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Book Review and Giveaway: Work The System

I now have more books to review than time to read them, they just keep rolling in. As I know that you guys enjoy the reviews and giveaways, I will make sure to chug through them as fast as possible.

The book to be reviewed this time is called “Work the System – The Simple Mechanics of Working Less and Making More.” It’s about how a struggling business owner working 80-100 hrs/week who overcame adversity to turn his business into the top business of it’s niche. Even with a super successful business, Sam Carpenter now only spends 2 hrs / week working in it.

How did he do it? First, lets start with the formalities.

About the Author:

The author Sam Carpenter is an entrepreneur who has dug himself out a small business mess by implementing simple clearly defined systems which has resulted in simplying both his work and life. Here is more info about Sam on workthesystem.com

A telecommunications professional, Sam has been a business owner for over 20 years and is the author of the book Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less, published by North Sister Publishing, Inc. in April 2008. Originally from upstate New York, Sam lives in Oregon with his wife, Linda. He is majority owner and president of Centratel, the highest-quality telephone answering service in the United States. He also founded and operates Kashmir Family Aid, an international charitable organization to aid earthquake victims in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. He and Linda are also in the process of launching a major Internet startup site.

What is this book about:

Work the System is about a business owner, Sam Carpenter, who turned his failing small business into a huge success using clearly defined “systems”. What is a business system? To put it in basic terms, it’s documenting procedures for every position in a company to avoid confusion about their roles and responsibilities. If the positions are defined properly, all the company complexities should be covered without “the boss” even being present!

The book is well organized and separated into three parts. Part one of the book describes Mr. Carpenters business life and how he worked 20 hour days to keep up with his business and family life. Despite all of his hard work, the business was still slowly going under. It was basically the night before he would have to close up shop when he decided to take a leap and run his business with a different philosophy. That is, with systems.

Part two gets into more detail of his systems and how to implement them with specific examples from Centratel. It details that business’s need 3 types of paperwork, the stategic objective, general operating principles and the working procedures. I enjoyed this section as I personally learn best from example.

Part three is called “further considerations” and basically goes over tips and tricks to make a system run better in your business.

After implementing and improving his “system” over the years, Sam Carpenter now only works 2 hours a week on his business with annual growth increasing every year. That’s the business dream isn’t it? For a business to be able to sustain itself and continue to grow?

Final Thoughts

This book has a similar flavor as E-Myth but builds on it with specific examples. For those of you who are business owners (or considering it), I would highly suggest that you give this book a read.

Want a Free Copy?

  • Simply leave a comment and you’ll automatically be entered in the draw for a free copy.
  • Please only 1 comment entry / person (please enter a valid email address).
  • Only those with a North American mailing address may enter (publisher rules, sorry).
  • Contest will end Friday 5pm EST Sept 5, 2008 and the winner announced shortly afterwards!

Update: Contest had ended!

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93 Comments

  1. KC on September 2, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Please add me to the contest!

    Thank you!



  2. Eric on September 2, 2008 at 8:55 am

    I’m in for the contest – thanks!



  3. Terry on September 2, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Sounds interesting.



  4. Sean on September 2, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for another great giveaway!



  5. venter on September 2, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Sounds interesting.



  6. karina on September 2, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I’m in



  7. Gloria on September 2, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Great giveaway! Count me in.



  8. Dividend Growth Investor on September 2, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I would like to be considered for this giveaway. I am sure I can learn something that would help me streamline my own business.



  9. Bob on September 2, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Seems like an interesting read. Thanks.



  10. Cannon_fodder on September 2, 2008 at 10:59 am

    In my current role at a relatively large company, I have seen how critical it is to document processes, roles and responsibilities. The benefits are enormous yet there is often much resistance to put down on paper what people do almost autonomously.

    It isn’t just in case someone has to do something they aren’t accustomed to – it is also to prove to your clients that you can actually deliver on the promises and have thought things through.

    Please count me in!



  11. Aaron on September 2, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Please, count me in.



  12. Acorn on September 2, 2008 at 11:18 am

    As far as I know, when a company hires a management consulting firm to improve the business, this firm spends 80% of the time reviewing the working procedures and personal business responsibilities of the employees. It would be nice to better understand how it works…



  13. Chuck on September 2, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Count me in on the contest!



  14. Sam on September 2, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Sounds interesting. Please count me in!



  15. Laura on September 2, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Always interested in a new approach. Please count me in.



  16. Jimmy on September 2, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I love to get this copy!



  17. Finance_Addict on September 2, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Thanks!



  18. dayLateDollarShort on September 2, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Sounds cool, count me in please.



  19. Judy on September 2, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Count me in. Tks



  20. Oscar on September 2, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I’m in for the contest.



  21. pc on September 2, 2008 at 11:54 am

    thanks.



  22. Digger on September 2, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Sounds like this book would be good for more than just business owners. Managers and Supervisors, like myself, could learn something about doing things better.



  23. ryan on September 2, 2008 at 11:57 am

    throw me in, thanks.



  24. Howie on September 2, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    please count me in, thanks!



  25. Paul on September 2, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Sounds very interesting. I know a lot of turmoil in businesses I’ve worked at stems from staff not understanding their role correctly.



  26. Mike on September 2, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Looks like an interesting book, please add me to the contest. Thanks



  27. telefantastik on September 2, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    count me in, thanks!



  28. 45free on September 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Not having read the book, I would have to say that this sounds an AWFUL lot like Michael Hammer’s Business Process methodology…which I personally think is the best way to run a business.



  29. FearLES on September 2, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    sounds interesting. Good luck to everyone!



  30. glen on September 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    looks like a great read – count me in



  31. Jenny on September 2, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Count me in, this book sounds great!!!



  32. Tony on September 2, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the contest!



  33. Cameron on September 2, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Please add me to the contest =)



  34. Slavik on September 2, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I went trough very similar situation and have an experience on my own. I really would like to read the book and learn how other people dealt with the problem as it provides broader picture on the subject. I’m looking forward to win a draw.



  35. Ringo on September 2, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Though I’m not a business owner, I really want to know how the author worked it out.



  36. Tom on September 2, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I’d be interested in taking a read. I’d love to see some of his insights into solving various problems. Please sign me up!



  37. ThickenMyWallet on September 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Count me in.

    I would start with the E-Myth book and work out from there.

    The underlying assumption of all these books is spend the money to hire good managers. You can create and document the best system in the world but if you have the 3 Stooges executing it, its not going to work.



  38. Patrick on September 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Count me in.



  39. Tyler on September 2, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Count me in. I’ve already read the E-Myth and this book sounds great.



  40. Serhan on September 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks!



  41. Dean Barclay on September 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Please enter me to the contest.



  42. AndrewP on September 2, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I could lend it to my wife who’s starting a home business!



  43. Glenn Helten on September 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    This books sounds like it is exactly what I have been looking for. I plan on reading it an implementing the ideas in it in my own business. Thank you and please enter me in the Contest



  44. DBennett on September 2, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I would be interested in reading this book. I was actually thinking about this topic the other day.



  45. Bmoney on September 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Looks like a good read. This is something I’ve thought about for a while. Love you posts btw. I read it everyday!



  46. Chris on September 2, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Sign me up for the giveaway :)



  47. Alex on September 2, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Can’t wait to read!



  48. Shannan on September 2, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    I would like to read this book. Thanks!



  49. Joshua on September 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Sign me up for the contest please. Thanks!



  50. Andre on September 2, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Sounds like an interesting book. Please add me to the list



  51. Deb on September 2, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    I thought the E-Myth was a really great book. Would like to read this one too. Thanks!



  52. Debt_Free_in_5 on September 2, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    I would like this.



  53. EnRock on September 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I’d love to hear his thoughts on how to keep the business growing after the initial conversion. Count me in for the contest.



  54. Kenny on September 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Count me in! Thanks!



  55. Phil J on September 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve love a chance to win the book.
    Thanks!



  56. yyj on September 2, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    please count me in, thanks



  57. Eric on September 2, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I like your site and this is my first comment



  58. Elvis K on September 2, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Sounds really good…Please add me in as well FT



  59. Jon Kepler on September 2, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Count me in. Thanks for your reviews; I’ve actually made purchases based on your recommendations.



  60. Art on September 2, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Love your articles. Count me in.



  61. marlaene on September 2, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    we just started a renovation company 18 months ago, we are doing great financially but have no time for ourselves,

    count me in for the draw



  62. Tetsuo on September 2, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Not quite believing that paperwork can define an entire organization. The precise advantage of small business is that the processes don’t interupt efficiency and allow them to adapt quicker than big lumbering beauracracies (read: paperwork). But its a range of grey and definately not black/white.



  63. Plamen on September 2, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Count me in. Thanks



  64. Cash Instinct on September 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Please count me in, sounds interesting. Thanks!



  65. islander on September 2, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    i would love a copy



  66. Brandon on September 2, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Sounds like a good read.



  67. cbez on September 2, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Seems like an interesting read.



  68. Stephen Winters on September 2, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Add me to the large list. Always good to read more books on systems.

    Steve



  69. john in Kitchener on September 2, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    After running a sole-practitioner healthcare practice for 19 years, I’ve settled into a comfortable groove of “what works”. However, I’m an avid reader of all things related to business and investing, so would most likely learn a few tips from this book. Thanks for the offer.



  70. Brian on September 2, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Now if I could just get this to work at my day job!



  71. AL on September 3, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Sam sounds like a similar position I find myself in.
    I am looking to create clearly defined “systems” for my business to motivate the sales team and increase the sales for our firm.

    I love to get this copy!



  72. DG on September 3, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Thanks!
    Dan.



  73. Sarlock on September 3, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Sounds like a good read!



  74. Terri on September 3, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Agreed!



  75. pedro on September 3, 2008 at 1:10 am

    sounds interesting



  76. Tob on September 3, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Looks good!



  77. Ronny on September 3, 2008 at 3:26 am

    I’m in.



  78. PhilC on September 3, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Money making systems, what’s not to love. I just hope his system does not involve writing books.
    Count me in too!



  79. Maiku on September 3, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Sounds like an interesting book. The idea about clearly stating business objectives is similar to what I’ve read recently in other management books.



  80. NeedNoWallet on September 3, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I would be interested in reading this book. Please add me to the contest.

    Thanks.



  81. AndyBuck on September 3, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Sounds like a great book!



  82. Mark on September 3, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Great review, thanks!



  83. A D on September 3, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Sounds good.



  84. Nick on September 4, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Count me in too. Book sounds similar to Tim Ferris’ 4 hour work week.



  85. Brian on September 4, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Looks like a good read.



  86. Pat Furlong on September 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Looks like a good book.



  87. Konstantin on September 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    It sounds like an interesting book.



  88. Reg on September 5, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Sounds interesting; would love to read.



  89. brick on September 5, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Thanks for the review and giveaway. Count me in!



  90. A M on September 5, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for the review; sounds like it’s worth reading.



  91. Nick P on September 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Good review. I’d like to read it. Thanks.



  92. Manisha Mawji on September 5, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Please add me to the contest!

    Thanks!



  93. Amy on September 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Please enter me in the contest – I’d love to read this book! Thanks!



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