.

    The real solution here isn’t to work more. It’s to work less. More specifically, it’s to implement the systems that will enable you to work less. The next blinks will tell you exactly how to do that.

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    What is Clockwork about?

    Clockwork (2018) explains how entrepreneurs can grow their enterprises without sacrificing their sanity. The trick is implementing smart systems and standard operating procedures that allow your business to run like clockwork without your constant input, freeing you up to tackle the challenges or embrace the opportunities that come your way.

    Clockwork Review

    Clockwork (2018) by Mike Michalowicz offers valuable insights on how to create a business that can function smoothly and efficiently even when the owner isn't around. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It provides practical strategies that help entrepreneurs streamline their business operations and achieve time and financial freedom.
    • By sharing real-life case studies and practical examples, the book offers actionable steps for implementing the clockwork system in any business.
    • With its engaging storytelling and practical tips, the book keeps readers engaged and motivated, making it an enjoyable read despite the complex subject matter.

    Who should read Clockwork?

    • Anyone dreaming of starting a small business
    • Solopreneurs who are ready to scale in an intelligent way
    • Entrepreneurs who can’t exactly remember the last time they took a vacation

    About the Author

    Mike Michalowicz knows a thing or two about starting successful businesses. By age 35, he’d grown two multimillion-dollar companies from the ground up. Since then he’s added author, angel investor, and speaker to his CV. In books like Clockwork, Fix This Next, and The Pumpkin Plan, Michalowicz shares his wealth of experience in small-business strategy.

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    Clockwork FAQs 

    What is the main message of Clockwork?

    Achieve business efficiency and freedom by creating a self-sustaining business that runs like clockwork.

    How long does it take to read Clockwork?

    The reading time for Clockwork varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Clockwork a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Clockwork is worth reading as it provides actionable strategies to transform your business and achieve more freedom.

    Who is the author of Clockwork?

    The author of Clockwork is Mike Michalowicz.

    What to read after Clockwork?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Clockwork, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Buy Back Your Time by Dan Martell
    • Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
    • The Financial Numbers Game by Charles W. Mulford
    • How Big Things Get Done by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner
    • Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper
    • Fix This Next by Mike Michalowicz
    • The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz
    • The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox
    • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari