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  • Larissa Summers

Analyzing your 4D Mix

Note From Larissa For Donna… Long term readers will know that Donna has been Run Like Clockwork certified for a few months now and we are looking for clients who want to get themselves out of a place where they are drowning under the pressure of their businesses. 




Have you ever hired an employee like this? You’re very excited for them to finish the onboarding process so you can finally focus on selling your business and expanding your revenue. But then you work with them on their first official day and they start asking quite a few questions. Most of these questions seem reasonable at first. You decide that you want your employee to ask you before they approve certain expenses or file payroll. It is nice to have a quality control portion of the work! And it’s not like you’re doing the work, they are, so it’s fine. A few weeks pass and you find yourself working harder than ever, and more exhausted than ever before. You’ve got some new clients on your plate and your employee is working hard as well. Why? 


Well, as a business owner you need to be aware of these 4Ds: Doing, Deciding, Delegating, and Designing- let's call this your 4D Mix. By analyzing your business under this context we can understand your real workload. Let’s break down each step. 

First up, we have "Doing." This is where the real action happens, where you roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. If you’re a litigator you’re actually going through evidence, if you’re a Doctor you’re doing actual checkups and blood-work, and if you’re a marketer you are actually making content for your clients. That doesn’t sound right for our situation though, we just hired an employee! Sure, we are still doing the work for our new clients but that’s a reasonable expectation. 


Next on the list is "Deciding." Uh oh, this already kind of sounds like us. All of the decisions to be made have to go through us, adding an unnecessary step where our employee is waiting for us. You might think, “but that still means we aren’t doing the work.” No, that just means you’re doing the work in your head. You’ve added a mental workload onto your shoulders and things are still bottle-necking around your shoulders. 


To analyze and correct problems in the deciding phase, ask yourself this: what decisions need to be made by you. What level of importance does something have to be for employees to stop their workflow and ask you directly?


“But Larissa”, you say, “There are a lot of important decisions, and what if my employee makes the wrong choice and we lose the client?” Well, to that I say, if we can’t trust our employees to make decisions then we probably didn’t hire the right person. To get this mental workload off of our shoulders we need to move onto the next step. 


Now, let's talk about "Delegating." Ah, delegating – the holy grail of business ownership. If done correctly, delegating can free up your time and energy to focus on the things that truly matter. However, if we do it incorrectly it can end up being a hell of a headache. The most important thing to remember here is to hire people we can trust and are competent at their job. We want to hire people smarter than us, and those employees exist, not everyone wants to own a business. We want people so much more competent than us that micromanagement would slow the workflow down. Let’s encourage ourselves to step back and trust our team. This does mean however, that we give them the ability to make a mistake. If you’re ready to make that step, then we can finally move into the final D. 


Last but not least, we have "Designing." This is where the magic happens, where you step back and look at the big picture. We will talk more about designing in future blog posts, but ask yourself this. How would you go about training someone to make sales? Or hire new team members? That is what the design stage is all about. 


Realistically, everyone has an even mix of the 4Ds on their workload. Even Phil Spencer, CEO of Xbox, was making decisions when Microsoft bought Activision-Blizzard in December. Mark Zuckerberg was 100% in the conference room when Facebook began developing the metaverse. The point is that these CEOs are spending the majority of their time (95%+) on designing their business, or even working the secret 5th D, d’vacation, which hopefully we can start working on when our business Runs Like Clockwork. 


We’re looking for clients to go through Run Like Clockwork coaching now, if you’re interested consider reaching out for a clarity call! 

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