E96: Become less “mission critical” for more success with Karl Sakas

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At 35, Karl thought he had it all figured out—-a virtual business with low overhead, great clients on every inhabited continent, and a model where he could do almost all of the client work remotely.

That’s the dream, right?

Yet over Labor Day 2017, that dream turned into a nightmare. Not only did he have appendicitis… his appendix had ruptured. It was the wake up call he needed: he’d made himself too mission-critical to his company.

In the episode, Karl shares how he has started fixing things– and how audience members can, too.

Episode highlights:

  • Karl goes over his previous agency experience and how he utilizes his strategy, leadership, and operations in his consulting work.
  • How to go about realistic goals.
  • Karl’s medical experience with appendicitis and still running the business.
  • Some things to consider doing yourself as an agency leader, without having to delegate.
  • What it’s like to hand off work (delegate) to a VA and things to expect.
  • Best advice he’s ever received: Never take a job if they give you an offer after just one interview because they are not being careful about hiring the right person.



  • “You could have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t operationalize it, it’s like not even having the idea in the first place.”
  • “I had freelancers to help, but I was the only one who could do the billable work.”
  • “I accepted that the business model was broken.”
  • “If you have an opportunity to hire someone who’s always agreeing with you, I don’t know that may be a missed opportunity.”
  • “In spite of having the appendicitis, 2017 was the biggest year yet, revenue-wise and profitability and then 2018 has kept growing.”
  • “Just because you’re the best person to do it doesn’t mean you should.”


  • Determine what is best to delegate and what is not. Some tasks just can’t be handed off.