Jimmy Johns’ Secret to Getting Things Done in Business & Life

Want the secret to getting things done, and NEVER having to repeat the process of discovering THE PROCESS?

It’s how you move mountains. It works. It works for Apple, Amazon, Uber, Jimmy Johns…and people like you and me.

This goes for ANYTHING. It’s rather simple, and yet MANY people (cause we’re PEOPLE) ignore, forget, or just fail to execute it.


I’ll give you the Jimmy Johns example.

Jimmy John used to wipe the crust out of his eyes each morning, fire up his red 1987 Chevy Cavalier with a busted muffler (I don’t know if that’s what he drove but stick with me) and make his way to THE Jimmy Johns.

There was just one SUB SHOP at the time.

Jimmy John was doing it all, and in order to STOP doing it all HIMSELF he needed to hire and SCALE.

When you build something that’s great, with your own hands you and you try to delegate without doing THIS magic THING…you find that the people you delegate to FAIL.

So you think, delegating doesn’t work.

Then you think hiring people is impossible.

Then you think scaling will never happen.

Then you tell yourself (say it together now):

If YOU want something done RIGHT, you need to do it YOURSELF.

That’s wrong.

Here’s what Jimmy John did:

1) He wrote down everything he did IN ORDER from the time he walked in the door, to the time he left

2) When he realized cutting the onions FIRST thing in the morning stunk up the joint and wasn’t the best timing for that TASK, he improved the process (as he went) and PUT IT DOWN ON PAPER

3) Every time he improved something, he put it on paper and created a PROGRAM for OPENING, CLOSING, SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS, TAKEOUT, ORDER TAKING, etc

4) He designed a process, and put it down STEP by STEP

5) HE FOLLOWED THE PROCESS, so he knew someone else could follow the process

The magic formula is as simple as MAKING A LIST. That is how it starts.
When you make a list, and turn it into a process it becomes a REPEATABLE PROGRAM.

When I was a kid, we had a TRS-80 computer and my father taught me BASIC PROGRAMMING.

This is BASIC PROGRAMMING for people.

Start by creating BASIC PROGRAMS for the things you do, in life (groceries, house cleaning, meals), in business (hiring, firing, sales calls, etc), and in other areas you want to systemize and streamline.

Once you have a few BASIC PROGRAMS, you MUST get clear about the TRIGGERS for these programs.

A TRIGGER is a CAUSE that sets off, ignites, or initiates a program or process.
Without a TRIGGER, your program will not run.

Here’s an example.


PROGRAM: Answer the phone

1) Pick up phone in less than 3 rings
2) Greet caller (enthusiastically): “Hi! Thx for calling WCKG, this is Matt how can I help make your day great today?”
3) Help caller or connect them to someone who can
4) Complete call log on company intranet
5) *Check Website

Now there is a SIMPLE program. The trigger is the phone call, and if you notice, item #5 is actually another TRIGGER for the “Check Website” program.

Keep in mind, there MUST be a PROGRAM for “Check Website” otherwise the person executing the Phone Program will do whatever they deem “checking the website” to be.

That’s when things break down, badly.

You can put triggers at the end of programs to initiate another program.

By the way, this is happening to YOU all day long anyway. Most people just don’t realize it.

The key is to design YOUR PROGRAMS, run YOUR PROGRAMS, and then get others to RUN THEM for you or with you.

Triggers can also be TIMES, DAYS, DATES, Events etc.

In fact, you ideally want beginning of the day and end of day triggers to initiate programs for you or your managers to VERIFY that others are indeed running the programs properly, effectively, and efficiently.

And you guessed it…it’s good to have a program to check the programs.

It sounds very T3, and perhaps even Orwellian…but when you break it down, these are checklists with order and function.

They WORK. They’re working right now.

The question is, are they working for YOU or are you working for THEM?

Wouldn’t you rather design them and execute yours, for YOUR mission?

2 Comments Jimmy Johns’ Secret to Getting Things Done in Business & Life

  1. Daniel C Malloy

    “make a list check it twice”, everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten


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