If you have ever called yourself an entrepreneur, chances are you have read the book E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. The message Michael provides to every person struggling to grow a business is that you have to learn to work on your business, not in it. In the book, he shares the story of Sarah, a pie maker who starts a business because she loves making pies. It’s not long before she is completely overwhelmed, exhausted and pretty darn broke.
During the course of the book, Michael teaches Sarah, and every one of us who will listen; that in a start-up we are the originator of the business (the entrepreneur), the person who does the work (the technician), and the person who manages the work (the manager). The problem is: We spend more time doing the work than planning and operating the business. And so, we can’t grow.
The thing is, we are all entrepreneurs or architects of our personal business, the one that is called “life.” And just like Sarah, we get so caught up in getting today’s job done, that we seldom reflect on the life we are building, which may or may not look anything like the life we want.
Michael suggests that it is easy to fall into the Comfort Zone, even a comfort zone that doesn’t make us happy. And, unfortunately, he says,
“The comfort zone makes cowards of us all.”
We need time for reflection to let dreams flourish. We need to detach from the urgent and the electronics and crazy schedules that keep us there, at least for a little while, to listen to the still small voice within that reminds us of our purpose.And then we need systems, support systems, creative thinking, good friends, and, of course, discipline to put us on a better road.
With the willingness to change, it can be a good luck story. Sarah, the pie maker, learns to create a business system that integrates her Primary Aim with her strategic objective and her organizational, marketing, people, and systems strategies. As a result, she is energized, engaged, excited, and enabled for success.
Think about it, don’t we all have a Primary Aim? And wouldn’t it be easier to achieve if we took the time to create our objectives and plan our strategies? It’s easy on a personal basis to translate a marketing strategy into a personal communication strategy; a people strategy into a friends and family network; and a systems’ strategy into the use of our personal tools and methods. The point is to do it and move out of an unsatisfying comfort zone and closer to our happiness.
I’m working on my personal E-Myth integrated plan. Perhaps you are thinking it might be a good idea for you as well.