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Multiplication by Subtraction: The Art of Growing Your Business While Reducing Effort

In the bustling world of business, success is often synonymous with expansion, more employees, and increased complexity. But what if the secret to exponential growth was actually in doing less, not more?

Meet Michael and Dr. Izabella Wentz. By any standard measure, they were the epitome of success. Dr. Izabella’s book, “Hashimotos Protocol,” clinched a #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller list. Michael, leveraging his corporate prowess from the esteemed Thunderbird School of Global Management, executive produced an award-winning documentary chronicling Izabella’s journey with Hashimotos. Their business was thriving, their mission was being realized, and they were making a tangible difference.

However, behind the scenes, the couple was grappling with the overwhelming demands of their success. The very achievements that should have brought them joy were instead leading them to the brink of exhaustion. They were fielding all the questions from their team, leading to decision fatigue and micromanagement. The team was unhappy, and so were they.

Enter JJ Virgin, a 4-time NY Times best-selling author. She masterminded the launch strategies for both the book and the documentary, amplifying the demand for Wentz’s products and Izabella’s time. This newfound success, however, came with its own set of challenges.

The traditional business model they had built was proving to be a double-edged sword. Michael, despite his extensive corporate experience, was wary of the complexities and stresses associated with traditional team-building. The couple was on the verge of becoming the highest-paid employees in their own company, a trap many entrepreneurs inadvertently fall into.

It was at this juncture that they met Karl Krummenacher, an Inc 5000 CEO, mentor, and advisor. Karl introduced them to a transformative concept: “Multiplication by Subtraction.” This wasn’t about cutting back but about realigning, reimagining, and restructuring. Karl emphasized the importance of viewing the business as an investor rather than an operator, echoing Keith Cunningham’s sentiment that “Great operators get tired. Great investors get wealthy.”

Multiplication by Subtraction: The Art of Growing Your Business While Reducing Effort

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Karl’s guidance was instrumental in restructuring their team, allowing Michael and Dr. Izabella to work on the business rather than in it. They realized that each team member should excel in their role, surpassing even their own capabilities. This shift in perspective, coupled with the implementation of focused priorities and hiring an integrator, was transformative. No longer were they bogged down by every decision; they had empowered their team to take ownership.

The results were nothing short of miraculous. Within a year, the Wentz’s went from grueling 60+ hour work weeks to a relaxed 10 hours, giving them the invaluable gift of time. This shift was especially poignant when their son was born, allowing them to cherish his early years fully.

For small business owners, especially those in the professional services sector, this narrative serves as a beacon of hope. It’s a reminder that success doesn’t always mean doing more. Sometimes, it’s about doing things differently, smarter, and with a clear vision in mind.

Dr. Benjamin Hardy speaks about the importance of thinking exponentially while narrowing the focus to the essential few things only a business owner could and should do to scale their business in his best-selling book with Dan Sullivan – 10X is easier than 2X. “The entire idea behind 10X thinking is that it forces you to let go of activities most often associated with incremental growth. You can’t 10X your effort – that’s off the table. That focuses business owners on letting go of their current identity in their business so that they can reinvent themselves and their organization. That’s what Michael and Izabella did so well,” says Krummenacher. “They were open to the possibility of growing their business while reducing their roles in it. It’s hard for most business owners to hear – but we’re typically the bottleneck to growth, not our teams.”

The journey of Michael and Dr. Izabella Wentz is not just a business success story; it’s a life lesson. It underscores the importance of balance, focus, priorities, the value of mentorship, and the transformative power of viewing challenges as opportunities. As they’ve shown, with the right guidance and a willingness to adapt, you can indeed have your cake and eat it too.

To learn more about Karl Krummenacher, visit KarlKrummenacher.com 

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