Friday, April 9, 2010

The E-Myth: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and the Technician

So I read this fantastic book that should be read by all entrepreneurs, called The E-myth by Michael E. Gerber

One of the earliest points in the book depicted how as soon as you get the Entrepreneurial "Seizure", you form your own business and make a job for yourself. Well, the last thing any of us wants is a job. With WORK. What do I mean by this?

Well, let's back up: why do most small businesses fail? It's because inside of every entrepreneur there are three personalities: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician. Liken this to your inner Fat Guy and Skinny Guy: You live like Fat Guy, eating when you're hungry, exercising when you want. Then, one day, you are watching TV and a new weight-loss solution graces your sight, and Skinny Guy comes. Skinny Guy tells you how lazy you've been, so you start dieting and working out, watching your weight every day.

BUT, on the first day you don't lose weight, Fat Guy comes back, reasoning that even though you've been working your ass off, there haven't been any visible benefits. Yes, we've all been there.

The Entrepreneur is the visionary. She sees into the future, is coming up with innovative solutions and how she can make her business better. The Technician does the work, knows how to do their work and to do it right. She doesn't like restrictions or skimping on quality - most technicians decide to work for themselves, but all they do is give themselves a job. The Manager keeps everything running smoothly: has things meeting deadlines, keeps things clean.

The Entrepreneur drives the Technician and the Manager crazy, because she always wants to change things to make them better. The Manager pisses the Technician off, because the Manager doesn't understand the care and consideration that goes into making the product.

Are you picking up on a theme here? How do you create a business, when you have these three portions of your personality that you can't even get to agree? The goal is to reconcile all these personalities with the Entrepreneur: you want to be continuously improving, and be adaptable enough so that The Manager and The Technician will go along with the ride.

I HIGHLY recommend reading this book. Or re-reading it. Your venture shouldn't be just another job - you should be able to run your business, but it should also be able to live without you.

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