New Ideas Need Gestation

April 20, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

I seem to go through different cycles of the type of reading or things I pay attention to, or perhaps it is the Law of Attraction at work giving me the things I need to hear and read.  Recently my attention has been centered more on spirituality.  I have been listening to a really great series put on by Feminine Power called Women on the Edge of Evolution.  The speakers they have for this are just great and they are all free and downloadable for play.  (Click here to register and access the recordings!

Today I heard a piece that really made me think.  It made me think – because of the space I find myself in right now.  If you know me or are following the blog you know that I set out on a path 8 months ago to move away from the corporate world.  In that, I became very excited about one opportunity that I am involved with.  This opportunity led me down a road of education.  LOTS of internet marketing and Web 2.0 education. And it has been a blast.  I have loved doing this.  It also led to reading several books one of which (EMyth) took me deeper into thought around the exact business that I was going to start. (Here is my review of The EMyth Revisited and the review of The EMyth Enterprise.)  After reading these books and moving through the education, I have created a slight modification of what I had been originally looking at doing – both in my mind and on paper.  Then I hit a vacation, a couple projects at the J.O.B. and another week off and to my surprise and dismay – no real movement forward on my business. I spent my vacations totally unplugged.  (Many have said this is a good thing – however – there is a voice inside me saying if I want to start a business then I need to spend some time on it.)  I have been vacillating between beating myself up and telling myself all is as it should be.  The recording I heard that impacted me so much on this subject was the teleseminar with Mary Manin Morrissey. 

The conversation was focused on having ideas, passions and feelings of purpose and the feelings of impatience around this, that can settle in when working towards something new.  She said something that made an impact on me and resonated with me.  She indicated that every idea, every change, has an evolution.  Like everything in our universe – everything has a path that it follows from creation to birth, whether it is a seed that is planted in the ground or a baby growing in a mommy’s tummy.  There is a period of time that things go through gestation.  This is the time that something sits and prepares to be born.  Trees, babies, and yes, even ideas.  So, we come down again to patience. Patience has never been easy — I remember hearing  “Patience (Patients) are for doctors!”  Through this way of thinking about it, I am reminding myself that things take time, not everything can be rushed (to spite how the world pushes everything) and to give myself the ok for this break.  When this is ready to be born, things will activate again.  I need to focus on what matters and be grateful for all that I have in my life today.  Remember the power of NOW!

Would love to hear anyone else’s ideas on how they remain patient waiting for things to take their own time.

Review: The EMyth Enterprise

April 14, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Book Reviews 

“An e-myth enterprise is a business that takes personal responsibility for the condition of the world it finds itself in; for the condition of the people with whom it interacts; for the condition of their children and their children’s children; for the condition of the very quality of life itself.”

 

This is the second book I have read by Michael E. Gerber. I can say that reading his books makes me want to meet him and buy him dinner so that I could have some time to hear his thoughts on how I might do what I am doing better. He is very accomplished and as I read his words; I feel myself becoming hypnotized or mesmerized by his words and writing. The way he writes pulls you in, it entertains, it builds a picture, it brings feelings to the surface, it brings questions to the forefront. I have gone through the process of re-evaluating what I am doing based on what I have read within the pages of Michael’s books.

Michael is founder of E-Myth Worldwide. E-Myth Worldwide was created in 1977 as a coaching, training and education company. It is now in its 32nd year and has helped more than 65,000 businesses in over 145 countries. His program is used in 118 universities in the world. He has authored 13 business books and founded 11 new ventures in the last four years. Michael is writing from a place of experience and from a place of caring about us making it work so that we can make the world a better place.

In this book he describes what an E-Myth Enterprise is; the essential ingredients. There are four; the visual, emotional, functional, and financial. These four ingredients work together to create an exceptional business. The first thing to realize is that a business exists only as others observe it. A business can not be without employees, customers, suppliers and lenders and they all have perceptions. Their perceptions count and Michael explains that businesses need to step up and DO MORE. They need to be cognizant of these four distinct group of interactions – the employees, the customers, the suppliers and the lenders all play a large role in how successful the company will be. A business needs to understand that these four groups have essential needs, perceived preferences, and unconscious expectations and the business must DO MORE to satisfy these. They satisfy them by paying attention to the visual, emotional, functional and financial ingredients. They need to have 5 basic skills in order to satisfy these ideals.

  • Concentration: Provides energy and attention needed for the right action to take place.
  • Discrimination: Provides us with intention and standards that help us know which action needs to be taken.
  • Organization: Important to realize that people can not be organized; time, space and work are the things that can be organized. Organization provides room for the right action to take place.  Time is the utilization of energy; Space is having the right tools in place in the right quantity to support the right action; Work identifies the natural way to take action, and the relationships between functions and the coordination of action and functions.
  • Innovation: Is about effectiveness. Doing things faster, cheaper, smoother and softer. Watch the child – they do it all the time.
  • Communication: Channel through which life is conveyed. Ideas and the energy of ideas are transmitted and how mind, spirit and body converge into a force for the right action.

I loved how he describes the process of getting more life in a business. The process starts with the development of standards and that develops discipline which results in the development of patience which leads to development of vision, which gives insight, which inevitably leads to the development of conviction, which leads to awareness, where you can’t help but develop empathy, which obviously creates deeper and real relationships which – the ultimate end of having more life.

The ideals by which to create the E-myth Enterprise are the ingredients to a successful idea and business.

Visual: Our first impressions are made visually. It is important that a business pay attention to leaving a good first impression; customers, employees, suppliers and lenders will create a perception based on what they see of your business thereby affecting the resulting relationship. Pay attention to your logos, your colors, scale, order, and consistency. Ensure that information is being transmitted visually.

Emotional: It is important to connect to the emotional side of people, to leave a mark. People need order, to feel heard, connected to something bigger than themselves, a purpose, to feel that what they do has moral weight and is important and that people they associate with love them. In order to reach the emotional side of people it is important to always ask questions – be like a child. A child always challenges the boundaries and asks questions and they keep going. If they get a no or fall down, they keep going, they keep asking.

Functional: As I read on what the functional ideal is, it reminded me of what I learned in Emyth Revisited (LINK TO THIS POST). For a company to be functional it needs to act great and to act great it must think completely different about what it does and how it does what it does. They need to focus on processes rather than the people. If great processes are put together than you don’t need to hire (and pay for) the best. Analyze what employees, customers, suppliers and lenders want the business to do and whether it makes sense to try and incorporate that in the way the business operates. Try and find out the most frustrating thing to these key stakeholders and then see if you can guarantee that this most frustrating thing will not occur.

Financial: Michael insists that you do need to worry about money, that it isn’t all about doing what you love and letting the money come. He writes that money has no meaning without people, that you must take care of it because it will not take care of itself and he stresses that you must have integrity when it comes to money.

The final chapter of the book will challenge your thinking and will test your defensiveness. I found myself having to read this chapter a couple of times in order to really GET what he is working to say here. To me, what I feel he is trying to get across is that we have fallen into a trap because we often forget to think. Actually, really, truly THINK. We fall into doing things, wanting things, that are the newest trends or hot new tools to improve our lives. He gives advice on how to get out of this – he says that we need to

  • Admit to the fact that we have fallen into a programmed trap
  • Be more interested in far more than just business; we must be interested in the dignity of ones own life and those lives around us; must set very high standards;
  • Be interested in how things look and how things feel and how things work and then finally in the money.
  • Realize that the economic model is a myth
  • Pay attention to people; what is imprisoning them, what is frustrating them, what is inhibiting them, what is restraining them, what is depriving them of a rich forceful life.
  • Be conscious of oneself
  • Be honest with oneself
  • Continually watch oneself

I highly recommend reading this book; it will make you really think hard about what you are working to achieve in your endeavor.

E-Myth Revisited

February 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Book Reviews 

 

I had someone that I admire recommend reading this book and I picked it up without knowing exactly what to expect. I had heard it mentioned before, but beyond that had not understood what it was about.

After reading this book, I have quite a few ah ha’s — and this, along with going through a Goals Development Program by Darren Hardy and success.com, I am now looking at my business in a different way. This book is a must read for anyone going into their own business. The book was written michaelgerberby Michael E. Gerber, who is the founder of E-Myth Worldwide. E-Myth Worldwide was created in 1977 as a coaching, training and education company. It is now in its 32nd year (if that isn’t something amazing to anyone trying to start their own business then nothing is!) and has helped more than 65,000 businesses in over 145 countries. His program is used in 118 universities in the world. He has authored 13 business books and founded 11 new ventures in the last four years. I have ordered his most recent book; however this one was absolutely awesome.

The most impacting realization I took away from this book is that all Entrepreneurs have started a business due chaosto the chaotic world we are living in. They are looking for order. Our world is a place of constant change and our corporations and larger companies (and smaller companies) are doing their best to keep up with all the changes; however they are failing miserably (80% of new businesses fail within 5 years). Due to the chaos and never ending change, the individuals working in companies are feeling discomfort; they feel no order, no real reason for being and they feel they are working hard for companies without any real satisfaction. The realization that this book led me to is that the reason that these businesses are failing are because we are bringing the chaos from the world and our companies with us and opening up businesses that result being ran on the basis of chaos. What Michael Gerber is teaching in this book is that we need to change ourselves in order to not only run a successful business, but to also help the world start to run without the state of chaos we seem to be in constantly.

multiple personalitiesThe other thing that the book points out is that each of us is a person with multiple personalities. For instance, we all have a skinny personality and fat personality. The skinny person gets motivated to exercise and diet to get healthy; the fat person is comfortable hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep or opening the fridge for that second helping of ice cream. We also have three personalities that come into play when starting a business; a technician, a manager and an entrepreneur. The technician likes doing the work; they are good at the work and they like being left alone. The manager likes order and process and tries to minimize as much change as possible. The entrepreneur thrives on chaos and constant change. Each of these personalities needs a chance to survive and thrive. If any one of these personalities takes over, the business will die.

Most small businesses have been started by the technician in us. The person who knows they can start a business doing what they know best and they feel they can do it so much better than the company they are working for. The entrepreneur steps in momentarily (in what the book calls an “entrepreneur seizure”) and the person is off to start their business. The problem then becomes that the technician steps back in and neither the manager nor the entrepreneur steps back in to balance the business out.

The book discussed 3 stages: infancy, adolescence and maturity. Infancy is the technician stage – it isn’t looking for growth and change, it is a time for work, work, and more work. Infancy ends when the owner realizes a change is needed and it is at this point that many businesses fail. This is where the entrepreneur and manager must be allowed in to move the business into the next stage and if this doesn’t happen the technician decides to either close its doors, goes for broke (hires people but doesn’t manage) or succeed in spite of it all (and will work until they literally can’t any longer). Adolescence needs a manager. A small business will stay in adolescence until the owner can’t work the business any longer or if it had been planned correctly enters maturity. Every business reaches a point where it goes beyond the owners comfort zone. Mature companies typically start out as a mature company; it is the owner that goes through infancy and adolescence to enter maturity. It is important to prepare yourself and your business for growth; by continuing to educate yourself so that your business can grow.

mcdonaldsThe turnkey revolution is what we saw when companies began to be ran like McDonald’s is ran. It was the start of the franchise. A franchise is either a trade name franchise or a business format franchise. The business format franchise runs by a system, the product is the system not the actual consumable good. This is where the owner works ON the business not IN the business.

The rest of the book discusses how an owner needs to innovate, quantify and orchestrate. These three things dance together in order to create a successful business. The business development program includes contemplating your primary aim, the strategic objective and strategies for the organization, management, people, marketing and systems. The book discusses the process of prototyping each position that will be done, or could be done within the business. Management development is discussed and how the system becomes your solution. They go through people management and discuss how to get employees motivated – it makes a point on how the owner creates the environment where the employees WANT to work for the company. Lastly the systems strategy is discussed – how to bring the hard systems, soft systems and information systems together.

I loved this book for what it has done to the thoughts for my own business; however I am feeling a bit cheated. I am looking for more thorough details and examples of the business development process; however there is enough information included that with a bit of research and time the details should become accessible.  To spite feeling cheated, I highly recommend reading this book if you are looking to be in business for yourself or if you are in business for yourself!