How Laura Zander Built a Business that Continues to Grow and Scale Rapidly While Providing Her with Increased Personal Freedom!

Is your business experiencing growing pains? Are you having trouble scaling your company?

In this interview you will discover how to grow your business. Laura Zander is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jimmy Beans Wool; one of Inc Magazine’s 5000 fastest growing private companies in the US and she reveals how she went from working 12-hour days, 7 days a week to being able to take an entire month off while her business continues to grow rapidly!

Laura Zander the Co-Founder and CEO of Jimmy Beans Wool

IMAGE: Drew Kelly



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In this Episode You will Discover:

  • The challenges Laura experienced while she systematized her business and how she solved them.
  • How Laura’s manager became a bottleneck in her business.
  • Why Laura had to go back to work shortly after her son was born.
  • Why Laura had to find someone that was knowledgeable and passionate about systems.
  • Why Laura used paper instead of business management tools to systematize her business.
  • How Laura came to realize that different aspects of her business were over-systematized.
  • Why Laura’s biggest challenge in systematization was to get her staff to follow checklists.
  • Why Laura took 10 years to identify the right kind of people to work in her business.
  • How Laura developed training packets for her employees.


Episode Transcript:

OWEN: My guest today is Laura Zander and she is the co-founder and CEO of Jimmy Beans Wool. Laura welcome to the show.

LAURA: Thank you so much. Good morning.

OWEN: This podcast is all about bringing out entrepreneurs who have been able to systematize their entire business and talk about how they were able to achieve such a feat. Let’s start out by asking you Laura, what are some mind blowing results that you now experience as a result of going through that process of systematizing and automating your business.

LAURA: I think the greatest mind blowing result is the fact that it is right now for me 8:30 in the morning. My 5-year old son is sick, my husband just went to work, and so I am sitting in my pajamas right now in my home office while my kid watches a show and my business is still running. It’s Monday morning and I’ve got 40 people making sure that everything’s great and they don’t need me. So my son needs me more then I can be home. That’s really cool.

OWEN: That is awesome. How will you say your company has been transformed as a result of systematizing your business?

LAURA: I think along the same lines… One, it’s more scalable that it’s ever been. We can continue to grow and keep up with the growth. And that was something before we had systems in place. My husband and I run it together but we were the bottlenecks. You can’t scale when it’s human-based instead of systems-based.

OWEN: And I think during the pre-interview you mentioned how you’ve adopted the E-Myth model of franchising the business.

LAURA: Yeah, that was a turning point for sure was reading that and then I actually… I don’t know if they do them anymore but I actually went to one of their onsite seminars, so it was a multi-day event up in Napa County.

OWEN: And you also mentioned you opened two shops. Talk about that in regards to the growth rates and stuff like that.

LAURA: We originally just had a little tiny shop about 500 square feet in a town in Lake Tahoe and it was just me. And after a couple of years we started to grow. There was a knitting bubble. People were going crazy for knitting, and we saw that there is a demand for another shop in a nearby town which was Reno, Nevada about 30 miles away. So by opening that second shop 2 years into the business obviously, in theory you should more than double your revenue and we did. But that also means that you more than double your headaches and your growth. People say that going from one child to two, it’s more than twice the work. So it’s the same thing with the business and with locations.

OWEN: Right. I guess that’s a result of systematizing the business, you’ve been able to get growth rates really high within the last couple of years. And also, how’s your personal life now been transformed as a result of systemizing your business?

LAURA: My personal life has been able to scale as well. Now, I can travel more. They don’t need me on a day-to-day basis.

OWEN: That is great.

LAURA: So that means I can do what I need to do to kind of try to stay as mentally healthy as I am capable of, as well as physically healthy, creatively, all that kind of stuff. It brings out the best in me again.

OWEN: Wow. You mentioned something about how your son’s ski team is on Tuesdays and Thursdays and how you can basically get to take them there.

LAURA: Yes. ‘

OWEN: That is nice. And so, one of the things that we’re trying to do is to share some of the highlights and benefits of you being able to systematize your business. And that’s why we ask these questions in the beginning so that the listeners can kind of see what you now experience. I’m curious too, you mentioned you get to travel a lot since your business is systematized and it runs without you. What will you say has been the longest time you’ve been away from the business?

LAURA: I usually go maybe about 2 weeks, which will be tested in April. I’m going to be going three of the four weeks. And then we just found out in June, I’m going to be gone basically for an entire month. So up to now it’s been about 2 weeks at a time.

OWEN: That is awesome. So [Unintelligible 00:04:17] getting a leave for a day.

LAURA: Yeah. No…

OWEN: So let’s go back. Share with them what exactly are the benefits of systematizing the business and what you’re enjoying right now. But before we do that I want to give the listener a context as to what your business is all about. What exactly does your company do and what big pain do you solve for your customers?

LAURA: We sell yarn and supplies for knitting, crocheting, and weaving. Other people call us the Zappos of yarn. So we’re a retailer. We don’t make anything specifically but we take other people’s products and sell them. The big pain point is like other passion based business like skiing or golfing. When people want something, when they buy online they want it now, they want the instant gratification. So we tried really, really, really hard to break down that internet barrier and to provide the same level of service, speed, and instant gratification that you would get in a shop, only it’s online.

OWEN: Awesome.

LAURA: Ship the same day, that kind of stuff.

OWEN: And just so the listener have a context as to how many full-time employees do you have?

LAURA: You know that. I think it’s maybe 25 or so.

OWEN: You said, 25 full-time employees, 20 part-time, and a handful of contract employees.


OWEN: And just so the listeners wonder i get this information we actually do a pre-interview so that we can get the juicy content and deliver it to you. I’m looking at my pre-interview notes. Is the company profitable, what was last year’s annual revenue and what do you expect to do this year?

LAURA: Yeah, we’re profitable and our revenue last year was about 8 million. And then we’re hoping… I’d love to do 20 million next year. Somewhere between 8 and a half and 9.

OWEN: Congratulations. It’s not [Unintelligible 00:06:12] that’s awesome. Let’s now go back to when the business was now systematized and automated like it is now. What was wrong with it at that time.

LAURA: It’s just a hot mess. Again, it’s the bottleneck issue. For instance, things really turned around about 6 years ago when we had our son because before then I didn’t really need the… I guess I did. But things wouldn’t breakdown if I didn’t have systems because I could just keep putting effort into it so I would work 7 days a week, I could work 12 hours a day if we had a bump in orders. My husband and I could just go and work 10 or 11 o’clock at night. And then all of a sudden you throw something in there like a child, or pregnancy, and all that kind of stuff, and you can’t be there. Or you choose not to be there 12 hours  a day, 7 days a week. So all of a sudden you have to learn how to start handing things over. And the only way to hand things over is to create some systems.

OWEN: You also mentioned about how even as you guys go to the point where it would become too much with the bottleneck, you will decide to hire a manager. The manager himself become a bottleneck too. Talk about that.

LAURA: You kind of go through different phases of growth. And in the beginning when we just needed one manager, or when it became apparent that I couldn’t work 100 hours a week or wasn’t going to work 100 hours a week. We got 1 manager but then we kept growing and we kept growing so quickly that we needed other manager or leads. And so our manager needed to be able to manage other managers. And the manager that we had didn’t have the skills to manager other managers, so she became a bottleneck as well. And it was just, again, a hot mess.

OWEN: So back then when the business was not systematized what was the lowest point and describe how bad it got.

LAURA: For me personally it got really bad. Again, when we had our son and had him and then a 1 day later I’m getting text about issues, I’m getting text about people not getting along or things not working, or things not happening. I got to take 2 days off and that was about it.

OWEN: How did that feel knowing that you just gave birth to your son and you think the typical thing is to enjoy yourself with your baby, and now having to go back to work within 3 years of having it. How did that make you feel?

LAURA: Well, he was colicky so it was better to get yelled at by my employees than it was to get yelled at by my child. So in some ways it wasn’t that bad. I’m kidding. It just sucked. You feel like a failure because I didn’t do the right work to set things up so that I can take the time off or so that I could sleep a little bit more. Contrast that to today our main manager, she just had a kid 2 months ago. She worked for 6 months and set things up so that we didn’t even miss her. Everything flowed perfectly, super smoothly, and that was because she did such a good job creating systems and setting things up so that she could leave.

OWEN: That’s awesome. What was the breaking point? Do you remember when you realized that you have to actually systematize and automate your business. What happened there?

LAURA: The birth was a pre-breaking point and then we moved from… Our location was 3,500 square feet in a strip mall. And we moved into a 20,000-square foot spot. So that’s 6 times bigger, a big warehouse. And as soon as we moved into that warehouse it was really apparent. Before we were so cramped that we almost didn’t have time or space for systems because literally we’re changing every minute. But once we had the space and the breathing room we could put some stuff together and we knew that we had to.

OWEN: Wow. What was the very first step you took back then to systematize your business?

LAURA: I think the first step was identifying a person that worked for us, or bringing somebody in. And for us it happened to be somebody that worked for us that had those skills and that passion, and was talented at creating structure.

OWEN: And you also mentioned during the pre-interview something about shipping packages. How did that play a role in having the first step to systematize the business?

LAURA: Well. Sorry, I’m going to try and keep up with you so give me just one second.

OWEN: I think you said something about you would ship out of those 40 hours a week. And I think you had another girl come in and start working with you at night. And I think that’s probably some of the things you did at that point to start systematizing, and the very first step. So kind of understand what you did exactly then regarding shipping.

LAURA: Okay, got you. The first step that we took was back in the beginning when we opened that second location. That was the very first step of systemization is there were two of us that were on alternating shifts and we were literally sitting at the computer putting postage labels on packages, and we had to figure out a way because we needed 40 hours a week of shipping was not enough. I need to be able to scale that. This was back in 2004, 2005 before apps and before SweetProcess, before those kind of tools were available. So we literally had to use pencil and paper and figure out ways to communicate with each other even though we weren’t there at the same time.

OWEN: So you mentioned that you even have the lady come in at night. Talk about that.

LAURA: Yeah. She was a college student and so she would come out completely flexible hours. She’s come in after class and just stay as late as she possibly could to get all the work done.

OWEN: You mentioned at that time since there were no project management tools and business process management tools, so on and so forth. So you guys use a lot of paper to systematize. Talk about that.

LAURA: Yeah. We had a system where we would leave, depending on what side of the desk you left something on it meant a certain thing. So things that were left on the right hand side and things that were done, and I would just let her know about it. Things that were on  the left hand side or in process, she needed to pick those up and finish them off. We had boxes that had orders that were ready to ship or not ready to ship. And we had little post-it, our index cards attached to them and we would write notes on the index card like this box, and stuff that needs to go out tonight. This box is stuff we need to email people about, this box is… And they were just index cards so we could take them off and stick a new one in based on whatever the message was.

OWEN: What was the second step you took to systematize the business. I think you mentioned during the pre-interview something about the inventory and something you did regarding the inventory system.

LAURA: Again, back then when it was just the two of us, when we were out of stock on something. So one of those boxes would say we’re out of stock. We would manually write the customer an email and say, “Hey, we’re out of this but we do have this. How would you like to proceed?” My husband who’s a software engineer and has built our system from scratch, he realized that the facet we could double or triple the amount that we could get through, he put a button in our email program that said “Out of stock”. And we would click that button. I would fill in most of the information for us so then I had to type a little bit of stuff.

OWEN: And do you remember any other steps you took back then to kind of systematize the business?

LAURA: That’s a good question. Even taking pictures for the website. So we take all of the pictures of all of the products ourselves. In the beginning it used to just be with a little digital camera when there weren’t customers on the store. And then we just created a system actually in our basement where Doug and I would take a whole bunch of stuff at home. We would write all the product numbers on a piece of paper. We would line all the products up on these tables. We take a picture, take a picture, take a picture. And then as well like I said he was a software engineer so he would just attack one thing after another on ways to automate some of the processes that we had created.

OWEN: So you guys basically built everything from scratch. That brings me to my next question, how did you even prioritize what order of steps to take, as in which systems to attack first and create systems for.

LAURA: We always just attacked the things that made us cry or made us the most uncomfortable.

OWEN: The most pain huh?

LAURA: Yes. You attack the most pain. If something’s not that painful then don’t fix it right now because there’s something else that is. Again, you find the bottlenecks and you try to get… It’s kind of the doing more with less or doing less with more. You try and figure out what’s going to have the greatest upside for your investment. So if there was something that was taking a significant amount of time and was taking away from something else then we would figure out how to systematize it.

OWEN: During the pre-interview you also enumerate key points, saying something about not only were you guys focusing on the thing that was the biggest bottleneck or the biggest pain. But you also mentioned something about demand. If the task itself has so much demand then or volume. Talk about that.

LAURA: When we launch new products, so we do now have our products. We’ll take other people’s products and create a gift bag. Or we’ll do something custom. Whenever we have a new idea we just throw it out there, we throw it out to the world and see how people respond. We try not to solve problems until they’re actually problems. So we don’t try to pre solve anything. So when we create a new product I don’t want to create a bunch of systems on how to make that product work and how to deal with volume, and how to have a workflow because what if nobody likes it. What if nobody buys it. So then we’ve done all that planning and all that system correction and we have a product that’s bunk [Unintelligible 00:17:21]. And so all that stuff just goes out the window. So what we do is we wait and see how customers respond. And if they like it and if there’s a demand then we can backtrack and figure out how to be more efficient on our end.

OWEN: I like that. So let the demand drive the fact that if you’re going to point across with your process with something let it be driven by demand, I like that. Back then how exactly did you document procedures and processes for the business. What tools do you use?

LAURA: We use Google Docs probably like everybody. And then we have our own wiki internally.

OWEN: Awesome. At that time when you were working on systematizing and automating the business what books or mentors had the most influence on you and why?

LAURA: As I mentioned, the E-Myth. That was the first one that made me really think about things in terms of… I hate to overuse the term, but scalability and repeatability. That was great. Small Giants by Bo Burlingham, I really like that book because I learned through example. So you can read that and see what other businesses have done and how they’ve solved their problems that way. And then I have a mentor. His name is Cliff Oxford. He runs the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurship in Atlanta. He came in and took a look at everything that we were doing and figured out what needed to be systematized, what was over-systematized. So there’s some things where we were over solving problems.

OWEN: How could you tell the difference, I’m curious.

LAURA: His experience, he just knows. As an example we have somebody that’s… He’s like, this position doesn’t need a manager. This position should be able to manage itself. And so if you’re managing…

OWEN: Let me do this for the listener so that it’s more concrete. I love that you were able to tell the difference. Could you give us a specific example where that applied and what he said?

LAURA: Yes. One great example again is let’s say social media. The person that’s doing the social media for us doesn’t need a direct micromanager. The person that’s doing social media for us should be able to manage the tasks themselves. When you only have a team of three people you don’t need a manager for a team of three people. Three people should be able to manage themselves. Sure, you need a leader and somebody to help give them direction. But those three people should be able to manage their day to day or their minute by minute tasks themselves. And so we had gotten to a bit of a structure where we were over managing some of the people and we didn’t need that.

OWEN: I’m curious, when it comes to that kind of thing of saying, is it based on the role itself where you say based on the type of role by the manager? Or is it based on the amount of people in that role  that determines whether they needed a manager or not? I’m just curious.

LAURA: I think it probably depends on your mindset. If you think about three guys in a factory, or you think about three of our people that are in customer service and they’re on the phones, do they need a manager? That’s an interesting and tough question. I think it’s a combination of the two.

OWEN: I guess the best answer is it really depends but keep that in mind that some roles might not need that manager and some roles might.


OWEN: You also mentioned another book called Small Giants. The Knack by Norm Brodsky, why did you like that book?

LAURA: Again, it’s just his story, and he provides a lot of examples of mistakes that he’s made and things that he’s done right. So it’s easy for me to look and try and mimic some of his actions and approaches.

OWEN: So back then what was the biggest challenge you experience when you initially try to create systems for the business and how did you solve it?

LAURA: Our biggest challenge, huh.

OWEN: I think you mentioned something about [Unintelligible 00:21:23].

LAURA: I think the biggest challenge is the very first step for us or intuitively the first thing that you do to create a system is to create a checklist. So you’re on the phone with a customer, here are the five things that you need to make sure get done. But how do you make sure that the person that’s doing it actually does the checklist?

OWEN: Like a checklist for a checklist.

LAURA: Yeah, exactly. And then all of a sudden you’re just doing all this work. Again, there’s kind of over systemization. So figuring out how to make sure that people are going through the checklists, or following the systems.

OWEN: How did you do that? On one hand I knew you created procedures and processes. But how did you audit it to make sure that they were actually following it?

LAURA: It’s a combination of a couple of things. One, hiring, making sure that you’re hiring people that you trust and have confidence, and have judgment. And so that they can work outside… So if you just give them a basic rule, they can apply that basic rule to all different situations. The second part is obviously the training and the communicating, and making sure that people understand. And then there is just an auditing system where we go through once a week, once a day, or whatever it is and just kind of check-up. It’s kind of a quality assurance.

OWEN: What was the second biggest challenged you experienced when you initially tried to create the systems. I think during the pre-interview you mentioned something about finding the right people and that was a big challenge. Talk about that.

LAURA: Yeah. I think finding the right people but even more than that. Before that is figuring out who the right people are. Figuring out what those attributes are. And it took us about 10 years to kind of finally figure out this is what’s important when we hire somebody. These are the attributes that are important. These are the things that we can change about somebody, these are the things that we can’t change. These are the things that we can’t live with and these are the things that we can’t live without.

OWEN: I think you mentioned something about thinking systematically and linearly, and also people thinking creatively. Did that play a role in this challenge of finding the right person, I’m just wondering.

LAURA: Sure. In our business we need two different kinds of people. We need people that do think systematically. But then we also need people that don’t think systematically.

OWEN: Creative types.

LAURA: Yes, making sure that each person is in the right role for themselves, and that’s something that we had to learn to kind of identify and work with. Because unfortunately we would put creative people and the systems jobs and that wouldn’t work out and vice versa. We’ve gotten much better at figuring out who goes where.

OWEN: I like that. Is there another challenge that comes to mind back then that you actually experienced and how you solved them?

LAURA: Another challenge… One of them is trying to find people… So we’ve been around for 13 years and we’ve had some people  here for as long as 8 years. When you have been growing as quickly as we’ve been growing, and adapting to the outside world, adapting to the business changes as quickly as we have our systems are going to change. At least that’s the way that we work. We always joke that everything’s written in pencil. Word charts are written in pencil. There’s nothing that is…

OWEN: I like that. That’s good.

LAURA: One of the things that we’ve discovered is that if you have somebody that has been there for a while and gets really stuck, has the mindset that things have to stay the same today as they were yesterday, or they’re resistant to change, that doesn’t work very well. Even in terms of people that are systematic you got to find people that are systematic but…

OWEN: Open to improvement, yeah. Just like the growth mindset. They necessarily have to have the growth mindset regardless of the role they’re in. I like that. Given all these challenges you’ve mentioned earlier, why did you even stay committed to the goal of systematizing your business?

LAURA: Because I didn’t want to end up having a nervous breakdown. Because you have to. If we want to keep growing there’s just no other option, or everything’s going to implode. And because my husband and I want flexibility. We want to be able to take our son on a Tuesday afternoon to go ski at noon. I want to be able to sit here in the morning and stay home with him if he’s having a sick day and not worry about it. I can still get my work done.

OWEN: We’ve talked about what you did to systematize your business. But at what point in time did you feel like you had systematized the entire business and it was able to run without you successfully. Do you remember when that happened?

LAURA: Yeah. We go back to that to when we moved into that 20,000–square foot warehouse. We had to make the most of the space that we had. And now that we had the physical space, like the mental space and emotional space. And allowed us to really start to do things the way we wanted to without the bounds of space restraints.

OWEN: I can even see that happening too especially because of the type of business you have I’m assuming that you have physical goods that you have to bring in to the space. Basically, you have this large space, you now have to literally make use of the space and create kind of like a conveyor belt. The different parts of the space where you see things moving around, and when they get to that very part of the space somebody is taking a specific action on whatever product is on their table. Is that kind of what’s happening?

LAURA: Yes. That’s exactly it.

OWEN: Now that we’re talking about that, let’s talk about what are the different parts of the business and the specific systems that you have in each point. So let’s take that conveyor belt question to the next level. Imagine on one  end of this conveyor belt is a potential customer who probably loves to meet and they’re looking forward to your own suppliers or even your own product. On the other end of that conveyor belt is that same person that’s being transformed into a customer. They’re out there raving and telling the whole world about Jimmy Beans Wool. But behind the scene there’s this different parts that are working together inside of your business to make that transformation happen. So let’s give the listeners a kind of behind the scenes.

LAURA: Sure. The first step is that you have to have something to sell. For us it’s going out and trying to find the inventory. We figure out how we’re going to buy it, how we’re going to get it, where we’re going to put it, how we’re going to arrange it, taking the pictures, putting it on the website, all that kind of stuff. So now we’re in business. The first step is figure out how to get a customer. So whether that’s advertising, social media, just simply opening the retail doors, all of those steps. And then once somebody walks through the door whether it’s virtual or physical, it’s how to provide service. How do we talk to them, how do we show them what we have, how do we take their order, how do we pull it, how do we pack it if it’s somebody that’s virtual. Or even somebody that’s physical, how do we give it to them, how do we ring it up, how do we take the money. Do we talk with them on the phone, or we meet them in person, that kind of thing. And then how do we give it to them, how do we ship it, and then how do we follow up with them.

OWEN: What I get from that is like a thing that’s always from the standpoint of the life cycle, or the different stages that person is going to go through. And in each stage what are the systems you have to put in place to make sure that they get a predictable experience regardless of whoever is handling them. At that stage they  get that experience always. That’s what you’re doing, I like that. We’ve already talked about some of the systems that you have in place to make sure your employees know what they need to know to do their job. You mentioned some of the tools you used to document. You also mentioned about training packets for new employees. Talk about that.

LAURA: Yeah. Now, 13 years into it, when people come in and we hire them, they get trained by a buddy or by somebody else. And then they get some training packets for each new skill they learned. We just talked about that entire life cycle. There are 50 skills within that life cycle and 50 ways that we like to do things. So we train each person on each of those things. And again, those training packets are written on pencil because each person…

OWEN: It changes, yeah.

LAURA: Yes. And each person that comes in, they have new ideas on ways to do it better. So it’s an evolving process.

OWEN: How do you track and verify the results being delivered by your employees?

LAURA: The standard 30-day review, 90-day review, 360 degree reviews. Everybody that works with them gives feedback and we just constantly touching.

OWEN: Okay. So the 30 and 90 days is like they’re working with the managers to give them reviews. But in 360 degrees like manager and everybody involved there.


OWEN: Okay. I like that. Let’s bring it back now and even talk about some of the things in the future that you guys have planned. Since you have plenty of free times these days which areas of the business do you focus on now and why?

LAURA: Primarily just moving forward, trying to figure out what’s around the corner, where we’re going to be, and what we’re going to do. Looking for opportunities and for relationships. Just keeping my eyes open and being creative about it.

OWEN: What is the next stage of growth for the business. What do you plan to achieve next and why?

LAURA: Just continued growth. We have found success. We have gift baskets now for knitters and crafters. We have gift bouquets. So yarn bouquets and that seems we’re getting a good response for that. So doing more and more of that, and figuring out ways to carve our own niche within our niche.

OWEN: I think you mentioned something about selling other people’s stuff as well.

LAURA: Yes. We’ve been creating more exclusive and custom products, kind of like Sephora does. You’ll see that a particular mascara or maybe a particular color of something is exclusive to them. We do the same kind of thing, and we’d like to do more of that.

OWEN: That’s nice. Can you summarize the entire process, step-by-step that the listener should take in order to transform their business so it runs successfully without them?

LAURA: Sure. I’d say they very first thing to do is pick up the E-Myth Revisited. Read that and just kind of soak at it and do everything he tells you to do. And then you’ve got to find somebody, a person that works for you that is really organized but flexible as well. And talk to them about your high level goals are and let them go at it and figure out how to structure things. Along those lines like for us personally we want systems but we want them to be extremely flexible because we want them to grow with us. And then you just let that person loose and have them come up with a system.

OWEN: That’s awesome. What will you say is the very next step that someone who is listening to this entire interview should take in order to get started with transforming their business so it runs without them being involved constantly?

LAURA: What I’m working on right now and continuing to work on, and it’s an evolving process. Very first thing, open up your email, take a look at each email that you get and figure out if you were the only person that can do this, that has the skills to do this. And if not then hand it off to somebody else. And or teach somebody else how to handle it. Gradually you’ll figure out exactly the subset of things that only you can handle. But everything else somebody else can do. And somebody else can probably do better.

OWEN: I think you also mentioned another book, Getting Things Done by Dave Allen. That’s a good book. I’m curious. Are there any questions you wished I asked you during this interview that I didn’t ask you. And if so, share the questions and the answers. Take it anywhere you want. If you want to be on business… It’s up to you. Anything that you think would add more value that I didn’t ask you already.

LAURA: I guess it’s just what are your goals for the business. And not even mine specifically but not everybody’s goal is to continue to grow. And not its goal is to be able to ski in the afternoon. So if those aren’t your goals then maybe it doesn’t make sense for you to spend a bunch of time systemizing things. One of the other things, I think I read Build A Cell is a great book as well. And it’s kind of similar or parallel to the E-Myth Revisited but it’s build your businesses if you need to sell it tomorrow.

OWEN: If you have the options.

LAURA: Yeah. And it just makes for a stronger business. If you had to leave tomorrow or sell it to somebody else could you do that, could you handle the whole thing off. If you are building things that way, even if you want to work 100 hours a week I still think that it makes the business a little more flexible and just easier and happier.

OWEN: What’s the best way for the listener to connect with you and thank you for doing the interview?

LAURA: They could just email me or find me on Facebook or Twitter. In Twitter it’s zander_laura. On Facebook I’m Laura Zander. You can email me at I just started a Forbes column, so you can go on Forbes online. Go to and look up Laura Zander and I’ve got a column that I will start writing weekly.

OWEN: Awesome. Now, I’m speaking to you the listener. If you’ve enjoyed this interview all the way to this point I want you to leave us your honest feedback by going to And if you’re using an Android phone then you can go on to leave us your review. And also, if you know other entrepreneurs that mind find this interview useful I want you to share it with them. And finally, if you’re at that point in your business where you’re tired of being the bottleneck and you want to get everything out of your head so you can systematize your business and your employees know exactly what you know. Well, sign-up for a free 14-day trial of SweetProcess. Laura, thanks for doing the interview.


Noteworthy items Mentioned in this Episode:

  1. Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham
  2. The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky & Bo Burlingham
  3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen


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Here are 3 Steps to Take After Listening to the Interview:

  1. Determine your goals, and figure out whether or not you want more freedom in your personal life.
  2. Look at each of your emails and figure out if you are the only person that can handle the tasks contained within each.
  3. Delegate the tasks that someone else could handle.


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