The Power of Leveraged Laziness (Templates & SOP’s)

Scott D. Clary
Scott D. Clary
7 min readMay 27, 2024


Hi All!

Here is my weekly letter discussing mental models, performance, business and entrepreneurship.

If you love this content (please share it), but also…

Check out my Podcast, connect with me on YouTube / Twitter, and read my Daily or Weekly newsletter.

Also, learn more about my accelerator program for founders & entrepreneurs here.

The Power of Leveraged Laziness

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: You’re juggling a million tasks, fighting fires, and constantly feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. The entrepreneurial hustle is real, but here’s the secret they don’t teach you in business school: The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t always the busiest. They’re the smartest.

I’m about to drop a truth bomb: I’m lazy.

Not in the Netflix-bingeing, potato-chip-munching kind of way. I’m talking about a strategic laziness. A refusal to do any task more than once if I can help it. Why? Because time is our most precious, non-renewable asset. And every minute you spend on repetitive work is a minute you’re not spending on growth, innovation, or, hell, even a little bit of fun.

That’s where the magic of templates and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) comes in. These are the unsung heroes of the entrepreneurial toolkit, the secret sauce that allows you to:

  • Scale Without the Chaos: Ever tried to onboard a new employee or delegate a task, only to have it go sideways? SOPs are your instruction manual for repeatable success.
  • Focus on What Matters: By automating the mundane, you free up brainpower for the big-picture stuff.
  • Unlock Hidden Profits: Streamlined processes often lead to cost savings and efficiency gains you never saw coming.

More Than Just Checklists

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Scott, I’ve tried templates before. They’re just glorified checklists.”


Templates and SOPs are so much more than that. They’re your knowledge base, your quality control, your ticket to building a business that runs like a well-oiled machine, even when you’re not around.

In the next few segments of this newsletter, I’m going to dive deep into:

  • The “Minimum Viable Template” Framework: How to create templates that are actually useful, not just busywork.
  • SOPs Beyond the Obvious: Unconventional use cases that will surprise you.
  • The “Set It and Forget It” Mindset: How to build a culture of continuous improvement around your templates.

So buckle up, my fellow lazy entrepreneurs. We’re about to unlock a level of productivity you never thought possible.

The MVT: Your Template’s Starting Point

The MVT is a simple but effective way to approach template creation. It consists of three key elements:

  1. The Goal: What are you trying to achieve with this template? Be specific. Instead of “onboard new clients,” try “ensure new clients understand our services and next steps within 48 hours of signing up.”
  2. The Steps: Break down the process into the bare minimum actions required to achieve the goal. Don’t get bogged down in details yet. Just focus on the essential building blocks.
  3. The Outcome: How will you measure success? What are the key indicators that the template is working? This could be anything from client satisfaction ratings to project completion times.

Example: The MVT for a Client Onboarding Template


  • Ensure new clients understand our services and next steps within 48 hours of signing up.


  • Send welcome email with link to client portal.
  • Schedule kick-off call within 24 hours.
  • Send follow-up email with recap of call and next steps.


  • Client completes onboarding survey with 90% satisfaction rating.
  • Client schedules first project meeting within 7 days of kick-off call.

Why the MVT Works

The beauty of the MVT is its simplicity. It forces you to focus on the essentials and avoid overcomplicating things. This is especially important for first-time template creators. Remember, you can always add more detail later. The key is to get something down on paper that you can start using and iterating on.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to start with a messy, handwritten template. The goal is to capture your thoughts and ideas, not create a work of art.

From MVT to Masterpiece

Once you have your MVT, it’s time to start fleshing it out. This is where you can add more detail, refine your steps, and incorporate feedback from others. But remember, the MVT is your foundation. It’s the guiding principle that will keep your template on track and ensure it’s actually useful.

SOPs Beyond the Obvious: The Secret Weapon of High-Performers

By now, you should have a solid understanding of the “Minimum Viable Template” framework and how to use it to create basic templates.

But here’s where things get really interesting.

Most people think of SOPs as boring, corporate documents used for things like onboarding employees or handling customer complaints. But the truth is, SOPs can be applied to almost any area of your life, from your morning routine to your creative process.

Let me give you a few examples from my own life:

  • The Content Creation SOP: I have a detailed SOP for every piece of content I create, whether it’s a tweet, a blog post, or a podcast episode. This includes everything from idea generation to promotion. This ensures consistent quality and frees up my mental energy to focus on the actual creation process.
  • The Meeting SOP: Every meeting I attend has a pre-defined agenda and set of outcomes. This keeps us on track, prevents meetings from dragging on, and ensures that everyone leaves with a clear understanding of next steps.
  • The Decision-Making SOP: When faced with a difficult decision, I have a set of questions I ask myself to help me weigh the options and make the best choice. This takes the emotion out of the process and helps me make more rational decisions.
  • The Morning Routine SOP: Even my morning routine is partially SOP-ified. This ensures I start my day with the right mindset and set myself up for success.

The Benefits of Unconventional SOPs

The benefits of using SOPs in these unconventional ways are numerous:

  • Increased Productivity: By automating repetitive tasks and decisions, you free up your mental bandwidth for more important things.
  • Improved Quality: SOPs help you standardize processes and ensure consistent quality across everything you do.
  • Reduced Stress: Knowing that you have a plan for everything reduces stress and anxiety, allowing you to focus on what matters most.
  • Enhanced Creativity: By taking care of the mundane, you free up your creative energy for more innovative work.

The SOP Challenge

I challenge you to take a look at your own life and identify at least three areas where you could create an SOP. It could be anything from your weekly meal prep to your travel planning process. Start small and see how it goes. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.

The “Set It and Forget It” Mindset (But Not Really)

When you create a template or SOP, it’s tempting to think of it as a finished product, something you can set and forget. But the truth is, templates and SOPs should be living, breathing documents that evolve over time.

Think of it like this:

  • Your business is constantly changing. New products, new services, new team members — all of these things require adjustments to your processes.
  • The world is constantly changing. Technology, regulations, consumer preferences — all of these things can impact how you do business.

To stay ahead of the curve, you need to adopt a “Set It and Forget It” mindset… but not really.

Here’s what I mean:

Set It: Create your templates and SOPs with the intention that they will be used and followed. Don’t just create them for the sake of creating them.

Forget It: Don’t obsess over every detail. Get the basics down and start using your templates. You can always refine them later.

But Not Really: Regularly review your templates and SOPs to see if they’re still relevant and effective. Get feedback from your team and make adjustments as needed.

Building a Culture of Continuous Improvement

The best way to ensure your templates and SOPs stay relevant is to build a culture of continuous improvement around them. Here are a few tips:

  • Encourage feedback: Make it easy for your team to provide feedback on your templates and SOPs. You can use surveys, suggestion boxes, or even just informal conversations.
  • Track results: Use metrics to track the effectiveness of your templates and SOPs. Are they helping you achieve your goals? Are they saving you time and money?
  • Celebrate wins: When you see positive results, celebrate them! This will reinforce the importance of templates and SOPs and encourage your team to continue using them.

The Lazy Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon

Templates and SOPs are the lazy entrepreneur’s secret weapon. They allow you to automate the mundane, streamline your processes, and free up your mental energy for more important things.

But they’re not a magic bullet. To get the most out of them, you need to adopt the right mindset and build a culture of continuous improvement.

Until next time (my fellow, lazy entrepreneur),




Scott D. Clary
Scott D. Clary

👋 | Host @ Success Story Podcast 🎙️ | I write a newsletter to 321,000 people 👉