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Sam Carpenter is the bestselling author of Work the System, a book many entrepreneurs consider to be the best book ever written on systematizing a business. If you’ve read The E-Myth or Think and Grow Rich, this book is right up there at the top.

As an entrepreneur, Sam struggled for many years to grow his company. What he realized is that he was spending almost all of his time “putting out fires,” handling “emergencies” and always bogged down with the day-to-day work. Until one day, he finally decided to creating systems so that his business could work without him having to put out all the fires and constantly work in the business.

In today’s interview, Sam shares his story and why you absolutely must create systems for your business if you ever want to escape the rat race and get ahead.

Here are just a few of the ideas we cover:

  • How to find your biological prime time when you will have the most energy to work effectively and efficiently (and how to organize your life, so you can be most productive without spending more time working)
  • Why mission statements are pretty much worthless, and what every business must have instead (hint: it’s about what you do and why you choose to do it, and it has to be in concrete, simple, easy-to-understand language so everyone gets it).
  • How to create Working Procedures (aka Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs) in a way that empowers employees and guarantees things get done the right way every time.
  • Why Sam only works 2 hours a week while his business grows and everything gets done on time (and how any business owner can do it).
  • Why your “systems thinking mindset” is so crucial to your success.
  • How to take little thorns and problems in your business and create a solution so you never ever have to worry about them again.

Show Notes

Sam mentioned and recommends reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

Learn more about Sam and his work at

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Check out Tom’s newest training course for authors, Bestseller Ranking Pro at

Interested in learning how to speed read? Here’s what I recommended to Sam after the interview:

For speed reading, here’s a solid book on how to get started: Speed Reading for Dummies.

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Note: I’m not a big fan of some of their exercises as I would prefer to do speed reading exercises using a nonfiction book I haven’t read yet without much jargon, but I think the most important components of speed erading you should learn and practice are:

1) Understanding eye fixations and practicing proper eye movements.

2) Using a tracker (pen/finger) to guide your eyes during practice sessions.

3) Practicing at high speeds (you shouldn’t be able to comprehend much if anything – the point of speed when practicing is to train your eye muscles and stop subvocalization).

4) Eliminating the subvocalization habit as much as possible (That’s when you say the words out loud in your mind as you read them. You might even find your lips moving as if you were softly saying the words as you read).

5) Avoiding regression (That’s when you read the same line over and over, or have to backtrack because you didn’t understand something or forgot what you just read).

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Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.