The counter-intuitive approach to building a profitable business, and a life you actually love.

If you’re a fatigued business owner, in a job with capped earnings, overworked and underpaid, or missing out on valuable personal time – this Work Less Make More will be your go-to instruction manual.

It’s a how-to guide providing concise insights and wisdom into life and business strategies and creates a candid, digestible read for those who may shy away from the more analytical and complex marketing jargon.

The author strips it down into palatable chapters with an attainable call to action techniques at the end of each. He serves up an easy read of bite-sized portions, while still packing a considerably satisfying punch.

James Schramko is an expert in the field. Not just because he’s done the research, he has also lived and breathed every ounce of what he is advocating. And he urges you to leverage his experience, instead of going it alone and potentially tumbling into the potholes of overwhelm and disaster.

James Schramko introduces the book by asking the question –

Are you leaving life on the table?

Are you just plodding along and hoping for the best? Are you neglecting to address every aspect of your life, and therefore missing out on all the advantages in doing so? It’s easy to get swept up in the day-to-day clutter, so you can no longer see the forest for the trees. It’s less confronting to just keep doing what you’re doing. Change is a scary thing. But as the saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results”.

James was once slogging it out for the man with the best of them. Overworked and overwhelmed. Full of anxiety for what might become of him and his family should his highly-strung financial situation crumble.

However, after making the necessary changes, here is what an average day now looks like to him:

“I wake up, drink a glass of water, check the surf conditions, have some breakfast, make a coffee, go for a surf, come back home and only then do I sit down at my computer for a few hours and do my highest-level activity. I then have a leisurely lunch, go for another surf, do another focussed block of activity, shift my attention to dinner and entertainment, and then it’s off to bed.”

The many themes covered in this book are all crucial and far-reaching. But let’s start with what is perhaps the most important takeaway. It is the key to how James was able to achieve such a seemingly laid-back setup.

Effective Hourly Rate

To work less and make more, all you need to do is move the needle on one metric. An effective work day is about energy management, not time management. You need to shift your thinking towards doing less and feeling totally ok about it.

Notice in the above quote, he says – “Highest-level activity” and “focused block of activity”.

It’s about utilizing your time more effectively, as opposed to productively. Anyone can feel like they’re being productive just because they’re doing something for large stretches of time, even if it means wasted time.

The solution is to keep track of your hours and figure out where you’re spending them unnecessarily. You need to be honest about it and then make the appropriate adjustments. Focus more on the ‘high impact things’. What will give you the best use of your precious time?

Avoid getting sidetracked with distractions and meaningless tasks.

The following segments give you a little more insight into some of the core topics of the text. They are a taste of the myriad of revelations you can expect to gain from reading the book.

You can’t become a high achiever if you hang out with low achievers
The benefits of hanging out with high achievers? They force you to think bigger. They raise the benchmark for what’s possible.

Seeking out these enterprising types do not have to be complicated or time- consuming. Initially, James chose books as a way of hanging out with high achievers.

Load yourself up with ambition and inspiration.

Meaningful work

These are the elements that James ultimately wanted to achieve:
1. Automated income
2. Independent wealth
3. The ability to enjoy his life passionately

His desired business model was:

Having “smooth cash flow, predictable income, and the ability to do work that’s meaningful to me without being a workaholic”

Making good money doesn’t have to involve excruciatingly long hours. And it doesn’t mean feeling stuck in a job you hate, just because it pays well.

James asks you to look in the mirror. You are entirely responsible for your future. You get to call the shots.

Purging and minimalizing

It’s a life skill that gets much literary attention, but that’s because it’s so fundamentally effective. An overloaded power board is likely to spark and blow up, damaging a good deal of everything in its vicinity. Similarly, an overloaded life is likely to feel rather chaotic and destructive.

Get rid of everything and every one of little consequence. Ditch that which no longer serves you. Clear your physical space, and thereupon clear your headspace. Keep it simple.

Only then will you have the capacity and composure to create greater change.

Change your thought patterns

Your thoughts become actions. Your actions become goals. Your goals become your life.

So, if your life is not looking the way you’d hoped, work backwards.

It starts with the way you think. Change this, and you can change your outcomes.

James will further escort you through his goldmine of strategies that will help simplify the complexities of goalsetting, focus, establishing priorities, team building, client value & satisfaction, cash flow & profit. He enlightens you on the importance of choosing the right business model and encourages you to analyse the compromises you’re willing to make.

One last little pearl of wisdom he leaves you within his bonus chapter, that sums it all up nicely:

Don’t just be a racehorse. Own the racecourse.