Entrepreneurs and business owners…it is responsible and value creating to automate your business to be able to function without you

I sold my physical therapy practice in 2014, and one of the core reasons why the buyers wanted my business was not just because there was business synergy (they are a medical group; we are a physical therapy / hand therapy group), but also importantly, I had created the business such that it would run with little to no input from me.

I still worked hard of course, but I could unplug anytime, go for 2-3 weeks breaks when I want, and the business would still run without me.

7 years later, and the business still runs without me (I’d exited fully since end 2017) – to me, it’s very responsible as the business doesn’t need to me to function…to hear that I’m still right, 7 years later – it’s music to my ears and soul =)

Why outsource, delegate and automate the business?

#1 – Risk Management

If we’re the only person in charge of the business (or if we’re the business), it’s very risky to the business.

We’re just ONE problem away from zero income.

One accident or a disease can hit you and your business hard if your business is all you. And that’s what that bugs me and makes me worried:

If shit hits the fan and something happens to me or the sole proprietor…then what happens?

Zero income, or worse, business shuts down.

Sure enough, we can have insurance etc – but insurance may not be able to save the business. Or what if insurance doesn’t cover?

#2 We have finite time, energy and attention

Instead of building a business that requires 100% of my time, I’d rather build a business that requires 10% effort of 10 persons, and if they desire to achieve more, it’d be more than 100%.

If we want the business to grow beyond us, then we will need to learn to outsource, delegate and automate.

Ie you’ve got to learn how to hire, train, retain, and fire.

#3 If the business can grow with you…it can grow WAY beyond you

Not dissing solopreneurs who likes one-person-operation, but those are usually limited to the extent of point #2 which is limited to YOUR

  • time
  • energy
  • attention

Now if you build a business that can run without you, not only your business is automated, more importantly, it means that you can scale your business a lot more than you can do it by yourself.

How you can do the same for your business?

Right now, I speak for physical therapy business in a physical location, and it’d likely be applicable for other services be it

  • health: GP, podiatry, massage, TCM

  • home: lawn, electrical, dry wall, fence, broken locks / keys stuck in locks

  • house call services

  • etc

I don’t have any formal business education, I mainly just studied occupational therapy and practiced, but I think what I share can be applied to any service / skilled based workers and what I followed was:

build up my client base / cases load to 80% of my capacity, and then hire based on revenue share and pass my entire case load to the new hire

Repeat as this process as the new hire reaches a standard 70-80% of max load, and then bring in another new hire, split the new cases, bearing in mind

  • not to overhire (eg some places have capacity for 2 full timers, some 1, some 3) – you will know as you operate and manage the business

  • make sure your legal contracts are fair but firm and tight (engage a good lawyer for this)

  • pay your people on time (finance function)

  • take care of your people: hear them out, serve them, fix problems, treat them meals, celebrate together

  • etc

For the non-skilled eg front desk / admin staff

I show them the required tasks for daily operations such as making appointments, rescheduling, taking payments, dealing with clients and their enquiries, etc

  1. showing them (hiree) how to do it first

  2. then they do it with me a couple of times (up to a month)

  3. then they do themselves without me

This is what I generally do from a sales > hire > retain > manage standpoint.

Rinse and repeat.

Boring stuff…but tried, tested and proven for me since 2010.

What about you? What do you think and how do you delegate out your work?

Bonus: A common complaint when I share this: BUT NIGEL, I WANT TO BE THE SOLE PERSON!

Yes I understand and I hear you – doing the above, delegating yourself doesn’t mean that you cannot be the main person in charge anymore. If anything, it allows you the flexibility to choose if you want to keep working or not.

Maybe you want to work and all revolve around you, in your 30s. But maybe at your 50s, you may want to sell the entire business off.

Or maybe golf and keep the business as a cash cow.

You CAN choose to work or not…which is very different from you HAVE to work because you have to; instead, you can work or not, because you want to.

It’s about having options in business and life.

It made sense then, it still makes sense today, 2021 onwards.

Where To Next?


  • If you’re new here, do subscribe to my newsletter – no spam and just my best stuff. Unsubscribe anytime.
  • Go to the Start Here it’s created to be my good success and life thesis, so it’s very content heavy (Read: lots of words and links to resources, write ups and videos). It’s constantly updated too with new data and updates as often as I can.
  • If you like videos, head to All Videos – all the latest (and all) videos are uploaded there.
  • Visit the Blog to read the latest articles and videos. You can see all / my entire list of previous articles here: Archive
  • Head over my Resources page to see the curated products and services I use / have used to improve different aspects of my life be it business, relationships, health and more. Note: recommendations in nigelchua.com may be affiliate links, which means I may get paid if you choose to buy through my affiliate link.
  • If you’d like to ask me any questions, head to the Questions/Ask Nigel section
  • Contact me if you like to thank me for helping you in some way (please, always tell me – it’s such emails that I truly look forward to), interview me, ask me to try a product, or media inquiries.
  • If you like my work and want to support me / my cause by giving a tip / donation or choose to buy stuff at my products and tool page – thank you for your support. You keep me going.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.