The 4DM helps you audit your time to figure out whether you’re actually growing and running your business, or simply working as another technician.
So this week’s simple system, just like last week’s, comes from a book called Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz. This particular system is called the 4D mix. What he explains is that as you have tasks to do, essentially they are going to fall into one of four categories: doing, deciding, delegating and designing.
Doing is fairly obvious. You’re doing whatever it is that your primary role is at your job, maybe you’re a leader or maybe you’re an entrepreneur. You’re doing whatever the primary role is. If you’re a solopreneur, you’re doing all four of these.
Deciding is what most people think of as delegating. Deciding is when you bring somebody in who needs help, or they are going to help you with a task, you’re going to assign a task to them, but you have to make all the decisions. They’re not autonomous. They have no autonomy. You’re approving everything, you’re making changes, you’re making suggestions, etc.
Delegating is the phase at which you are actually delegating outcomes to people. You’re assigning them a project, not just a task.
Designing is the work of actually designing the business of taking time to work on the business and not in the business.
What Mike explains is the ideal 4D mix for a business as a whole is to be spending 80% of the time doing, 2% deciding, 8% delegating and 10% designing. Depending on the size of your team, you actually have to do some math and balance that out. I highly recommend you get the book and check that out in order to get it.
Really the only thing I want to hone in on here is this act of designing. Designing is the thing that actually grows a business. Designing is what separates a business owner from a technician. It’s the thing that’s actually most confusing for people because a lot of people end up getting into business because they like doing something and suddenly you find out as a business owner that the irony is you can’t really do it yourself for a very long time and be profitable unless you’re the best in the world and charging exorbitant fees. After a certain point in time there’s too much work for you to do and it takes time. You need to scale and grow your team, a least a little bit. You could decide not to take that work.
For example, I read a great book by Paul Jarvis called Company of One. I highly recommend it. It essentially argues that you don’t have to scale just for the sake of scaling. You could stay at a certain level if you wanted to, but if you want to end up growing your business and doing more work and taking things on, then you are going to have to spend that time designing and you’re going to have to start delegating more and growing your team.
That is the 4D mix. You can audit your own time to figure out how much of your time is spent doing that and if you’re not spending any time designing your business, then you don’t have a business. What you are, is you’re doing technician work. Just like if you were working for another company. You’re working all hours of the day and now you’re trying to keep up with invoicing and such. If you can take the time to design your business, then you can design and start implementing some of these systems and processes and even bring in the right people to help do what you’re doing.
Again I would highly recommend you check out Clockwork. It’s a great book by Mike Michalowicz. I’m sure you can get it on Amazon very affordably, and it’s worth every second of the read, I can assure you.
God bless you and we’ll see you in the next episode.