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Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  654 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Do you worry that your business will collapse without your constant presence? Are you sacrificing your family, friendships, and freedom to keep your business alive? What if instead your business could run itself, freeing you to do what you love when you want, while it continues to grow and turn a profit?

It's possible. And it's easier than you think.

If you're like most ent
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by Portfolio
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Lisa Van Gemert
Dec 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Here is the entire book in one sentence: decide what the most important thing your business does/should be doing is and then find really good people to do it for you.

In spite of flippant comments throughout that say, "Oh, if you're a solopreneur, this works for you, too," it's not true. It all boils down to hiring other people and then delegating to them.

I can't help but wonder about all of the high reviews because not only are the ideas not new (some even directly lifted from others like Jim Co
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Mike has a way of conceptualizing business methods that make you wonder why you never thought of that. This book is no exception. Full of TONS of practical advice, but more importantly you will view your role as a business owner differently after reading this.
I love Mike's method of writing where he shares case studies and shows you how to apply the new knowledge. This isn't a book that gets you pumped then dumps you out. This is one you want to read over and over and make everyone you know rea
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Mike Michalowicz knocked it outta the park. He walks his talk too. Mike implements and lives the principles he writes about. Whether it’s Profit First or Pumpkin Plan or his newest book Clockwork.

Parkinson’s Law applies not just to your bank account (ala Profit First) but also to your time. In Clockwork, the law is applied by restricting time. It’s all about selective efficiency, not mass productivity and not working yourself to death.

The key first step to getting your business to op
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!!
Finally a new business book that is not just 10% idea and 90% padding :)
This book is no-nonsense and describes very actionable steps to grow your business into a machine that runs without your daily intervention.
If your goal is to work ON the business, this book is totally for you.
Jesse Langel
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
For me, Mr. Michalowicz had a tall order to fill competing for my attention with The 4-Hour Work Week, which is like crack for the lifestyle entrepreneur. But Clockwork was a solid business book with a solid, marketable concept and design. All owners seek to run independently running operations. I know I do. I run a small law firm and relish the idea of stepping away to pursue bigger dreams. The author has definitely helped push that idea.

The author has credibility because of his successful past
Maxine Hargreaves
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read Profit First by Mike last year and implementing the strategy has had a HUGE impact on the profitability and cash flow in my business. So much so, that tomorrow I'm heading off on a one week holiday to Italy, my first holiday in four years, and it's been funded by the profits from my business.

When I heard that Mike had another book coming out, Clockwork, it was a no brainer to buy the book on audible and start listening. I also signed up for the Clockwork book club and worked through the b
Susanna Lönnrot
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, books-i-own
This book is really radical and mind-blowing. It introduces possibilities that you never thought would be possible as a small business owner and also gives a step-by-step process on getting there. The book promises that after putting into practice all the 7 steps of streamlining and automating your business operations it's possible to have a 4-week vacation without doing any of your businesses work. It's a fascinating idea that puts things in a different perspective. Also the book is full of pra ...more
Uģis Balmaks
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Read the book at the perfect time for the takeaways to be actionable. The book helped me (1) focus on the opportunity that has by far the highest potential for my business and (2) started delegating some of the responsibilities I've been unnecessarily hogging. That was huge for me.

That said, the book leaves you with an impression that everything can and should be delegated (I'm sure the author hedges against this statement at some point in the book, but that is the general impression of the book
Becca Harris
I am not a businesswoman, so that probably taints my opinion. There were a few really helpful principals (the 4D’s and the QBR) but the book started feeling repetitive to me.
Angela Lam
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I actually prefer Mike's other book, Profit First, which deals with money in business. This book deals with time, i.e. designing a business that can run without you.

The book basically covers the ideal 4D mix (for the 4 sets of activities that entrepreneurs must undertake: Doing, Deciding, Delegating and Designing) and the 7 phases to help you get there:
1. Analyze Your 4D Mix
2. Define Your Organization’s Queen Bee Role
3. Defend and Support the Queen Bee Role
4. Record your Systems
5. Develop a Bal
Mike Nichols
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really loved Mike's first book, Profit First. I found the advice in that book easy to understand and seemingly applicable to any size business. I felt like this book is definitely geared more toward businesses that have employees. I'm still currently the only employee of my business and I didn't gain a good understanding of the path to my first hire from this book

There is plenty of practical, useful advice in here for business that have employees, are ready to hire, or have part-time contract
Bobbi-Jo Brighton
I'm not dwelling on thoughts of wishing I had this book 10, 20 years ago and what a difference it would have made. The fact is I have it now and it is the game changer for me. This is not a surface level book with theory about how to create a business that runs without me so that maybe, if I figure out the actual steps beyond the theory, I have some chance of achieving that distance dream of entrepreneurial freedom of time, money with purpose which is why I choose to be in business for myself in ...more
Alicia Zinn
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Just wow! I mean this book as well as the others by Mike that I have had the pleasure of reading/listening to in the last few days are complete game changers for me. I mean if I had read these books and applied what I learned from them a few years ago I would probably be the proud owner of at least one of the two businesses I started and subsequently either closed down or stepped down from due to Entrepreneurial burnout brought on by the entrepreneur poverty he spoke about. I had no time or ...more
John Blackman
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is another how to business book for creating a business you own instead of one you run. If you run a small business I would imagine you would like most everything Mike Michalowicz puts out. I keep running into people who ask me, have you heard of So they are resonating.

Clockwork is about creating a step by step path to putting your business on automatic so you can spend your time on growing it instead of running it. I would start with Profit First before this one, and shortly follow it wit
John Hanson
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will read anything that Mike writes even though sometimes the over the top humor drives me crazy. Why? Because his strategies actually work in real life. Nothing theoretical here. Put clockwork into practice and you will enjoy your business again. How many times have you heard the need to work on your business instead of in it? I love the way Mike puts it: Rather than doing things in your business you should be spending your time designing your business. That is a much clearer way of understan ...more
Dan Macias
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another instant classic for entrepreneurs. Thanks Mike! I love your goal: ending with entrepreneurial poverty. It’s working with me. I’ve read and applied Profit First and the Pumpkin Plan. I started in April and you know what? It works. It’s impressive. Now Clockwork is another masterpiece. Full of humor and surprisingly simply and applicable steps, I’m ready to get my business to work like clockwork. I won’t reveal any of the steps, but I should say the philosophy behind the book is amazing: y ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've tried entrepreneur programs and other books without success. Most of those depended on me completely changing my personality. I'm just never going to be the spreadsheet loving, time blocking, super organized, methodical business owner. As much as I'd love to be that, it's just not me. That is why Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself has been a game changer for me. I am working through it and already have seen major progress.

The steps and processes has been easily digestible. Major
Lori Young
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am absolutely loving this book! I learned about this book through Tina Forsyth, and I have been glued to the content since I started reading it. It is my goal and dream to build a business that runs itself and the concepts in this book are helping me do just that! There so many little gems in this book, but what I really love is Mike's writing style. His storytelling is masterful, and it draws you in immediately. Throughout this book, you can really tell how much Mike cares about helping peopl ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clockwork is a book about systemizing your business. The author walks you through identifying the most important thing in your business. The book pays special attention to the mindset side of things and not only explains what to do but also why. There are plenty of great gems and nuggets of wisdom throughout the pages. There is nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary here, but a lot of really good practical advice. The one criticism I have is that there are several short stories that are really ...more
CherylAnn Crego
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm almost done with my third time reading this transformational book while implementing each of the steps. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, Clockwork is a must-read! Mike systematically breaks down adjusting a business to run like clockwork so that business owners can rediscover why they got into business in the first place. So many of us end up working ourselves into the ground. Thanks to this book, I will have a more profitable, more efficient, and more fun (again!) business ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
The suggestions the author makes aren’t wrong—they’re also not innovative. Essentially: get better results in business by focusing on one key deliverable and hire people to own tasks supporting it.

The book doesn’t have any citations and several of the example stories have flawed logic, forced to apply to the points he’s making.

If you’re a business owner with limited time and you’re only going to read one book, this could be helpful. If you’re looking for results of real research on what makes bu
Cole Shiflet
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Clockwork. This simple little book helped to reinforce what I knew I should have been doing. As someone who is a recovering micromanager, I felt really convicted by Michalowicz's words but, as I have begun to implement the practices in this book in the organizations I lead, I have seen growth. Michalowicz challenges readers not just to give up the "doing" but also the "delegating" and "deciding." The language in this book is super casual which keeps it interesting. If you're a s ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is brilliant. I bought 12 copies so I can give them to my clients, and I'll keep buying them. Mike Michalowicz's mission is to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty, and this book is a great step for any business to take to design a business that thrives without the constant, exhausting intervention of its founder. Clockwork is so practical that you can implement these ideas straight from the page and see the benefits in your business almost immediately. I highly recommend it.
Jacqueline Pirtle
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book explains in a very clear and simple way - and with a good amount of humor - what you can do to better your business. It is smart, down-to-earth, compassionate, and filled with great professionalism. It gives you a "feel-good" you-got-this attitude from which you can take the action it teaches--succeeding in being a happy entrepreneur. A phenomenal read that I can only recommend! ~Jacqueline Pirtle
Karen Briscoe
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Run a business like clockwork and achieve a higher level of success in life! The roadblock is in most cases the entrepreneur. Parkinson's law states that tasks and responsibilities will fill up whatever space is allotted, so the idea is to limit the time and efficiencies and effectiveness increases. Mike was a guest on my podcast "5 Minute Success" and shared valuable insights from Clockwork! Karen Briscoe, author, podcast host "5 Minute Success"
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this last weekend. I’m still processing everything, but let me tell you this is an excellent book if you want to run your business at full efficiency. I’m looking forward to implementing the strategies presented in my business- as a solopreneur I feel like this is a lifeline to creating balance, growing my business and reaching personal and business goals. If you’re feeling exhausted, frustrated or overwhelmed with your business - read Clockwork!
Jeff Hexter
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
This is now the fourth book by Michalowicz I have read - and I've read two of his books TWICE, so that would be six readings of four books. And this one refers to and enhances many ideas from the other books while adding some powerful additional new ideas. Well, new to me, anyway.

His goal is to help entrepreneurs out of the trap of letting their business run their lives, and through these books I believe I can finally (FINALLY!) see how to makes this happen.
Andy Parkes
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reading
Pretty decent. If you've read e-myth a big chunk of this will seem very familiar. That's a bad thing though. This takes those ideas and expands on it giving specific examples and steps you can take to get your business running more efficiently

Got a little bit repetitive towards the end but overall a worthwhile read
Omar El-mohri
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, audio-copy
Right in the spot, that's exactly what's missing in small businesses mostly. It's kind of follow up from E-Myth revisited book, except it goes deeper and more into todays tools with cell phones and emails.
if you have a small business, manage, planning on doing it, or just curious, you have to read the book
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