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Emily Williams


How to Run Your Business Like Clockwork with Adrienne Dorison

Emily Williams

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So many women enter the world of entrepreneurship with the idea of more freedom in mind. Maybe it was a yearning for financial freedom, creative freedom, or overall freedom that got you here. Now, I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in your business so much that the idea of stepping away for a few weeks of vacation seems impossible and that freedom seems out of reach. I’ve been there. Maybe you are craving that freedom of more time, a vacation, or even doing more of what you love in the business but are stuck because your operations feel entirely reliant on you. If so, this is an episode you don’t want to miss. 

“I’m a big advocate of automation of certain things, but there are only so many things that you can automate. Your business does need people to help run it at a certain point. You need to make sure that you’re open to other people supporting you, and start to slowly transfer those tasks off of your plate so that you can be prepared for taking time off.” -Adrienne Dorison

When you run a business, it’s easy to feel like it can’t operate without you there. The truth? It can. That’s why I was excited for the opportunity to have my friend and brilliant operations expert, Adrienne Dorison, join me on the show. Adrienne is the CEO and co-founder at Run like Clockwork and works with clients all around the world to help them achieve that sense of freedom that so many crave. Her goal for all her clients is to have them confidently take a four-week vacation away from their business. Now, that might sound crazy, but it is doable. Whether you are taking a vacation, stepping away on maternity leave, or just dealing with something unexpected that life throws at you, Adrienne believes it’s vital that your business can run without dependency on you. 

It’s all about systematizing your business and putting processes in place so your business and the daily operations no longer fall 100% on your shoulders. In this episode, Adrienne offers her top tips so you can start thinking about how to apply this approach in your business ASAP. Follow along as Adrienne and I dive into her story of becoming an “accidental entrepreneur” and discuss the approach she uses with her clients to leverage their zone of genius (while leaving the rest to their team). We touch upon the importance of viewing your role in your company as one that can (and will) evolve so you can operate more in your zone of genius and do more of what you love.

The truth is, you don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) the one doing everything. So, we also get into the power of a team and how it’s important to find the right people to train to run different aspects of the company (because automation isn’t always the answer). It’s important to know when to step away from a certain role or responsibility and accept that someone else can take over the role (with proper training and skills) without diminishing your brand. For those of you wondering if it is possible to step away from a personal brand, we cover that in detail too (hint: it is possible).

Full disclosure, I’m not a natural systematizer, nor am I obsessed with operations, but I have come to see the value of it in my own life and business. So, if freedom feels like a far-fetched fantasy for you in your business, be sure to listen to this episode. And get ready to take some notes because, as it turns out, that freedom isn’t as out-of-reach as you may think. 

In this episode… 

[03:02] Welcome, Adrienne! Hear her story of how she became an “accidental” entrepreneur. 

[07:47] Learn what Lean Six Sigma is (and how it can help small businesses). 

[09:24] Adrienne discusses her partnership with Mike Michaelowicz (and how they both work in their own realm of genius). 

[16:11] Hear why it’s important for your role in your business to evolve. 

[21:07] Removing yourself from the business makes it more valuable (hear why). 

[21:58] How to take time off successfully (without your business suffering). 

[26:03] Can you still step away from your business if it’s a personal brand? 

[31:59] Hear what Adrienne is looking forward to in 2021. 

[34:35] Adrienne’s advice for living a life better than your dreams. 

[36:18] Hear how the I Heart My Life Mastermind can help you scale your business and achieve the freedom you’ve been craving. 


“I realized that I don’t have to be the one doing it. I just need to find the people who I can train and who have amazing skillsets to give our clients the results and the information that they’re looking for.” -Emily Williams

“I’m a big advocate of automation of certain things, but there are only so many things that you can automate. Your business does need people to help run it at a certain point. You need to make sure that you’re open to other people supporting you, and start to slowly transfer those tasks off of your plate so that you can be prepared for taking time off.” -Adrienne Dorison

“If you don’t want to carry the burden of always being the voice, then you can have other people step in and do that over time. Just have stronger brand frameworks, brand elements, and pillars that people can talk about that still makes sense for the brand. If you’re not clear on those things first, it will be very challenging for other people to step in and start talking about things or for other people to trust them.” -Adrienne Dorison

“That’s always my approach with clockwork. It was like, what is your vision? What feels best? And then let’s reverse engineer it and figure it out. There’s always a way.” -Adrienne Dorison

“There’s a reason why my company is called I Heart My Life. It’s not just about the business. It’s about all the other components as well. And to just be behind the computer day after day and not doing anything else, that’s not exactly why we started this in the first place.” -Emily Williams 

Links & Resources: 

Clockwork by Michael Michaelowicz

Subscribe to the Podcast: 

I Heart My Life Show on Apple Podcasts
I Heart My Life Show on Spotify

Connect with Emily: 

I Heart My Life Website
I Heart My Life on Instagram
I Heart My Life on Facebook
I Heart My Life on LinkedIn


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Episode Sponsor: I Heart My Life Mastermind 

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