Entrepreneur or Technician? Print
Friday, 05 March 2010 12:57

If you haven’t yet read E-myth or E-myth Revisited, as one business owner to another – do it.  It will change your perspective on where your business is going and what it actually means to you.

The E-Myth philosophy (Entrepreneurial Myth) is that most small business owners are so busy running their business than in actual fact, they are working at a job and are not entrepreneurs.  To be an entrepreneur, the business has to grow, employ people and have a sustainable future – with or without the initiator.  Gerber believes that most business are not started by entrepreneurs (as is the common belief) but by technicians who have an Entrepreneurial Seizure – that blinding moment of clarity that says “I’m going to start my own business!”  After that eureka moment, the technician returns to what he does best – getting the job done.  

When we analyse it, many business owners are doing exactly that – the business was built on their idea, skill and knowledge and it is difficult for them to step back and allow others to run with it.  The business owner has to be Manager, Technician and Entrepreneur all rolled into one.  A tall order, especially since none of the individual personalities want to have a boss.

If you are like most entrepreneurs, your goal was to gain personal and financial freedom when starting your business.  And now, that business can’t function without you and eventually the business suffers (and possibly fails).  

The E-Myth books by Michael Gerber espouses five basic principles to deal with this:

  1. The business should be a way to get more of what you want out of life.  Often that is personal freedom or more time with your family.  However, those ideals sometimes clash if your business is actually a job and you work longer and longer hours at it trying to keep it going.
  2. You need to have a clear vision of the business.  This vision inspires others and, as the leader of the business, you need to demonstrate passion and commitment to that vision.
  3. You need to work on the business, not in it.  The book recommends building your business according to a franchise model, even if you never intend to franchise.  It forces you to take your own skills and labour out of the equation.
  4. Systems and processes are essential for high-equity returns.  Ideally the people run the systems and the systems run the business.
  5. Developing the business - the methodology of working on your business through innovation, analysis and delivery.  It’s how you realise your vision in the first place and is the key to success.

Although Streamline cannot answer questions on why you are in business in the first place, it can provide the framework you need, help you create robust systems and processes and give you freedom from the office.  The freedom required for reflection, refreshing and refocusing whilst still keeping a vital overview on the business from wherever you are.  

E-Myth and E-Myth Revisited written by Michael Gerber.  
Visit www.e-myth.com for more details.