What Is Leverage?

You can probably define leverage intelligently. But do you really understand it? In other words, do you use it in your life and business? Do you maximize its power? If you’re an entrepreneur, do you always exert small efforts to achieve big results? That’s what leverage means to me.

I love this image. It captures the essence of true leverage. That key is a heavy load. It would probably bring any one person beneath it to his knees. The team’s leveraged effort makes it light and easy to carry.

The only way to fully ‘know” something is to experience it. There’s a world of difference between understanding a concept and experiencing what it means with every fiber of your being. Every time I’m in an airport, I experience the joy of leverage physically. I’m talking about the conveyor belts that you can glide-walk on in airport terminals.

I feel a burden lift as soon as my feet hit one of those belts. I walk slowly at a steady pace, but I move quickly. Just seconds before, the same physical exertion felt more difficult. I easily pass people who walk faster than me who are not on the belt. My mind is very clear at moments like that. I can’t imagine why people don’t apply leverage to every aspect of their lives.

Life, business, and creating wealth don’t have to be hard. We make them hard. I won’t play shrink and delve into why people choose struggle and hardship over ease and flow. But they do. That often includes me.

It’s ironic that entrepreneurship is supposed to be a path to freedom. So many would-be entrepreneurs live and work like this. They are like Sisyphus in Greek mythology who is condemned to push a boulder to the top of a mountain, only to have it roll down the other side whenever he reaches the top; he must repeat his impossible task forever.

These are some of the shackles entrepreneurs put on themselves as they pursue their dreams.

  • Control Mania – Entrepreneurs are creative, confident, and independent. They are blessed and cursed by these traits.  The downside is an unwillingness to delegate work to others. The maverick business person often believes that no one can do the job better than him. The truth is that no great enterprise can grow and succeed without a team. When the choice becomes delegate or die, many entrepreneurs choose death.
  • Chaos Addiction – Entrepreneurs cherish freedom. They avoid the nine-to-five existence like the plague. Their innate aversion to routine can lead to poor time management. They  plunge into the fresh adventure of each new day without a plan. The results are fatigue, frustration, and chaos.
  • Reinvent the Wheel – Today’s technology makes it possible to duplicate and automate so many daily activities in our personal lives and businesses.  Why don’t we set them on automatic pilot? Bad habits. Make a list of the numerous things you repeatedly do to run and build your business. You may be shocked to discover how many lend themselves to automation.
  • Shiny Object Syndrome – A major pitfall for right brain entrepreneurs is great enthusiasm for too many things. The world, especially the Internet, offers too much distraction. It’s easy to become like a kid in a candy store and seize every new marketing tool and digital product that crosses your path. A split focus will grind your success journey to a halt.
  • No Exit Strategy – This is a BIG one! The majority of people who create successful businesses become lifetime slaves to those businesses. The minority who avoid this trap start their business with the end in mind. They do everything to ensure that their business will be able to run without them when it becomes a well oiled money machine. From day one, they take steps that will eventually allow them to sell the business for a profit.

Creating a blog is a great example. You can become a blogger to share your knowledge and passion with the world but easily forget that your blog is an asset that can create wealth and give you total freedom. So, you jump right in and begin blogging. Three years later, your blog has a huge following. You’re thrilled, and you should be. But, have you made even one dollar by contributing so much value to the world? For many people, the answer is, “No!” They never looked at their blog as a business that could eventually be sold. They got stuck in the blog instead of working on it. They had no exit strategy.


There’s enormous power in those two small words. One can create the life of your dreams. The other can turn you into a successful slave. Michael Gerber wrote an influential book that has become  a blueprint for exceptional entrepreneurial success. It’s called, “The E-Myth Revisited.” The E stands for Entrepreneurial. This book is literally a “prison break” manual. It can free a person from bondage to a business and help them master the skills and discipline of true entrepreneurs who create assets they can sell. Gerber goes into great depth on the important distinction between working in your business as opposed to working on it.

When you understand and apply what he’s talking about you can become a master of leverage.  You will have the wealth, the time, and the freedom of choice to live life on your terms. You will be a true entrepreneur.


2 Responses to “What Is Leverage?”

  1. I once heard a gentleman say ‘Once you understand the power of financial leverage you will run through a brick wall to get it”.
    Thanks Lou!!!