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Book Summary – Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork

Who Not How - Book summary

Entrepreneurs and business leaders often ask the wrong questions and try to do everything themselves. They ask “How can we do this?” or “How do we achieve this goal?” instead of “Who can help us to achieve this?” or “Who can do this for us?” In this book, Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy explain how to work with the right people to expand your vision, resources and personal growth for dramatically better results. In this free Who Not How summary, you’ll learn what’s involved and how to use it to gain your freedom of time, money, relationships and purpose.

Who Not How: Introduction

To succeed, you must put in effort and become great at what you do. However, if you try to do everything yourself, you’ll end up diluting your energy/focus. The secret to true success and freedom is to focus your energy on the areas that leverage your strengths, creativity, and passions, so you can generate the greatest impact.

Stop asking questions like “How should I do this?” or “How should I achieve this goal?” When you focus on “how”, you’re restricted to your finite time, resources, skills and experience.

Instead, focus on “who” by asking “Who can help me to achieve this goal?” or “Who can do this for me?” Such questions immediately open up new possibilities that you wouldn’t otherwise consider, allowing you to improve your results by 10x or even 100x.

Who Not How summary - introduction

The “Who Not How” approach is not about exploiting others. It’s about building a collaborative network where each person can offer his/her unique strengths while leveraging others’ strengths.

For example, this book is the result of the Who Not How approach. Sullivan is the cofounder of an entrepreneurial coaching company. Hardy suggested writing this book after hearing one of Sullivan’s talks. Sullivan provided the insights, while Hardy wrote the book and published it with the help of Tucker Max. Hardy and Max were Sullivan’s Who for this book, while Sullivan was their Who for expanding their entrepreneurial vision/goals.

Steps to find the Right “Who”

To find the right “Who”, you must:
• Get clear on what you want.
• Communicate your vision widely.
• Ask “who can help me achieve this?”
• Once you’ve found your Who, engage and support them to realize the shared vision.

Here’s a quick overview of how you can gain your freedom progressively with the Who Not How approach.

Gain your Freedom with Who Not How

Gain the Freedom of Time

Each of us has only 24 hours a day. How well you master your time determines how much you can accomplish. With the right “Whos”, you can focus on doing what you love and are great at, spend less time on the things you hate or are bad at, and tap on others strengths/resources. The outcome = exponentially better results, personal growth and less procrastination.

Gain the Freedom of Money

With more Whos working on your goals, you’ll have more time to focus on the things that you’re good at. This allows you to increase your earning capacity and eventually attain the Freedom of Money (i.e. having enough money to solve most problems).

Gain the Freedom of Relationships

As you grow your Time and Money Freedoms, you’ll meet world-class mentors and collaborators who can bring you and your products/services to even greater heights. You’ll also have the flexibility to connect/partner with people you want to build relationships with.

Gain the Freedom of Purpose

Each time you add a Who with complementary strengths/resources and fresh perspectives, you address your gaps/weaknesses, free up your time/energy for what matters most, expand your vision, and increase your freedom of time, money and relationships. You become truly free to pursue your dreams instead of getting stuck in the daily grind.

About the Authors of Who Not How

Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork was written by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy.

Dan Sullivan is a speaker, consultant, strategic planner, and coach. He is a co-founder and president of Strategic Coach, an entrepreneurial coaching company. He is also the author of more than 50 books and publications. For more details, please visit

Dr Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist, author and blogger. HE’s the founder of Slipstream Time Hacking, a business consulting and training company, and a graduate of Clemson University and Brigham Young University. For more details, please visit

Who Not How Quotes

“Who Not How is about utilizing relationships, and being transformed by them.”

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

“Delegate everything except genius.”

“When you free up your time, you free up your mind.”

“Your ability to succeed is based on the quality of the people in your life.”

“In the world of business and life, collaboration is the name of the game.”

Getting the Most from Who Not How

The book includes many real-life stories of famous people and entrepreneurs coached by Dan Sullivan. If you’d like to learn more about how to find the right “Whos”, do purchase the book here or visit for more details and resources.

Read our Good to Great summary to find out how the best companies in the world make the leap from “good” to “great” with the right people. Or, learn how to find and hire your right “Whos” with our summary of Who: The A Method for Hiring.

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