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!

Designing The Next 10 Years

January 19, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

designIt has been a couple weeks since my last post and SO much is going on.  This post will center on a great program I started offered through Darren Hardy’s Success.com site. So far it has been two weeks of self analysis.  (It is an 8 week program and you can sign up to get the exercises (during the 8 weeks) – Click here to sign up)

The program started out by having me review the last 10 years, looking at my milestones,  risks and regrets.  It is amazing what has happened in the last 10 years.  I have had a beautiful daughter; we have moved from New York City to Denver, purchased our first home, I have held a Director position, was laid off; started over in a technical support role after 9 months of unemployment, was promoted to a manager within 2 years and as I worked to move my way up the ladder I held leadership roles in the women’s diversity group and… started my own company.   Just think  – if all this happened in 10 years without goals; what can happen in 10 years with goals!

The next part had questions and blanks to fill in about what I am grateful for.  The next tasks were a look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; there was an exercise to look at how balanced (or like I learned from James Ray – harmonized) my life is.  Each category had several questions and I rated each question ipacmann each category; added up each category and then the total was graphed.  My graphed out answers made a PacMan.  This tells me I have done a really great job harmonizing my life in all categories but one – Financial.  James Ray, in his book Harmonic Wealth (Click here for a review of the book), teaches how balance is bogus; harmony should be the goal.  It is like music, at one moment all instruments may be playing together and the next the drums will stop; and then… the drums start back up.  This is our goal in life – to have all the areas of our life playing in harmony and be ok when one area isn’t playing at full level.  This exercise showed me I do need to focus some time on the financial part of my life.  Thus as I work through this eight week program I will be adding some financial goals to what I had already put together for this years goals. 

One final task was to send some questions to 3 people that are close to me.  There were three questions they were to answer.  1)  What skill or attribute gives me an advantage in life? 2) What one thing could help me better succeed with people and in life? 3) What behaviors, lack of discipline or attitudes do you think hold me back?  As of now I have not gotten back all the responses; however what I have gotten back has led me to some major self talk, analysis and time in thought. 

One response was that I do not thoroughly look at all sides of an issue prior to taking an opinion.  

My initial surface thoughts

  • this came from an individual that I avoid conflict with
  • the conversations referred to; happened over email

As I worked through this, my major objective was to see how I can benefit (and not point fingers or get defensive) from this feedback.  The conclusions I have come to are:

  1. My avoidance of conflict and speaking my own mind and opinion is something that I want to be better with.
  2. Past child hood pains (fear of the withdrawal of love when not meeting others expectations) is something I need to acknowledge and resolve as best I can.  Love myself!
  3. Improving my communication skills; being able to describe my authentic feelings and thoughts in such a way that do not come across defensively.

 The other response that I struggled with, and still am in many ways, was that I have rose colored glasses and that by being too Pollyanna others will not take me seriously… and also that I am doing “too much”; That I am trying to be super woman and that if I do this I will not be able to do things well.

 I have, myself, considered that I might be trying to do too much.  However, when I look at how my life is coming together right now; how some things I have been doing have led to ideas, to people and to other paths that have opened up new avenues – I think that my life – as busy as it is – is just perfect.  The things that I value the most; my family and personal growth are not being impacted.  My work/play takes place during the normal work day and early in the morning.  I am picking up my daughter almost every day from school and from this moment until we go to sleep is family time.  We have dinner together; we play games and enjoy each others company.  During the few times the TV goes on, I will pick up my computer but outside of that – work/play is placed to the side while we are all together.  My physical exercise is also something that I will not allow to be impacted by the tasks I am involved in.  Everything else – is getting done.  I have prioritized them and there are a couple of things towards the very bottom of the list that are not getting done as well as they could, however it is a very conscious decision.   I feel that what is happening here is that I am starting to do things that many others see as risky and that they don’t understand.  As I was contemplating this, I read a blog post from T Harv Eker; and in that post was the following message:

“… at some point we’ve got to tell the ego that it’s okay to step into the unknown and dare to be different. Think of all the people throughout history that, if they hadn’t stepped “outside the lines,” we’d have never evolved as quickly as we did. We’d still think the world was flat, or that the universe revolves around us, or that “normal” people couldn’t do amazing things.

When you stop playing it safe, your spirit is free to grow, expand and create.  Individual, family and social “rules” don’t apply.

It takes guts to be different; to stand out from the crowd; to break free from the “clone drone” society and be a true individual.

When others criticize you for doing something “different” it’s usually because they’re scared. Inside, they’re secretly stoked that you’re breaking free. They’re just frustrated with themselves for lacking the courage to do the same. Be their inspiration!”

As is usual, something comes to me and I see it as an answer to my contemplation and this was the answer for me on the “doing too much” comment.  I am going to continue doing the amount of things I am doing as long as this does not conflict with my values, I am good.  As far as the Pollyanna comment?  The mind is still contemplating this one!  Would love to hear your comments – Do you think that people that are optimists and “too nice” are people that don’t get taken seriously?