Build a Machine: The Key to Creating Systems in Your Business and Life

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Health & Fitness / June 12, 2013


BMW i8 concept

Last week, you read about #BeastMode.  How to have more energy than ever.  While energy is great for hustling, for grinding, and being ontop of your game, let’s face it– your own personal energy is only going to get you so far.  What you really need is to be a machine.

A well oiled machine, requires very little energy to run.  A machine produces output with little to no effort on behalf of the operator, and keeps momentum even during the toughest of times.  A machine, or a business system, makes you money while you sleep– one that doesn’t require you to trade your time for money.  A human being who you’d describe as machine, cranks out work, beasts through workouts, and is productive without even thinking about it.  This is the kind of machine I want operate.

The kind of machine I want runs on it’s own, so I can use all the excess energy to go beast mode to solve even greater problems and to create.  All the logistics, and the operations should happen on their own.  It’s like the first day working out–it required all your mental and physical energy just to get out of bed early, much less work out.  But once you’re a machine and you do this everyday, you don’t even think about it, and you free up your energy to be more productive in other parts of your life and work.  In the business world, if you are a one man operation starting your business, you have no systems– you do everything yourself, and nothing is automated.  The key to success is building a machine where everything just happens.  

How to #BuildAMachine

If you want this to be the year to go from hustler to entrepreneur it’s time to get disciplined and automated.

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It starts with yourself and your habits.  It’s the foundation of your machine–if you want to perform like a BMW, you need to invest in high-test octane and maintain by the book when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and productivity.  Think of eating organic foods and extra sleep as investments in yourself.  Once you invest the time, and start automating these processes, they require little or no effort.  My groceries show up every Monday morning to my doorstep.  I don’t have to spend any extra brainpower picking them out, because I have them delivered with a simple click.  I don’t have to ever set foot in the grocery store, wait in line, or carry them home.  The machine just operates on it’s own.

When I first started doing yoga it was a big undertaking.  Now, it’s something that happens naturally several times each week.  I automatically put my gym clothes in my bag everyday…  I know what the schedule is each week, I walk in, I’m automatically billed for my session, my mat is ready, and I get all the benefits of my practice–without any extra brainpower.

When things get crazy, my machine doesn’t crash–sometimes I miss sessions, but these are habits I’ve built over time.  I’m not overwhelmed by working out, because it doesn’t take much effort.  It’s not a yo-yo diet, that overwhelms me and bogs me down, it’s a machine that is part of my life.

Discipline is easy.

Discipline is easy if it’s a habit.  Most people are just “discplined” to habitually sit on the couch and flip on the television when you get home.  I don’t have a television.  Habit broken.

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But it didn’t happen overnight.  If you want to be disciplined, focus on forming one new healthy habit each week.  Somehow I got out of the habit of drinking tons of water, so, this week’s habit is remembering my waterbottle.  It’s not going to change my life, but my life is going to change.  Gradually.  Easily.  Without too much excess brainpower.  Hopefully, for the rest of my life, you’ll see me with a waterbottle.  (wow, what a nerd…)

Plan out your next 4 habits.  Take it a month at a time…. a year from now and 52 habits later, I think you’ll be in pretty damn good shape.

Your Job as CEO Is NOT to Hustle

Yes, you should be ontop of your game, but your job as CEO is to think–not to grind.  Meaning, you should not be getting paid to perform tasks in your business– you should be working to build the machine.  It’s what Michael Gerber talks about in The E-Myth–you should “work on your business, not in your business.”  An entrepreneur builds a machine, and gets paid to be creative, to lead the team, to communicate, and to automate a business system.  Bonus points, if you empower others to be creative, lead, and automate– now your building a smarter machine.

Don’t get me wrong– entrepreneurs need to work hard, lead by example, and show up ontop of their game, but the difference between hustling to make a dollar, and building a machine that makes you dollars is a big one.

What habits will you build today, that will increase the output of your machine?

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Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences.

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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