The E-Myth Revisited
by Michael Gerber is absolutely the first book an entrepreneur should read. The E-Myth introduces the idea that you have to be three people to be successful in business. You have to be an entrepreneur, a technician, and a manager.
- The entrepreneur works on the business, capitalizing on new opportunities.
- The technician does the work, justifying the business’s existence and keeping the customers happy.
- The manager maintains order, keeping the organization running and allowing the entrepreneur and the technician to do their respective jobs.
According to Mr. Gerber, most of us start businesses because we are technicians who love doing the work so much
that we get to a point where we can’t stand working for anyone else. We wake up one day and decide to start a business so we can focus on doing the work properly without a boss telling us what to do. We’ll be our own boss, dagnabbit.
Gerber calls this an entrepreneurial seizure. He believes most businesses fail because the would-be-entrepreneurs can’t make the transition from being technicians to being entrepreneurs. This is because a technician who decides to start a business more often than not ends up working for the biggest jerk on the planet because the new boss (i.e., the technician/would-be-entrepreneur) completely neglects the business.
I discovered the E-Myth many years ago, and I talk about it constantly. I thought I understood the book, but I recently had my own entrepreneurial seizure, and I’ve been revisiting my assumptions.
I am the quintessential technician. I obsess about making clients happy. Knowing this about myself, I decided to track my time and give myself credit for being an entrepreneur. I would give myself credit for working on the business when I was networking, marketing, planning, and strategizing. Some weeks I would spend several hours working on the business, but most weeks would go by without any entrepreneurial effort -- despite my good intentions.
It wasn’t working out the way I planned.
This morning I had an epiphany. Maybe this isn’t a time management issue, maybe this is like yoga or meditation. Instead of being three separate people separately, maybe I have to be one enlightened three-in-one person all the time.
Work on the business every day, without exception. Do the work every day, without exception. Manage the business every day, without exception. Entrepreneur/technician/manager all-in-one. Om.
Blogging is turning out to be one of the best ways for me to tap into the three-in-one me. I’m marketing the business (entrepreneur), I improving my ability to teach the things I need to teach my small business clients (technician), and I’m having a blast learning about WordPress (manager).
Otherwise, it hasn’t been easy trying to achieve this all-in-one, higher state of entrepreneurial being. But I am doing my best to be “even-tempered in success and failure
Just like yoga.