It’s all lies – actually it’s a Myth – the E-Myth
I don’t know if you, like me, love to read and rarely find the time? Well over Christmas I had the joy to pick up again (for maybe the millionth time), that brilliant book that all small business owners, or people considering opening their own business, should have as required reading – The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. If you have never read it – I highly recommend it to you – you can find it here
This book encapsulates almost everything I believe about leadership.
The reason the book is named the E-Myth, is that Michael believes in America there is an Entrepreneurial Myth – which is that all businesses are started by Entrepreneurs. Michael believes most businesses are started by technicians. Technicians are people who are very good at something – being an accountant, a lawyer, a dentist, a physiotherapist, or a plastic surgeon for example. And many technicians get to a point one day where they (for whatever reason) don’t want to work for someone else and believe that any idiot can start a business (because they work for one in their opinion), and they go ahead and start a business.
However, what most don’t realise is that doing the technical work of the business and running a technical business are two different things. Michael believes (and I agree with him) that the owners fantastic technical skills are at once his or her greatest strength and also their greatest weakness. In fact he goes so far as to say that their technical strength often leads to the business failing. And most small businesses (80%) do fail in their first 5 years. Of those that survive, 80% go on to fail in their second 5 years.
And this is because the business of running a technical business is what the owner should be spending their time on, and if they weren’t good at being the technician in their business they would have to find someone else to do that (which is what they should be doing) so they could concentrate on running and growing the business.
Instead what happens is they initially have success – because they are good at what they do. So they get more customers (because they are recommended – because they are good at what they do). This continues until they get to a point where they are so busy they can’t cope, start letting people down and are not enjoying their new life as they have no TIME to enjoy it. So they hire someone. The problem is they haven’t taken the time to plan that hire, and often hire the wrong people. If they do hire the right person they mostly don’t have the time to train that person and they certainly haven’t had time to put systems in place so that the quality of the work and customer service would be maintained (all that knowledge being in their heads) – and so things start going wrong, they start losing customers and yet they have more costs (because of the new staff).
And you can see where it goes from there!
If you want to learn more about how to stop being the technician in your business and start being the Entrepreneur, come along to a taster workshop I am delivering for Inspire by Wessex Chambers, on the 21st January (free for Inspire by Wessex Chambers subscription members). Find Out More Here…