Work the System is a book that helps us understand that our lives and living are comprised of systems; and these systems, depending on how we see and work them can help us achieve more. Written by Sam Carpenter, the book has a total of 280 pages and was published in 2008 by Greenleaf Book Group Press, Austin, Texas. The edition used for this review is the third edition.

About the book

Sam Carpenter tells us about his company, Centratel, a Telephone Answering Service (TAS) company. He talked about how he was able to revive his company which was at the brink of collapse by simply understanding and working the systems. He shared simple ideas on how to make more while working less. Work the System shows how to write your objective in a way that tells you the actions you must take and the principles and standards that must guide your operations.

Key ideas and learning points

The ideas shared by Sam Carpenter are really simple, they are easy to follow and absolutely practical.

Many business owners can use the insights from Work the System in order to achieve more. The insights can also be applied to one’s personal life. Below are some of the major lessons.

Spend the majority of your work-time in preparation, not execution. The magic of life is right here, right now, in front of our noses. It’s not out there somewhere.

For too many of us, slowing down to examine things is not entertaining, and that’s too bad because it’s mandatory that we take the time to understand the machinery of our lives if we are to modify that machinery to produce the results we desire.

What we do today will determine tomorrow, and blaming the past or the world or someone else is a debilitating way to travel through this precious one-time event called life.

In everything you do, focus ruthlessly on the pragmatic details. Perform the basics well. Keep things simple but be cautious of shortcuts. With finesse, take life as it comes. To change something in your life, change the systems and watch the effects trickle down.

Making the mind connection

It’s impressive how Sam Carpenter told his story, the story of his company. It helps the reader connect more with the book and further shows that the insights are indeed practical and can bring results. Also worthy of appreciation are the resources contained in the appendix.

This is a book that is highly recommended to anyone who owns and runs a business.

Action points

From the book, we understand how important it is to state our objective clearly and write out our plans strategically. We should do these while also judiciously exploiting the resources in the book.

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