A few months ago I read The Four Hour Workweek. Awesome book, but pretty unrealistic in terms of the specifics (i.e. 4 hours per week) for most of us. As with most books though, it had some interesting gems. Most important, I think, is the concept that our businesses can really benefit from more operational systems. In fact, I think the author based most of his how-to-run-a-business recommendations on one of my favorite books of all time, The E-Myth Revisited.
The most important take-away from this book, and what has been most helpful to me, is that most entrepreneurs do not create systems for their businesses. Rather, we just kind of wake up each morning and put out fires as needed throughout the day.
While this works for a while, it can't help but get exhausting for us. Worse, when we consider when and how to hire someone to help us to put out the fires, we have no idea where to begin because we really don't know exactly what we do each day.
The concept of putting together operational systems, even (perhaps especially!) for a solo-preneur who doesn't have anyone working for her, is really breakthrough for me and for most entrepreneurs who I know, as it helps us manage our fires more effectively and, more importantly, allows us to hire a team of people who can help us avoid them altogether.