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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!

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).

FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Avatar KC September 2, 2008, 8:45 am

    Please add me to the contest!

    Thank you!

  • Avatar Eric September 2, 2008, 8:55 am

    I’m in for the contest – thanks!

  • Avatar Terry September 2, 2008, 9:29 am

    Sounds interesting.

  • Avatar Sean September 2, 2008, 9:43 am

    Thanks for another great giveaway!

  • Avatar venter September 2, 2008, 10:04 am

    Sounds interesting.

  • Avatar karina September 2, 2008, 10:04 am

    I’m in

  • Avatar Gloria September 2, 2008, 10:36 am

    Great giveaway! Count me in.

  • Avatar Dividend Growth Investor September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar Bob September 2, 2008, 10:44 am

    Seems like an interesting read. Thanks.

  • Avatar Cannon_fodder September 2, 2008, 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!

  • Avatar Aaron September 2, 2008, 11:03 am

    Please, count me in.

  • Avatar Acorn September 2, 2008, 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…

  • Avatar Chuck September 2, 2008, 11:23 am

    Count me in on the contest!

  • Avatar Sam September 2, 2008, 11:27 am

    Sounds interesting. Please count me in!

  • Avatar Laura September 2, 2008, 11:36 am

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

  • Avatar Jimmy September 2, 2008, 11:37 am

    I love to get this copy!

  • Avatar Finance_Addict September 2, 2008, 11:39 am


  • Avatar dayLateDollarShort September 2, 2008, 11:42 am

    Sounds cool, count me in please.

  • Avatar Judy September 2, 2008, 11:48 am

    Count me in. Tks

  • Avatar Oscar September 2, 2008, 11:53 am

    I’m in for the contest.

  • Avatar pc September 2, 2008, 11:54 am


  • Avatar Digger September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar ryan September 2, 2008, 11:57 am

    throw me in, thanks.

  • Avatar Howie September 2, 2008, 12:04 pm

    please count me in, thanks!

  • Avatar Paul September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar Mike September 2, 2008, 12:13 pm

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

  • Avatar telefantastik September 2, 2008, 12:21 pm

    count me in, thanks!

  • Avatar 45free September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar FearLES September 2, 2008, 12:39 pm

    sounds interesting. Good luck to everyone!

  • Avatar glen September 2, 2008, 12:42 pm

    looks like a great read – count me in

  • Avatar Jenny September 2, 2008, 1:01 pm

    Count me in, this book sounds great!!!

  • Avatar Tony September 2, 2008, 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the contest!

  • Avatar Cameron September 2, 2008, 1:22 pm

    Please add me to the contest =)

  • Avatar Slavik September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar Ringo September 2, 2008, 1:36 pm

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

  • Avatar Tom September 2, 2008, 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!

  • Avatar ThickenMyWallet September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar Patrick September 2, 2008, 2:07 pm

    Count me in.

  • Avatar Tyler September 2, 2008, 2:12 pm

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

  • Avatar Serhan September 2, 2008, 2:14 pm


  • Avatar Dean Barclay September 2, 2008, 2:17 pm

    Please enter me to the contest.

  • Avatar AndrewP September 2, 2008, 2:26 pm

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

  • Avatar Glenn Helten September 2, 2008, 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

  • Avatar DBennett September 2, 2008, 3:21 pm

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

  • Avatar Bmoney September 2, 2008, 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!

  • Avatar Chris September 2, 2008, 3:46 pm

    Sign me up for the giveaway :)

  • Avatar Alex September 2, 2008, 3:58 pm

    Can’t wait to read!

  • Avatar Shannan September 2, 2008, 4:05 pm

    I would like to read this book. Thanks!

  • Avatar Joshua September 2, 2008, 4:31 pm

    Sign me up for the contest please. Thanks!

  • Avatar Andre September 2, 2008, 4:46 pm

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

  • Avatar Deb September 2, 2008, 4:46 pm

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

  • Avatar Debt_Free_in_5 September 2, 2008, 5:10 pm

    I would like this.

  • Avatar EnRock September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar Kenny September 2, 2008, 5:13 pm

    Count me in! Thanks!

  • Avatar Phil J September 2, 2008, 5:27 pm

    I’ve love a chance to win the book.

  • Avatar yyj September 2, 2008, 5:50 pm

    please count me in, thanks

  • Avatar Eric September 2, 2008, 6:04 pm

    I like your site and this is my first comment

  • Avatar Elvis K September 2, 2008, 6:40 pm

    Sounds really good…Please add me in as well FT

  • Avatar Jon Kepler September 2, 2008, 7:07 pm

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

  • Avatar Art September 2, 2008, 7:31 pm

    Love your articles. Count me in.

  • Avatar marlaene September 2, 2008, 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

  • Avatar Tetsuo September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar Plamen September 2, 2008, 9:28 pm

    Count me in. Thanks

  • Avatar Cash Instinct September 2, 2008, 9:32 pm

    Please count me in, sounds interesting. Thanks!

  • Avatar islander September 2, 2008, 9:33 pm

    i would love a copy

  • Avatar Brandon September 2, 2008, 9:44 pm

    Sounds like a good read.

  • Avatar cbez September 2, 2008, 9:45 pm

    Seems like an interesting read.

  • Avatar Stephen Winters September 2, 2008, 10:17 pm

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


  • Avatar john in Kitchener September 2, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar Brian September 2, 2008, 10:40 pm

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

  • Avatar AL September 3, 2008, 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!

  • Avatar DG September 3, 2008, 12:15 am


  • Avatar Sarlock September 3, 2008, 12:29 am

    Sounds like a good read!

  • Avatar Terri September 3, 2008, 12:53 am


  • Avatar pedro September 3, 2008, 1:10 am

    sounds interesting

  • Avatar Tob September 3, 2008, 2:42 am

    Looks good!

  • Avatar Ronny September 3, 2008, 3:26 am

    I’m in.

  • Avatar PhilC September 3, 2008, 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!

  • Avatar Maiku September 3, 2008, 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.

  • Avatar NeedNoWallet September 3, 2008, 3:17 pm

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


  • Avatar AndyBuck September 3, 2008, 3:30 pm

    Sounds like a great book!

  • Avatar Mark September 3, 2008, 4:47 pm

    Great review, thanks!

  • Avatar A D September 3, 2008, 6:29 pm

    Sounds good.

  • Avatar Nick September 4, 2008, 12:21 am

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

  • Avatar Brian September 4, 2008, 9:31 am

    Looks like a good read.

  • Avatar Pat Furlong September 4, 2008, 1:43 pm

    Looks like a good book.

  • Avatar Konstantin September 4, 2008, 5:48 pm

    It sounds like an interesting book.

  • Avatar Reg September 5, 2008, 1:48 am

    Sounds interesting; would love to read.

  • Avatar brick September 5, 2008, 1:49 am

    Thanks for the review and giveaway. Count me in!

  • Avatar A M September 5, 2008, 12:17 pm

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

  • Avatar Nick P September 5, 2008, 2:16 pm

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

  • Avatar Manisha Mawji September 5, 2008, 3:35 pm

    Please add me to the contest!


  • Avatar Amy September 5, 2008, 4:11 pm

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