How can you work on Marketing when the dishes need to be washed?


Your role as entrepreneur is to invest your time in the highest-value roles. That means removing less-valuable things from your plate. But most entrepreneurs don’t do this well. They say things like:

“No one can do this like me!” or,

“It’s faster to just do this myself!” or,

“I can’t afford any screwups!” or,

“No one cares as much as I do!”.


I’ve been there. The tug-of-war between “I know I should delegate!” and “I can’t turn my baby over to my staff!” is an internal battle between logic and emotion. Luckily, that’s why we’re called Two-Brain Business: we work with both.


Here are the steps to figuring out how to spend your time BEST, and then actually creating the time to grow your business.


  1. Break down your day by the hats you wear.
    If you were to duplicate yourself into 12 clones, and each clone could only do one job all day, what would those jobs be?
    Maker of the donuts?
    Purchaser or supplies?
    Make a list. We call these “ROLES”.
  2. Now, program your clones: make a step-by-step list of everything you do in each role.
    For example, the Cashier is responsible for:
    Entering client sales correctly
    Processing refunds
    Collecting money
    Closing the batch at the end of the night
    Balancing receipts with collected funds at the end of the shift (and end of day)
    Depositing funds at the bank
    Make the checklist as simple as possible. We call these “TASKS”.
  3. Assign an hourly value to each role. What would it cost to replace yourself?
    Cashier – $13 per hour?
    Baker – $18 per hour?
    Purchaser – $20 per hour?
    Cleaner – $11 per hour?
    We call these costs “replacement value”. You will hire valuable people to replace you in each role eventually. And you will pay them what the role is worth.
  4. Next, do a Time Valuation on yourself. How much time do you spend in each Role? Record your total time spent (in hours) for one week.
    For example:
    Cashier – 10 hours
    Baker – 20 hours
    Purchaser – 3 hours
    Cleaner – 5 hours…and multiply that Time total by the Replacement Value of each role.

    Cashier – 10 hours x $13 per hour = $130 Replacement Value
    Baker – 20 hours x $18 per hour = $360 Replacement Value
    Cleaner – 5 hours x $11 per hour = $55 Replacement Value

  5. From your list of replacement values, find the lowest. Hire a person to fill that Role.
    Give them a 3-month contract that clearly spells out the Role and every Task within.
    In other words, give them a checklist.
  6. HERE’S THE CRITICAL PART: You, the Owner, MUST reinvest the time you save by working in a higher-value Role. We call this “Climbing the Value Ladder”.
    If you bought yourself 5 hours by hiring a cleaner, you must show a positive return on that purchase.
    You can either replace the Baker for 5 hours, saving yourself $90 (5 hours X $18) OR you can jump a few rungs up the ladder and spend time in a new Role, like Marketing.
  7. After a month, evaluate your staff’s performance. Assign a scale from 1 to 10 for each Task.
    Review their performance with them. What can they improve?
    Now review YOUR performance in your new Role. What can YOU improve? Are you seeing a positive return?
  8. After three months, repeat steps 5, 6 and 7. Buy your self more time. Climb to the next step. Measure your ROI.


Most entrepreneurs never build a business: they buy themselves a job instead. But if they want to scale; or be able to sell their business someday; or just take a holiday, they must replace themselves in all roles eventually. This is the directive approach we teach entrepreneurs in the Two-Brain Business Incubator. It’s virtually risk-free, and far less scary than the usually “ready, fire, aim” approach to hiring.