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.
The Three Roles Of A Business Owner
First you have the technician… the people who actually do the work of the business.
It’s the accountant being an accountant…
The carpenter still doing the carpentry…
The restaurant owner still doing the cooking…
The second role is the manager… the person who organises the work and the people to do it.
The final role… and the one Michael Gerber says is missing in most small businesses… is the entrepreneur….
The person who designs and builds the business.
And it’s missing for the simple reason that small business owners don’t recognise the existence of the role.
Even if they do… they don’t know how to get out of “working IN the business” and move towards “working ON the business.”
Businesses Start Badly: With An Entrepreneurial Seizure
Gerber also contends that many small businesses start with what he calls an Entrepreneurial Seizure.
The experienced technician wakes up one morning, looks at what he or she has… and looks at the big house and fancy car of the boss and thinks…
“I can do that. I know more about this business than my boss. I will start my own business.”
The E Myth Revisited is a very thought-provoking book which I recommend to all small business owners despite the yucky writing style.
I didn’t get it the first time I read it and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about because I was coming from a bigger company background. It became much clearer as I spent more time with business owners.
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