The Big Idea
Starting a business of your own is just like joining a marathon race. You dream big while you’re on the starting line but as the race progresses you see a lot of fellow racers fall behind. Many are not able to endure the test of stamina and agility of the race.
The same goes with small businesses worldwide. Only a few are really able to reach the big dream. Majority of them simply fail no matter how huge effort is put into the undertaking. Why is this so? Michael Gerber reveals the answers in this book. The discussions revolve around the philosophies that could make or unmake the future of small businesses. These philosophies are: entrepreneurial myth (e-myth), the turn-key revolution and the business development process.
PART I: THE E-MYTH and THE AMERICAN SMALL BUSINESS
WHAT IS THE E-MYTH?
The e-myth, or the entrepreneurial myth, evolved from one very fatal assumption– an assumption that unfortunately up to now many aspiring entrepreneurs still believe in. The assumption is that the success of every business is simply achieved by summing up the following: an entrepreneur’s desire to own a business plus the certain amount of capital he puts in plus the knowing the amount of targeted profit. This equation does not spell SUCCESS but DISASTER instead.
The fact is, however, the success of a business whether small scale or large scale is not ONLY dependent on that. It is clearly dependent on many factors that are all interrelated and reliant on each other. It is important then that all these intertwining factors are dissected and connected so that the entrepreneur gets a whole perspective before he even dares to venture on the thought of owning a business.
The Entrepreneurial Seizure
Before you start plotting your entrepreneurial future, you should also get a full grasp of the phenomenon called entrepreneurial seizure. An entrepreneur who goes through such experiences feels exhilaration, exhaustion, and despair. He subsequently develops a sense self-loss.
This occurrence is usually brought about by another fatal assumption made by aspiring businesspersons that by merely understanding and mastering the technical work of the business, they already have the full grasp of the nature of that business. Incidentally, however, he will be in a crossroad when concerns other than those involving technical work props up and he realizes he is not fully equipped to deal with it. He is now faced with limited choices. More often than not, the entrepreneur side of him will predictably back out and hide.
FOCUS ON THE BUSINESS: Who are the characters?
How does one avoid experiencing the entrepreneurial seizure? First, he simply needs to understand that a business proprietorship does not only entail him to be a technician. There are other roles to play. Basically, they consist of three namely: the technician, the manager and the entrepreneur. In the case of small-scale businesses, all these roles had to be played by an individual all at the same time. It may be complicated. But then, it all boils down to balance.
He is the present. The technician is in charge of the physical aspect of the business. He is the doer, the builder, the labourer. He gets things done and makes things happen. For emerging businesses, the technician is usually the most visible character. This is one major flaw to watch out. Letting the technician take over the business will simply bring the business to its demise. Due to his overzealous nature, the technician will only exhaust the life out of the business.
He represents past. The Manager is in charge of putting order to the business. He does the planning. He is more on the practical side. He always has problems in mind. He is always fussing over some things in the business. He abhors change and opts to stick to time-tested formula when solving business problems.
He is the future. He is the visionary, the dreamer among the three. He likes to play “what-if” and “if-when” games. He is the creative department of the business and is always on the lookout for new, innovative things.