Discipline makes Daring possible.



You are the expert.  The one everyone turns to for answers to the difficult questions.  When you’re not there, the team notices.   They’re always pleased to have you back.

Being a lynchpin in someone else’s business is a good career strategy.

Being the lynchpin in your own business is dangerous.

When it’s your business, your dent in the universe, the last thing you want is to keep your expertise to yourself.

Share it with a Customer Experience Score.

Make everyone a lynchpin.

Grow your dent.

That’s what the universe needs.


Discipline makes Daring possible.

Ask me how.





“10 times is easier than 2 times” by Dan Sullivan and Dr Benjamin Hardy is by no means a how-to book, but it is a very useful book.

I’ve heard of the basic premise before – that radical change is paradoxically easier than incremental change, because it makes you think completely outside the box about how you might get there.   For me, that intersects nicely with Category Pirates thinking, where you stop competing with everyone else in a particular category, and create a completely new one for yourself.

What was new for me was the idea of applying this thinking repeatedly in your life and in your business.  And not just you.  Your team too.   Which reminded me of Derek Sivers’ story of recruiting his own replacement for a job, before he announced his intention to leave.

This might seem a long way from my idea of a Customer Experience Score.  A well-documented and well-rehearsed ‘what we do round here’.

It isn’t.

Creating the Customer Experience Score for your business unlocks the first 10x, because it reminds you what your business is here to do; it forces you to think about Roles (which goes even further than ‘who not how’), and it makes you think completely differently about how you manage it.

It enables you to Disappear as a Boss.  It makes you create a self-managing business.

Once you’ve done that,  it’s easier to 10x through rapid growth (say 40%) per year, or by creating 10 instances of the business (by franchising, for example).

And now you have a Customer Experience Score written down it becomes easier to 10x again.

All you have to do, is ask at every Group Practice: ‘How do we make this 10x better?

The Score will show you what to change and how.  Which makes doing the change even easier.


Discipline really does make Daring possible.

The hard part is daring in the first place.


3 books for a bank holiday weekend

3 books for a bank holiday weekend

I made the most of this Bank Holiday weekend, and got some reading in:

Left to right: “The Paradox of Debt” by Richard Vague; “10 times is easier than 2 times” by Dan Sullivan and Dr Benjamin Hardy and “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  I haven’t finished this one yet, it needs a slow, meditative read.


They are 3 very different books, all highly recommended, and despite very different content, all share a common theme:


When you watch the wrong things, the wrong things happen.


And the right things to watch have been there all along.


Discipline makes Daring possible.

Ask me how.



I’m slowly working my way through “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer.   Enjoying a story or two before I go to sleep is a great way to unwind and bring myself back to my proper place in the world.

Two things stood out from last night’s reading:

The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address, or ‘the words that come before all else’, the words that begin every meeting, every negotiation, every celebration.  Here’s a video of it, recorded for Earth Day.


“In a consumer society, contentment is a radical proposition.”

What would happen if I read that Address at the start of every day?

What would happen if we all did?  Whenever we gather?


Something good I think.

Which makes it well worth sharing.

The sweet spot

The sweet spot

One of the things that puts Bosses off writing down how their business should work, is that there is just so much to know.

When it’s all whirling around in your head along with all the ideas for new ways to delight your clients, and all the everyday housekeeping for your business, it’s almost impossible to work out where to start, or how much to write down.

Where to start is easy.  I like to begin with how you open for business.  It’s a good warm-up exercise, usually fairly straightforward, and immediately useful.  It also gets you starting to think about how responsibilities are shared.

As you write your Customer Experience Score, it pays to remember that you’re writing for competent human beings, professionals, who know what they are doing.

You don’t have to spell out the bits they are experts at – whether that’s making a testimonial video, coming up with ideas for a marketing campaign, preparing a set of accounts, or handling a quartet of dogs in the park.    These bits can be jazz: “film cool stuff“, “produce 3 ideas – one for the client, one for us, and one off the wall“; perhaps with a few pointers, “practise recall, play catch, give them a good run“.

In general what a Customer Experience Score is doing, is documenting all the bits around those core activities that have to happen in order everything to run smoothly, and in line with your Promise.

These are the bits that you do unthinkingly, because you’ve internalised them, but which others have to learn to do, and need to refer to when an activity is infrequent.  These are also the bits we can bring even more into line with your Promise, to make the experience unique and even more compelling.

These bits can be a bit more spelt out, but as no more than bullet points.  As prompts, not instructions.

By the time you’re done, often all people need is a look at the high-level diagram to remind themselves, they already know the steps by heart.

So, how much to write down depends on you, your team, and your Promise of Value:

What level of detail will give you confidence that clients will always get the customer experience they deserve?

What level of detail will give your team the confidence to ad lib, personalise and embellish in order to make that customer experience even better?

The sweet spot lies at the intersection of these questions.

And the best way to find it is to start writing.


Discipline makes Daring possible

Ask me how.

The Disappearing Bosses Club

The Disappearing Bosses Club

It’s taken a little while, but The Disappearing Bosses Club is finally here.

If you’re an overloaded, purpose-driven small business employer, who wants to make an even bigger impact within the next couple of years, this might be the club for you.

If you’re planning to sell your business in the next couple of years, and want to maximise the value you get, and minimise the strings attached, this might be the club for you.

If you know you want your employees to own your business, and you want to help them learn to run it without you before you go, this might be the club for you.

The Disappearing Bosses Club opens its doors in September, to 7 participants.

Check it out, and register your interest here: https://www.thedisappearingboss.com/the-disappearing-bosses-club

I’m Kirsten Gibbs, Boss Disappearer, and I can help you write your Customer Experience Score , to make your business easier to run, easier to grow, easier to sell if that’s what you want, and easier to build into a legacy you’ll be proud of.

Discipline makes Daring possible

A special thank you to the lovely Phoebe Weston for making me make this.


A soft system

A soft system

Your system for making and keeping promises looks self-contained:

disappearing boss course card

but of course it isn’t.

The processes that form it’s skeleton are firm, and the Promise that drives them changes rarely, but like any living system the edges are soft and sensitive.   The skin of your business interacts with the outside world and with other systems – buildings, computer networks, prospects, clients, suppliers, collaborators, family, friends and community.

This is the frontline of your business.  This is where it learns what it needs to do to adapt.

Listen to it.

Absorb its teachings into your bones.


Discipline makes Daring possible.

One hundred and sixty!

One hundred and sixty!

In January 2023, I joined the 1% Club.

And it’s been brilliant.

Simply by moving as many days as I can – taking a walk, exercising in my back garden, visiting open art studios for a Saturday, I’ve not only kept myself fitter, I’ve enabled trees to be planted where they need to be planted.

A whole 160 of them.

No big deal, you might think.

Except that by moving ourselves together, since January the 1% Club has planted over 20,000 trees.

If you are looking for just that extra bit of accountability, to get you doing what you know you need to do for your health – for what you want to do, but are all too easily distracted from – I recommend the 1% Club.

If you are suffering from climate anxiety, I recommend the 1% Club. It’s a brilliant way to do yourself some good and do the planet some good at the same time. Not just because being active outdoors is good for you, but because the 1 percenters are also a lovely positive, supportive bunch of people.

If you’re looking for a way to get started on climate action, I recommend the 1% Club. Who can object to planting more trees where they are needed, to helping people around the world to regenerate their landscapes and themselves?   Who knows where you might go next?

A tiny bit of Discipline can make a lot of Daring possible.

Thank you Tash Acres for starting it.

And thanks, Cristina Anason-Lewis for the loan of your graphic.

Between 3 and 300

Between 3 and 300

It’s a classic story of how many small businesses grow, and then shrink again.

As the founder, you do everything.   You do the sales and marketing to get clients, you enrol them, and you deliver the service to them once they’re on board.   Gradually you refine your hand-crafted offer into a customer experience that is uniquely yours.   That most of your clients really love.  That you become known for, even though you aren’t the only person or business offering this service.


So you decide to scale up.   You add other people – employees, or just as often, specialist freelancers – to help you with delivery.  So you can service more clients.

Handing over means systemising the parts of the process other people can do for you, but you retain control of the parts that matter – where the process interfaces with clients.   The heart of the customer experience.  After all, you are the face of the business.  People buy people, and that means you.

At first this is great.   You can handle more clients than before, make more profit than before.  So you take on more collaborators.

But all too soon, it becomes too much.  Suddenly you are working harder than anyone else.  You feel obliged to keep your collaborators fully occupied, but that means overloading the backbone – you.

You can’t take holidays, you can barely take weekends.  And when you do snatch a break, either it gets interrupted by collaborators or clients, or you come back to extra work.   Because nobody else can fulfill your role.


So back down you shrink.  Not quite to the one-man band you started as, but to essentially a one-man band with specialist accompaniments, dealing with a limited number of lucky clients each year.

In principle, there is nothing wrong with this.  Of course not.  It’s your life, your business, you decide how you want to live it.


But if you dream of making a bigger impact, you might like to know there is another way.   That doesn’t involve ‘going corporate’.  That doesn’t mean building a machine, losing the personal feel of your business completely.

The choice isn’t between 3 people and 300.  Between being a freelancer or being a tycoon.  Between being human and being corporate.

It’s possible to systemise your personality, your values, your unique customer experience into a small business that can scale without losing its humanity.  And without killing you in the process.

You just have to go about it in a different way.

By building your business as a system for making and keeping promises to the people you serve.  A system run by and for humans, not machines.  A system that enables everyone to be a Boss, so that any one of you can take a break when you need to.

Luckily for you, I’ve worked out how to do this over a year-long programme.  My clients have reaped the rewards.

It’s called The Disappearing Boss.

And from September you’ll be able to do it yourself, as part of The Disappearing Bosses Club.

Discipline makes Daring possible.

Ask me how.



Letting go of the tiger

Letting go of the tiger

During that tiger-riding phase of growing your business, when you’re growing fast, when new opportunities are coming at you thick and fast, and it feels right to take as many of them as you can; it can feel like everything is out of control.  It can feel like nothing is working as it should, so you have to be everywhere, supervising everything, checking everything, or the tiger will run away with you.

You might think that this would be the worst time to start writing down your Customer Experience Score.

You’d be wrong.

Because, by giving yourself space to get your music out of your head, you also give yourself space to think about how ‘doing things right’ can be made easier to achieve.  Sometimes ridiculously so, with a ridiculously simple change, such as creating a Prop for others to use that literally helps them see through your eyes.

Because, as you write down what till now has only been playing inside your head, you see how the part you wrote for the violins is very close to what the violas will need, and the oboes, and with a few more tweaks, the clarinets.  Suddenly, the job of getting it all down is much smaller than you thought.

And because, as you write the first few parts, and see how easy it is to get your Orchestra to play them beautifully, even when you’re not in the room, you realise that the next part you write is likely to work just as well, and the one after that, and the one after that.   Suddenly, the job of getting it all down is far less urgent than you thought.

And so you realise that you can loosen your hold.  That the tiger isn’t going to run away with you.  That you can spend time building her a generous and beuatiful reserve in which she can flourish.

You’ll never be done of course, but now you know how easy it is, you can enlist your team to help you.

And once they know as much as you do about how your business should work to make and keep its promises to customers, you can step back and enjoy watching your tiger become a streak.


Discipline makes Daring possible.

It also makes it easier.

Ask me how.