At EMyth, we know one of the most important shifts a business owner must make is to see their business itself as their most important product. But you might be wondering: “What does that even mean?”
You know that making the shift from your Technician personality (the one who does all the work) to your Entrepreneur personality (the one who has the vision and decides the strategy) starts with shifting your perspective, the way you look at your business, and the way you relate to it. But what often happens is that your Technician tries to put on the Entrepreneur’s hat without relinquishing the Technician’s perspective.
On average, how much of your time is spent working in your business doing the day to day tactical work involved in producing, delivering or selling your product or service?
For most business owners, when we first meet them, the answer is usually: ALL of it.
Have you ever found yourself emptying the trash at the end of the day? What about printing shipping labels, cleaning dishes, packing boxes, entering receipts or customer data, or loading trucks? (Or maybe all of these things?) And all this is on top of the work you do selling, responding to customers, completing that design, or hiring a new employee.
One of the things we really care about at EMyth is helping business owners Work On it, not just In it. By “it”, we mean the business. Most owners spend most of their time and energy In the business—involved in the day-to-day “doing it”—when the most powerful thing they can do as leaders is work On it—things like crafting a vision for the business, empowering their team, etc.
If you’re one of the many millions of fans of Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited, you know that there’s no message that’s had a more universal impact on business owners than work on it, not just in it. Over the last 30 years, since The E-Myth was first published in 1986, this phrase has become part of the business vernacular.
Overwhelmed. Tired. Depressed. Stressed. This is how I felt having created a business that was a reflection of me without really knowing who I was and what I wanted from my life. I was tired, unhappy, in chaos and felt like my world was coming down around me. The world was in recession and I was caught in the eye of the storm. The business I’d put seven years of hard work and energy into—sacrificing several other parts of my life and relationships—was on the brink of collapse.
Do you ever ask an employee for something you requested several days earlier and get a puzzled look? Or get the response: “I didn’t know you wanted it today.” Or even more baffling, the employee tells you: “I don’t know how to do that.” These are the kinds of answers that cause many owners to hesitate when delegating.
“My employees know what to do, but if one thing goes wrong, they just stand around.”
“They can get the job done—but only in the slowest possible way. Why don’t they work harder?”
“No one does it as well as I do or cares as much as I do.”