The Secret To Real Systems

What's it About...

Jonathan Stewart
Jonathan Stewart
It's easy to get sidetracked with massive fully featured systems on YouTube... but here's an alternative if you find yourself getting stuck and lost in systems hell!

A starter system is a great place to start if you're just getting started in figuring out how to manage all the things in your business. You don't need to be an expert in systems theory, or spend hours messing around with tools when you have a starter systems that gets you moving quickly.

What is a Starter System

A starter system is designed to get in, get out, and carry on. They don't rely on a particular app or specialist tools. The focus is on just not getting in your way and being used when it's necessary and ignored any other time. It's designed to help you get things done that need to be done and nothing more.

A good example can be something to help you keep track of all the downloads you've signed up for as a business owner. If you consider how many hours you've spent searching for graphics or copy templates you've signed up for but never used because it's so hard to find (it could be in your inbox, or perhaps your downloads folder… oh shoot you might've deleted it too 😱. (If this is you, click here as i've got something for you!)

How they work

A starter system is designed to meet you where you are right now. They are incredibly focused, app agnostic, and do not require busy work. Often, it's a perfect time to build them – when you feel the least productive. The overarching focus is to help you achieve one thing in as few steps as possible.

In the above example, I specifically focused on external resources (copy and graphic templates).

Now could it be expanded to include courses/memberships and internal resources that you've created? Sure but then it becomes far more complex, and often what happens is you get overwhelmed by all the things you've gotta make sure to cover.

Another thing to notice is that it's not “mission critical” to the running of your business. It's easy to get caught up trying to create full systems for all the moving parts of your business. Unfortunately this requires a heck of a lot of insight into how you working (or chatting to someone who can help you translate it) and takes a lot of tweaks, adaptions and can get in the way of running the business.

If you focus on something that isn't mission critical, you get insights in how you work, which you can then slowly bring these insights into your business.


A common mistake people make when they try to get organised is to create the ultimate system. Now, this has value, but it does require a lot of busy work. Whereas with a Starter System you spend less than a couple of minutes building and creating them. And then they're done. All it requires are small, tiny steps that make the biggest impact to reach the one thing in as few steps as possible.

As mentioned above by focusing on the non-mission critical elements of your business when things drop it's not detrimental to your business. It create a safe space to explore play, and not feel guilty when it goes wrong (which it probably will… and that's okay). Being non-mission critical doesn't mean it's not important. It's still gotta be something of a bug bare for you if it's not… then you won't work on it. But it needs to be something that can accidentally drop and you can come back to without it having a negative impact.

It also gives you a chance to focus on developing Tiny Habits that get you used to tracking things in a single place reducing cognitive load, and allowing you to learn what triggers fit you, as you slowly develop a robust system that fits all together all in a solution that doesn't really take any bandwidth…

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The Secret To Real Systems?

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