Today I would like to speak to business owners and entrepreneurs. People who are making the leap from worker to owner but find themselves being both.
Michael E. Gerber, In his excellent book The E-Myth, teaches us that success in business is not achieved by specific knowledge of business functions but by the desire to experiment and learn. It’s not that failing business owners don’t know enough, it’s that they continue to do what they have always done. Get the work done, get through the day, and go home. In contrast, what successful business owners have in common is a desire to try new things, test what works, and abandon what does not. The willingness to look objectively at their business and apply a process to fine-tune every aspect of their operation. A passion for the details. The ability to focus on the small stuff. The day-to-day activities that make every business function. They treat their business Like a finely crafted pocket watch. Carefully placing every cog and spring that makes their business run like clockwork.
But I don’t have time to do that, you might say. How will I get any work done? I say you don’t have time not to. As a business owner, it’s not your job to work in your business. It’s your job to work on your business. As my mentor said, “If you’re the cog, you’re the clog”.
As an entrepreneur, your business is a reflection of you. If you are sloppy and disorganized, your business is sloppy and disorganized. If your knowledge of how your business works is lacking, your business will show it. Your customers will see it. if your business is to change, as it must to continuously thrive, you must change first. The first change needed is your understanding of what your role is and what is needed to make your business work. Once you understand this you will see the unlimited possibilities your business can achieve.
I love this part- the working on the business part. I am truly fascinated by the development of an extraordinary business. The endless complexity that makes each business unique. If you are a craftsman or a technician that enjoys doing the work, providing the service, or building a great widget. My hats off to you, the world needs people like you also but perhaps you should not be a business owner. Perhaps you should be working for a business owner. But if you’re an entrepreneur, a visionary, or a dreamer, then consider carefully your role. It’s not that you can’t also do the work that pays the bills just remember that you’re not just a craftsman building a great widget, your building a great business.