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9 March 2021

Do you ALWAYS feel there’s so much to do in your business and there’s no time?

Jairek Robbins

Understand the 4 business stages below for the answers you need.

Do you sometimes feel like you always have too much to do in your business and there isn’t enough time to get it all done? Read on because this isn’t the result of a time management tool or hack you are unaware of. That overwhelm is most likely related to the stage at which your business has reached in its growth.

If you know how to plan your activities while leaving some time for yourself, then you know enough about time management and may not need additional tools or hacks.

However, what you do need to understand is the stage at which your business is, the benefits of that stage, and how you can move your business to the next stage.

Take a minute and think about the stage at which your business is at the moment. Is it a rowboat (if you don’t row, the business goes nowhere), or are you at stage 2 of the dragon boat in which you have recruited an army of other rowers and your job now is to instruct the rowers on how to pace their rowing? 

Stage 3 is the pontoon boat. Have you upgraded to a pontoon boat which has an engine so you no longer slave away like you used to in the first two stages? Notice that the pontoon doesn’t move fast, but this is the first time that you are using leverage in your business, so you can afford to take champagne and relax in a Jacuzzi. Almost everyone can sail such a boat because it isn’t so demanding, doesn’t go so fast and isn’t complicated.

The 4th stage is akin to having a 55ft go-fast boat. Notice that it comes with four engines which give it a lot of power. Your job is therefore two things; first is providing direction. You keep your hands on the steering wheel so that you can head in the desired direction. The second job is minding the throttle. This helps you adjust how fast or how slow you go at different points on your trip.

Back to you and your business, are you an army of one in your rowboat? Are you the leader yelling “row!” all day to your team of rowers? Have you put an engine in your boat? Or, are you the captain of a go-fast boat in which your business is thriving and you engage in coaching here and there while also regulating the speed at which your business moves?

Big question, if you wanted to go 100 miles, which of those four boats would you wish to have? The go-fast boat offers you the best chance of covering that distance in the shortest time and with minimal strain on your part.

The costs and benefits of each stage during business growth

Stage 1: The solo rowboat 

The pros include;

The cons of the solo rowboat include;

Think about those four things and take note of what someone is optimizing their business for by opting to stay in a solo rowboat. Such people are choosing to optimize for control as they don’t want to lose control when the business takes on many participants.

The inverse relationship between business growth and control

Now one client of ours was getting $2 million a year and told his mentor that he couldn’t figure out why he had failed to grow beyond that revenue. The mentor told him that growth and control are on opposite sides of the spectrum. If you want to grow, you will have to release some of the grip you have on everything going on in your business. You’ve got to find other people to do all the stuff and that means you will have to let go of some control. 

This client is now doing $28 million a year and he confessed that he hardly does anything in the business! He guides and steers the business, and his team does everything else. They have solid systems to ensure everything is going on well and he has a dashboard to keep track of the key metrics of the business.

Stage 2: The dragon boat

You’ve decided that you’ve had enough rowing on your own and you now have a team of rowers that you can incentivize and inspire to do the rowing for you. Note that you are no longer a rower but will instead take on the role of shouting “row!” all day while your team rows. If you aren’t there, your people will not row the boat.

The pros of this stage include;

The cons of this stage include;

Lots of people look at this stage and wonder why they switched their original problem for this new set of problems. They think it isn’t worth it. Such people may decide to give up on this stage and go back to doing things by themselves. That is a huge mistake. 

I was coaching a startup that raised over $100 million in funding and within a spell of 12 months, they grew from 28 employees to over 160 employees. They went from a small dragon boat to a rocket ship!

The problem is, when you have that many new people and your business doesn’t have the organizational systems (hiring practices, onboarding procedures, dashboards to keep track of different parameters, etc.) in place to manage those people, things can get really messy, really fast. If you can get those things in place, you may end up having a boat with an engine, which is the next stage of growth.

Stage 3: Single Engine Boat/Pontoon Boat

An engine refers to the systems that you put in place so that things can get done without your individual effort or that of anyone else. The engine moves your business forward without you or another person being there to do the heavy lifting.

The pros of this stage include;

The cons of this stage include;

I usually tell such people that they are only thinking about themselves and their team, and not thinking about the greater good they can do if they served more people, made more profits and invested them in causes they believe in, etc. 

Stage 4: The Speedboat

I talked to a guy whose service I subscribed to recently in Australia. He told me that when he was younger, he used to buy and sell businesses, and he used to make a ton of money charging premium prices. He was trying to make more while working less, and it was all about him. However, he says that something clicked in his life and he woke up to the realization that the purpose of a business is both to give the owner a good life but also to provide jobs so that other people can feed their families, as well as to provide a deep and meaningful service to society so that other people can benefit from the work the company does.

When all that clicked in his head, he no longer wanted a pontoon boat. Instead, he wanted a speedboat that could go faster than anything he had ever had before in his business.

The pros of the speedboat include;

The cons of this stage include;

So, back to your business. Where are you with regards to these four stages? 

If you would like help elevating your business through those stages, go to and fill out the form. It is really quick and has five questions plus a couple of multiple choices, that’s it. I will review your information and get back to you if we can be of help. If we can’t help, we will let you know and we could refer you to someone who can help. 

Thank you for coming this far, I hope something here inspires you to think about elevating your business to the level where you have an A team instead of working alone or having to yell at your team all day while they row the boat. If you know someone who is stuck in a rowboat, dragon boat or even a pontoon boat, please send them this post so they can learn that help is at hand. See you all next time!

To Your Success,

Jairek Robbins



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