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Articles & Book Reviews About The Business Owner’s Inner Game

Primary Aim and Strategic Objective

I recommend many of my personal clients to read The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber and in particular I want them to read two chapters.

In my edition it’s Chapter 12 on Your Primary Aim and Chapter 13 on Your Strategic Objective.

These two chapters woke me up about this work / life balance topic and the amazing power you have as a business owner… if you decide to use it. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game

My eyes were opened on this work life issue when I read the ground-breaking book “The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It” by Michael Gerber. As far as I’m concerned, it is a must read book for the vast majority of business owners.

In it, Gerber identifies three roles played by the business owner in a small business and believes that few do the last one well. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game

Map Out Your Work Life Balance As Venn Diagrams

I’d like you to do a little exercise for me.

Do you remember Venn Diagrams when you were at school – those circles that overlapped with common items in both.

I think them a useful way to think about your work-life balance and I’d like you to think of your business and your life as circles and draw your current work / life balance. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game

What Is Success for You As A Business Owner?

Computer company MYOB found in a survey 62 % of entrepreneurs defined business success as a balance between family and career.

Only 19% started their business for money alone.

In another survey, American Express discovered 40 per cent of the smallest business owners – those with annual revenues of less than $200,000 – plan no vacation time in any given year.

No wonder stress levels are so high.

As A Business Owner, It Is Up To You To Define Your Own Success

One of the many nice things about owning your own business is you decide what success means to you.

Start thinking about what you want to achieve:

  • For yourself
  • In your family
  • In your business

How important is money to you?

Is it important to you as a symbol of success or as a way to success.

P2M2 Your Work Life Balance

Get To Know Me



in 2 – Your Inner Game

Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

Objectives and Key Results is a goal setting and tracking technique pioneered by Google and used in other high tech successes like Twitter, LinkedIn and Uber.

In many ways, it’s an update on the original concept of Management by Objectives which was popularised by Peter Drucker in his book The Practice of Management in the mid 1950s. [continue reading…]

in 1 – Your KPI, 2 – Your Inner Game

This is an essential step to help you to get your business and life in the right perspective.

Only you can decide what it is.

  1. Do the “as is” and “will be” Venn Diagram of your life and business. Seeing things and thinking in pictures can give you a different insight.
  2. Set your personal vision and mission. Decide what you want and over what time period. Pick a time period you can work with and go through the important relationships in your life and decide what you want.
  3. Define your business vision and mission (you will probably come back to edit it later but get something out of your head and onto paper). Think about what your business needs to deliver to you, your customers and the other important stakeholders including employees, suppliers and society.

[continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game

Over the last few days we’ve looked at the issue of work-life balance, talked about living life with purpose and intentionally, knowing what you want and working out how to get it.

Now it’s time to turn the spotlight on to your business.

It business has a vital role:

  • In what it takes from you – the opportunity cost of the time and energy it takes
  • In what it gives back – in terms of money to support the lifestyle you want

Define The Deal – Employees Know The Hours, Pay and Benefits, Why Don’t You?

If you were the shareholder who employed a Managing Director or CEO, you’d have to define the deal in salaries, benefits and future opportunities. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game

Designing Your Life-Work Balance P2M2 Part 3

Designing Your Life-Work Balance

I’ve deliberately written Life-Work balance rather than the more common work-life balance because I want you to start with what you want to get out of your life.

What do you want?

What do you want to do, achieve, and be?

My Experience In The Dreaming Room

In the mid 2000s, I went to a Michael Gerber event “In The Dreaming Room” which was his project after he left E Myth Worldwide. The entire two day event revolved around answering one question, “What do you want”.

I expected more questions but that was it.

We were expected to build our dream… and dream big around that one question.

I found it easier start by thinking through what I didn’t want and getting that down on paper first.

It helped clear my brain of the negatives and you may find it helps you.

Your Turn – What Do You Want?

Try to build up a picture of your life going forward.

What do you want to achieve?

Who do you want to be? What do you want family, friends and work associates to say about you? What qualities do you need to have people say those things and what do you have to do?

What stories do you want to tell your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren?

You can even go as far as thinking what you want to be said in the eulogy at your funeral or the obituary in the newspaper or trade magazine.

It’s a bit morbid but it certainly gets you thinking about the impact you want to leave on the world.

The clearer you are on your own personal game, the easier it will be to see how other factors need to fit together and contribute.

Learn To Live Intentionally

This is a quote from Michael Gerber on page 13 of The E Myth Revisited

“…great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next.

The difference between the two is living fully and just existing.

The difference between the two is living intentionally and living by accident.”

I find these words very powerful as they contrast the difference between taking active control of your life and just letting it happen.

Creative Tension

Psychologists say that you have creative tension if you have a difference between your vision of the future and your current reality.

It is this tension which provides the motivation and energy for you to close the gap.

It only happens if you acknowledge the truth of where you are, even if that means facing up to some harsh realities and you can see clearly where you want to be.

The weaker and more hazy your vision, the less powerful the force inside you to change.

Write Out Your Personal Vision & Mission

Find something that works for you and inspires. It might be a vision, a mission or both.

You might want to look one year ahead, five years, ten years of to the end of your life.

There’s no right or wrong – only what works to give you direction and balance in all the different areas of your life.

Start with what you want. Be selfish and let your dreams race ahead.

Then look at the life with your husband, wife or partner. What do you want together? What do you want for the other person?

Then move onto your children. What do you want for them?

Then your wider family, your parents, brothers and sisters.

Then your friends.

And society and the environment.

Take the time to identify what’s important to you and especially what you are prepared to spend time, energy and money to make happen.

An alternative way to tackle the exercise and to help you to decide what you want in your private life is an exercise Frank Kern, the Internet marketing guru called Core Influence (link).  It doesn’t directly lead to a vision or mission but you may find it useful.

Creating A Picture Board Or Vision Board

I haven’t done it myself but I know some people find this technique useful.

Create a picture board or vision board of the things you’re working towards and place it near your desk so you can see it and be inspired often during the day.

Find a photo of your dream house, car, holiday and create a collage of what you want.

Then imagine yourself having those things to remind you why you are doing everything you do.

Personal Vision First Then Business Vision

OK I can understand if this seems a bit light and fluffy to you and not connected to making more money.

My view is simple.

When you know what you want, you can start making plans and taking actions to get it.

If you don’t know what you want, you can lack direction and motivation.

It’s now time to identify what the deal is with your business. It’s time to go to P2M2 Part 4.

Get To Know Me



in 2 – Your Inner Game

Your Chance To Design Your Work Life Balance

Please read Your Work-Life Balance Part 1 first.

Because you are the owner of the business, you have both the power and the right to design a business that works so well it gives you the life you want.

It’s a chance to live purposefully and act intentionally.

You will see this as a repeating theme throughout this website.

Decide what you want and then plan how you can achieve it. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game

Your Work-Life Balance P2M2 Part 1

Instead of being the boss and master of all you survey, it is easy to find yourself an underpaid servant to your business.

You do whatever is necessary, whenever it is necessary.

Your Work Life Balance

When I talk to small business owners I often hear the phrase

“There is so much to do and so little time to do it .” [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game